I know a couple that doesn't feel like competitive athletics are good for their kids. They want their kids to focus on academics and the arts, feeling like only negative things can be learned through competition. Thanks to a sport I don't even follow, I think they were proven wrong today.
Last night a Detroit Tigers pitcher, Armando Galarraga, came within one call of being named the 21st person ever to pitch a perfect game. Unfortunately, the umpire made a poor call and it took the game and the historical designation away from him. Galarraga covered first after a hit into right field and he clearly tagged the bag before the runner crossed it. But, the umpire saw it differently, counted the runner as safe and the perfect game disappeared. What a heart breaker for Galarraga... but what a lesson for the rest of us in what came next.
Today the umpire, a man named Jim Joyce, apologized. There was no excuse, no explanation. Mr. Joyce threw himself under the bus and just said he flat out got it wrong. He took the perfect game away from "the kid" as he called him, and you could hear the genuine remorse in his words. And, in this age of athletes throwing temper tantrums and hissy fits on the field or court, do you know what Galarraga said? He said ironically, "nobody's perfect. Everyone makes mistakes."
Giant companies give excuses for why our gulf is filled with oil, politicians use 100 reasons why each decision they make isn't actually their fault, and adulterers get to blame their misdeeds on anything from child abuse to sex addictions. On the flip side you have athletes threatening to kill line judges and swearing at the crowd, coaches throwing chairs and attacks from scorned wives with golf clubs. But, in this instance... in this rare display of honor and sportsmanship it was just an apology... and a graceful acceptance.
Find a way to teach your kids that with a text book and a paint brush... I dare you.