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The Sports View

By MELANIE STEELE
Sun Advocate reporter

What happened to sports being cool?

Has PlayStation, the Internet and cruising Main Street on Friday night replaced Generation X's desire to compete? Making an athletic team used to be an honor, yet it seems that the upcoming classes view it as too much of a chore.

Whether the competitive standard has become too high or the work ethic of our youth has fallen too low, fewer athletes are showing up for tryouts each season and participation numbers are low across the board.

East Carbon baseball struggled to field a team this year and many coaches are having to go door to door to coax students to play.

In a situation such as this, I can almost always come up with someone to blame.

Many professional athletes have stopped caring about being role models. Much of our nation's elite have gone the way of the dollar, rather than giving anything back to the sport.

The only hope I see on the long sport road ahead is the very thing that is pulling youth away: choices. In the not so distant future, professional sports will have to shape up or risk losing their young audience to the myriad of other options for entertainment and leisure.

I am not sure that professional athletes can carry the totality of the blame, though. Parents are definitely shirking in their responsibility to keep their children engaged. Too many parents are passing their duties on to the latest technology, creating disillusioned and lazy children who think the greatest accomplishment in life is defeating the electronic characters on their game screen.

And of course, the youth in question need to take some responsibility for the road ahead. Aside from the very few who will have lucrative careers designing electronic games or computer programs for the masses, those hours spent conquering the latest game are going to add up to very little.

It is time to get off the couch and join a club at school or show up for team tryouts. You'll not only fill your time now with positive and unforgettable experiences, but will be much more prepared for what lies ahead.





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