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CATCH IT! Hard Work Doesn’t Always Equal Success

Posted on April 26th, 2012 by TheSportsVirus

Welcome to the first edition of CATCH IT! These blogs will be filled with my observations of the sports world. Basically it’s something to read and comment about in between podcasts.

The other day I read a Facebook post about kids receiving trophies no matter where they finished in sports competitions. Most of the commenters thought this was the wrong message to send to kids. The prevailing thought was that children need to strive to win above all else or not be rewarded. It was mentioned that hard work always pays off. Some people said that if you work hard you WILL have success. Now, while I don’t think every kid deserves a trophy and I do think you should learn to work hard, I don’t think it’s accurate to teach anybody that hard work always equals success. Better yet, why not teach youngsters that hard work IMPROVES your chances for success. But, there are so many roadblocks out there that you just have to keep trying and trying. You may not get a trophy, but embrace the challenge of success. In sports it’s a misconception that the best players are the hardest workers. I’m sure the All-Stars work hard, but sometimes the guy hitting .230 or sporting a 9.75 ERA is working just as hard, but he doesn’t have the same talent. Remember that the next time you boo a player.

Speaking of player criticism. I think the Aubrey Huff situation is a perfect example of fans needing to back off sometimes. Yes, he has struggled this year and you can say what you want about Brandon Belt getting more playing time than Huff. During spring training I wondered if the Giants should just cut Huff and eat his contract. The more I thought about it, the more I leaned in that direction. But, no matter how he performs you can’t question his work ethic. He came into camp in great shape and you have to commend him for being able to improve defensively over the years at first base and in the outfield. You just know it’s killing him to not perform the way he did in 2010. When Huff left the team the other day speculation about his future was rampant. Were the Giants going to cut him? That certainly seemed possible given his .182 batting average and only 4 RBIs. I saw where some people thought he was quitting on the team and that’s where I have to jump in. Please, please don’t speculate like this folks. I would have been shocked if that were true. Today we find out that Huff has been placed on the DL, suffering from anxiety disorder. Let’s give the guy a break and support him in his recovery. There might be personal issues there that we don’t need to know about and no matter how much money he makes, those problems may be serious.

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis could be in serious trouble if you believe the ESPN report accusing him of listening in on the game-day communications of opposing coaching staffs from 2002 through 2004. If this is indeed true, does he deserve more punishment (fines and loss of draft picks) than Bill Belichick received for Spygate? I think not.

Oh yeah, draft picks. Is the NFL draft really here tomorrow? Couldn’t we just take all of the ESPN and NFL Network programming from the last two months and consolidate it into one show tonight? After getting so slammed with coverage the draft seems anticlimactic. Now that I know Andrew Luck will be a Colt, just tell me who the Niners draft when it’s all over.

Hard to believe it’s all over for the Sharks. Many of my colleagues disagree. They say they saw this coming. They are looking for big changes. I’m not. Maybe they should make a goaltender change. Antti Niemi has never looked unbeatable as a Shark and we all know you need great goaltending to win in the playoffs. Adding another defenseman also seems important. They need another Mark Edouard Vlasic, who does whatever it takes to stop the opponent from scoring. Please, no talk of breaking up the big scorers. Just because Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski didn’t score in the St. Louis series doesn’t mean you give up on them. Each player had a 30-goal season. It’s still an explosive group including Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. It’s time to tweak the roster, not blow it up.

As I get ready to cover the NBA Playoffs as a field producer for Turner Sports, I can’t help but shake my head about Metta World Peace. Sure he was celebrating after a dunk, but you can’t swing your elbows like a maniac. Poor James Harden didn’t know what hit him. Ron Artest can change his name, but there’s no peace of mind surrounding him anytime soon.

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