Every Saturday we ask some of our favorite writers to fill in for us. Today, we have former Cracked.com writer Anthony Layser, who is now the deputy managing Editor of Asylum.com. Today he tells us why sometimes, the most important lesson you can learn from youth sports is that it's time to stop embarrassing your family.
Like many men, I spent my prepubescence idolizing sports stars and envisioning myself in the major leagues. In the end, I would not only fall shy of the professional ranks, but also bring shame on myself and my family while trying. To better illustrate, I had my father--a spectator at my seven most embarrassing failures--provide his recollections of each incident and rank them based on his degree of embarrassment.
7Being Dismantled By an Inner City Hoops Squad
After spending much of the summer between fifth and sixth grade playing basketball in the driveway, I was sure I ranked among the best in my suburban enclave, if not the country. The following winter I was selected for the second-team travel squad, an honor in my youth league. In our third game, we experienced a pummeling of unthinkable brutality at the hands of a team from the city. The honest-to-Christ final score: 128-23.
Nope, not even good enough to be the Washington General who gets pantsed.
I'd like to say I immediately relinquished my basketball aspirations. Unfortunately, any time you lose by 100 points, your evolutionary survival instincts temporarily black out the memory in order to keep you from dying of humiliation.
My Father's Shame:
"Honestly, I don't remember your team getting the ball past half-court. I think I only stuck around until the end because you needed a ride home."
6The Most Pathetic Win in Little League History
In the best of three series for the 10-12 age group recreation league championship, I was entrusted to pitch the third and deciding game. I earned a victory and was carried off the mound by my teammates despite giving up 32 earned runs, and 24 walks over six innings, in a game that lasted nearly seven hours and needed to be played over two days.
On-field celebrations are a surprisingly effective way to deliver covert kidney punches.
Some say, "An ugly win is still a win." I would maintain that those people have never seen an 11-year-old on the verge of tears, both physically and mentally unable to throw a strike as he labors to a 34-32 travesty of our national pastime. Looking back now, I might have been the first person to be carried off a field sarcastically.
My Father's Shame:
"This one wasn't so bad. I was happy for you. You were a champion that day, though it was pretty obvious you weren't Sandy Koufax."