Today might be a good time for a little perspective in SportsWorld. Fans of numerous college and pro football teams are very upset about outcomes from this past weekend’s football games.
The following story is a reminder that there are a lot more important things in life (and sports, for that matter) besides the outcome of sporting events. (Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans)
Marcus’ neighbor, Conrad, also wants to compete, but he has rheumatoid arthritis. Although it pains him just to walk, he endures days at school walking from class to class, and weekly injections into his toes. But he doesn’t miss a game. He loves to watch his school compete.
Marcus has known Conrad since elementary school. They’ve always been friends, but their abilities separate them.
High school is a time of defining yourself, finding out who you are. And that means a lot of kids are focused on themselves.
Marcus is different. He sees Conrad in pain, and sees his frustration at not being able to play sports. So, one night a week, Marcus brings his friends over to Conrad’s for a video game competition.
The contests are as loud and rowdy as a high school basketball game. They often go late into the night, occasionally lasting past midnight on a school day. But nobody is complaining, especially Conrad’s mother.
“We are trying a lot of different treatments, seeing a lot of doctors,” she says. “Conrad is in constant pain, and all he wants is to be a kid. These friends, they make him forget the hurt.”
Finally, the doctors hit on a combination of medications that relieve the pain. Conrad walks without pain, then begins running. He joins the cross-country team, and despite his long legs, he has to learn the form of running. After a childhood of walking gingerly and taking small steps, Conrad has to retrain his stride.
And he has to get into shape. He pushes himself every day, building his lungs, strengthening his legs and core. His uniform hangs on his slight frame, but he runs.
He knows what pain feels like, and running for Conrad is no longer painful. It is elation; it is joy; it is the rewarding breath of effort that means you’re alive.
Conrad doesn’t win, not once. But Marcus is there with a group of athletes in the stands, cheering for the kid who always finishes in the middle of the pack, sucking wind and smiling.
Friends motivate us. They remind us that our best doesn’t have to measure up to somebody else’s best. Just being is enough.
— From The Foundation for a Better Life. PassItOn.com.
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman, and has a long involvement with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport (now called the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). We discuss the state of college athletics today, given the pressures of NIL, the transfer portal, sports gambling and huge media contracts. McMillen then provides great perspective on the poor state of physical fitness our young people are experiencing today.
Listen on Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor and others.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
More Episodes on Apple Podcasts; Spotify; Google Podcasts; PocketCasts; & Anchor
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon