Its Bad To Be Good

I was reading the sports highlights today and came across a story that highlights how screwed up we've become as a country.

The story comes from Dallas Texas, two high school girls basketball teams faced off for a game.  One school clearly had much better talent then the other and by half time they lead with a score of 59 to nothing.  They finished the game with a score of 100 to zip with the other team unable to even score a single basket.

Now there are a couple ways this story could have been written.  The winning team (The Covenant School) could have been written about as great athletes and praised for their abilities.  The losing team likewise could have been written about in a positive light having gone four seasons without a win yet the girls still show up and play their hardest.  Instead the article made it sound as if the winning team had done something wrong.

Now officials from The Covenant School say they are trying to do the right thing by seeking a forfeit and apologizing for the margin of victory.

"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened," Kyle Queal, the head of the school, said in a statement, adding the forfeit was requested because "a victory without honor is a great loss."

Why is it shameful to win?

While this is a meaningless basketball game this same mentality is what we see all over the country.  Baseball teams for little kids no longer keep score (although the kids do, just ask them).  Everyone is given a trophy regardless of ability.  Instead of looking for those with the best ability we instead seek to make sure every school and college has the magic mix of gender and race.

Some schools have even stopped giving letter grades because it makes some kids feel inferior to others.

The problem is that in reality we are not cookie cutter clones of each other.  Some of us have more ability in some areas while others may have ability in something different.  And in the real world our abilities allow some of us to earn a lot of money in fields that showcase those abilities.  The Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees for instance wouldn't be the same with someone like me playing on them compared to the stars they have now.  The reason being the stars have talent while I don't.

We should make people feel special for their talents.  That's not a bad thing.  We should also show others that it's not a bad thing to be on the losing end when someone is more talented then yourself.  Just because I could never beat even the worst player on the Celtics doesn't make me worthless as a person.  If I had a chance to play one on one with a professional I'd still enjoy it even if I did get my butt kicked.  I realize that I have different skills that make me valuable.  I'm a damn good computer programmer.