(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)
This column is typically long-winded today, so let’s skip the precursory exposition and dive right into another ‘Sports Kids Moms & Dads’ diary.
9:01 – It’s a day before the big equestrian competition. Karli, unlike her mom Karen the illusionist, works well under pressure. Karen is not as competitively driven as the rest of the parents featured on this show, but that doesn’t mean she’s free of disorders that require medication. But it could be just another skillful illusion.
9:04 – Sarah complains about the blisters on her feet on her way to yet another practice. Sharon engages in some baby talk as she puts band-aids on Sarah’s feet, and then says she doesn’t question whether she pushes Sarah hard or not. Sharon is concerned over Sarah’s exhaustion, but pushes her like a broom during practice until the she starts crying. Sharon says hurting Sarah’s feelings will make her better, which will also double as a bullet proof defense in a future child custody hearing.
9:07 – T.J. is taking her team on a retreat to Big Bear, California. It’s all to get Lindsay’s team in the State tournament. The girls enter the house like it’s ‘Real World Big Bear’. Somehow, I don’t think the girls will be concentrating on hoops. T.J. and her assistant have blistering one on one interviews with each player where encouraging words like “lazy” and “failure” are bandied about.
9:14 – Craig is the old geezer on his flag football team, which is on the cusp of playing for the national championship. The flag football national championship; sounds like an unfinished knock-knock joke. Looks like Trenton is the star football player in this family because Craig’s team loses, and Craig doesn’t catch one pass.
9:16 – Bryce contemplates quitting. Kim brings up the issue of cash again and asks Bryce what he needs to do to be a better competitor. Bryce answers by eating a donut. It soon dissolves into an argument you would hear in Kindergarten before evolving into ‘a let’s bring all the skeletons out of the closet like the fact that Kim “forks out all the dough” nasty fest’.
9:19 – Even Sarah’s brother Seth angrily offers coaching advice to Sarah. Sharon admits that if Sarah wins the national title part of it will be hers. They look at some judges critiquing of her last competition and Sharon interprets “needs to smile more naturally” as ‘becoming more average’.
9:26 – Now Kim says she wanted Bryce to experience losing. Bryce is taking a novice reskating test to see if he can move up a skill level. $50 says Bryce is going to experience more losing. In the stands Kim is spitting “he needs to just do it” as Bryce keeps finding the ice with his butt.
9:29 – Trenton says he feels bummed if his team doesn’t win the sportsmanship points to qualify for the playoffs. Trenton’s coach says he was confident in his team and left their chances “in God’s hands”. He then breaks the news that the team didn’t make the playoffs. Craig now rails against the sportsmanship tiebreaker policy and says Trenton needs to find a team that will pass to him. Trenton is acting sad, but I’m not buying it.
9:31 – Karli’s competing and she’s already making excuses. Her coach says, “Spit happens” but uses an h. Show jumping is up next and Karen shakily says it’s her best competition. Karli’s coach uses another colorful euphemism about not messing around.
9:40 – T.J. and Lindsay have a big game against a conference rival. The retreat seems to have worked as New Roads, Lindsay’s team, plays like the Los Angeles Sparks and wins by 44. T.J. is happy. I’m beginning to think there’s something weird going on in this ‘league’.
9:42 – Trenton’s team has a year-end banquet celebrating the football season and Danny, the coach, has a 20-minute monologue about Trenton’s play before handing him a trophy. Danny is practically begging Trenton to stay with the Bears, but even momma wants a passing offense.
9:44 – After acing her show jumping, Karli has all of a sudden become very appreciative and mature regarding the sale of Disco. I believe Karen is on some meds because she only talks in monotone and never raises her hands above her waist. I think the producers are trying to make me get emotional about Karli and Disco, but it’s not working. Excuse me, I have to go blow my nose.
9:47 – Right before Bryce competes in his novice test, his dad comforts him by saying, “don’t fall”. He has a good practice but then has a terrible crash while executing one last single axle.
9:53 – It’s New Roads’ first playoff game and things look good as they have the home crowd behind them. Each time I see more game footage, I’m convinced this is some kind of home school or private school for upper class white chicks league. New Roads wins by 41.
9:55 – Sarah has a steno pad filled with things to do before the championships. David, the lucky husband, looks like the happiest man in the world in spite of having his brow beaten off. Sharon and Sarah get to the hotel and the good cheer begins with Sharon morphing into Marlon Brando’s character, Colonel Kurtz, from Apocalypse Now.
9:59 – Highlights from next week include Trenton continuing his quest for the NFL; Bryce proving he survived his icy crash and taking his test; Karli thanking Disco; and Mistress Nicole imploring Sarah to “shake it”.