The Daily Dose/January 17, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the Human Experience…
WELL, WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE?: We were doing some browsing recently seeing what our fellow humans were up to when we came across this headline:
The 2017 Freshman All-American Football Team
The left-handed quarterback pictured looked as if he was still anticipating his first shave and some further research showed the list was an All-American team of freshmen high school football players!
Our first thought was this is insane. These are punk freshmen, they should be having trouble with algebra, popping zits and trying to scam on chicks. Putting them on an All-American football team cannot be doing them any good at all.
Oh Jesus H: You know, there was a time when freshmen didn’t play varsity sports. Heck, we made the varsity baseball team as a sophomore and that was pretty big news in the early 80’s, especially since we weren’t any good.
But times change, of course. Freshmen are making an impact now because for a generation or two a lot of high school athletes have been focusing on one sport the year round, in order to better their chances for a scholarship or professional contract.
Running The Numbers: Good luck. Of the just over one million kids that play high school football, roughly 73,600 – a bit less than seven percent – will play college football at any level. Of these 73,600, only 10,880 are scholarship players at major division universities.
FunFact: The prospect of a professional career are even bleaker because on any given week only 1,472 players suit up for a National Football League game.
Dry, Technical Matter: Now, if you’re one of the few with the talent required to give pro or college sports a shot, knock yourself out. The lessons taught by the focus and work required to get the most out of supreme talent will serve you well. Take your shot and for Pete’s sake make the most of it because you’re only getting one. Waste it and it’s gone.
Meanwhile, Back On Earth: But we don’t think the average kid with average talent is served well by playing only one sport because they are missing out not only on both the fun of other sports but in the lessons each sport has to teach.
Hut, Hut Hike: Football’s great lesson, of course, is you get hit, you get back up. It is the only way to succeed in football and it is the only way to succeed in life. But a lineman isn’t required to break tackles and cornerbacks seldom need to throw down a block or throw a pass. A kid needs other sports to complement his journey to adulthood.
Full Court Press: Basketball teaches you must be versatile enough to play defense, rebound and score and you must be adaptable enough to go from offense to defense and back to offense in a matter of seconds.
On Your Mark…: Track and field, where success can be objectively measured by a clock or a tape measure, does a very good job of teaching you that oftentimes the biggest obstacle between you and the success you want sometimes looks us in the mirror every morning.
Hey Batter, Batter: My favorite lesson from baseball was it’s a long season, so don’t get too worked up over a good game or a bad game, just like you don’t want to get too worked up over a good day or a bad day in life. Everything must be taken in stride.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The United States takes possession of Wake Island on this date in 1899. The US, fresh off its annexation of Hawaii and seizure of Guam and the Philippines thought it would be a good location for a cable telegraph station and a good place to refuel ships with coal.
FunFact: Wake Island is located about two-thirds of the way between Honolulu and Guam and today has a transient population of about 150 servicemen and contractors that keep the airfield running. It is also the easternmost time zone in the United States. When it is 1am Monday in New York City, it is 6pm Monday on Wake Island.
USA! USA!: Executions resumed in the United States when Utah executes convicted murderer Gary Gilmore on this date in 1977. It was the first execution in the United States since Colorado executed Luis Monge in 1967.
Justice was swift in Gilmore’s case. He had only been convicted the previous October.
“I Would Like Them All…To Butt Out.”: Though Gilmore couldn’t be bothered to file appeals to save his life, his mother did, though the United States Supreme Court denied her petition on the grounds that Gilmore had waived his rights by not pursuing them. The ACLU, against Gilmore’s wishes, did muster a few stays against Gilmore’s wishes.
Oh Yeah: Gilmore had his choice between being shot to death and being hanged and he chose a firing squad because he thought there was less chance of that being botched.
Quotebook: You don’t have much hope of getting the truth if you think you know in advance what the truth ought to be. – Robert B Parker, Pale Kings and Princes
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The United States first accomplished the docking of two manned spacecraft when the lunar and command service modules of Apollo 9 undocked and docked on March 7, 1969.
Today’s Stumper: Who was Wake Island named after? – Answer next time!