Boys and girls and (especially) moms and dads, let’s talk about the c-word.
No, not cancer or one of the worst expletives out there, I am talking about the word “commitment.’’
If you drive east on 111th, the street will turn into West Monterey and you will pass this big school with a tiny gym – Morgan Park.
For years, the Morgan Park/Simeon basketball game that was supposed to be at MP was moved elsewhere so that more people could watch it. The Mustangs’ gym supposedly holds just 250, but it is like the United Center compared to the even smaller gym they had my daughter’s freshman basketball team play in a few years ago.
But, I digress.
Well this year, the MP parents decided this wasn’t a good arrangement and decided to have their kids boycott the game because it wasn’t held in their bandbox. They held protests and made a big stink about it last week even though this game was scheduled months ahead of time. That’s when they should have been protesting.
So Morgan Park was nearly given a forfeit but the game is on ice and it’s unclear when – or if – it will take place.
Look, I have no problem with the parents protesting the want of a new gym, even though dollars to help the woeful public school education system in the city would be better use of the money.
I have no problem that they are mad at the world because they don’t get to host Simeon at home.
But play the damn game.
Their kids and their coaches made the commitment to the season. This wasn’t some surprise that just popped up. Fans and scouts planned on going to this game. Workers and security people had to be assigned to the event.
And these parents decided to just let the kids boycott because they can’t get their way.
This is the second time this season that interfering parents were sticking their noses in where it didn’t belong.
In the fall, Andrew’s volleyball team was involved in a tournament and the T-Bolts were in a consolation match on Saturday afternoon. It was getting late and it there was a big dance that night and these bonehead parents gathered up their daughters and left, leaving the other team and tournament organizers ticked off.
You get in sports and you make sacrifices.
It’s called commitment.
My kids have had games cancelled because the other team forfeited and it’s frustrating. The kids are ready for a game. They are warming up, ready to play and the other team just leaves the tournament for no good reason other than they are mad they can’t win the championship so they are going home.
On the other hand, my son was playing for a team that was playing in a tournament in Mundelein, which is not close. The team got into a consolation situation where it would play just one game on Sunday.
The coach, who I respect, thought it was a stupid idea to go all the way to Mundelein just to play in one game after the long Saturday we all just had, so he told the tournament organizers well in advance the team wasn’t showing up so the other team wouldn’t be standing around waiting for a game that was never going to happen.
Was it a good idea? Well, we thought so at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.
Was it the right thing to do?
Not at all. We were guilty of not honoring our commitment.
So, parents, I want you all to do one simple thing. Look at your son or daughter’s schedule before the season starts. If there is a problem, bring it to the coach’s attention then.
Then keep quiet.
This has been going on for three years, but since I am the rookie at this sports editing game, this is the first I’ve heard of it.
The Oak Lawn softball team is hosting the fourth Ultimate Spartan competition.
A group of senior male athletes will vie for the honor as they will compete in formal wear, beach wear, talent, interviews and audience appreciation. And when it’s over, Steve Harvey will present the wrong guy a trophy.
OK, I made that last part up. It was a cheap joke but in these economic times, that’s all I can afford.
Anyway, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Liam Blake, Vinnie Caprio, Alexander Kenny, Miles O’Brien, Lucas Palacios, Jorge Ramirez, and David Ward will battle it out for the title in the Oak Lawn gym. Tickets are available at the school for $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
Judges will be teachers Lauren Klenn and Kate Mellone plus secretary Jill Malkowski.
For those scoring at home, past winners were Bobby Kametas, Kyle Kuzur, and Peter Ruane.