Monday, July 21, 2008

Suiting Up for Championship Play

Check out my latest post on The Little League Coach. Especially check out the Coach's comment on my post about missing championship playoffs. "Team comes first," he says, and Little League families should plan their vacays around the season and post-season schedule.

Coach, Coach, Coach. You are a silly, silly man. You must live on the planet I Tell My Family (Including Extended Family) What's What and That's That--which is in a far-off galaxy from my home planet.

There are ten million reasons why The Little League Coach is wrong on this one, not the least of which is gas being nine bajillion dollars a gallon. Round trip from my house to Sleepy Hollow is about 135 miles. With a not-very-fuel-efficient vehicle, and the highest gas prices in the nation, that's $70 in gas alone.

Granted, seventy bucks is not a huge amount of money--but when you look at it as the cost of playing a single, seven-inning baseball game, it seems a little crazy.

The South Haven-to-Chicago traffic jam is another consideration. Mapquest says the trip is about two to two-and-a-half hours, which is fairly accurate for those of us headed away from the city. But Mr. Peevie and I are considering buying a hot air balloon to carry us and our vehicle across the lake in order to avoid the bumper-to-bumper ride home on Sunday. It looked that bad from the outbound lanes.

Oh, and I almost forgot: The AC is broken in our van. (Remember, it was one of the Season of Repair items a few posts back. Turns out it's not just a Freon problem; it's a catastrophic failure problem that would cost $800 to fix. Not gonna happen.) Anyway, imagine THAT two-and-a-half-hour car ride. Then imagine it again--and remember--the prize at the end is not a week's vacation, but a two-hour baseball game. Are you really that committed to your Little League team?

But that's just me. What do you think? Should commitment to your team take priority? What's the cut-off cost, in dollars and opportunities? Let the Coach and me know what you think.


The Little League Coach said...

For a kid, the experience of a championship is priceless! My 24YO son can still vividly recall his last year when we finally did take the championship. He recalls it in detail often.

It is not just an "ordinary" little league game. That's silly. Of course you can miss a regular season game. That actually gives other kids some valuable playing time they would not otherwise get.

Teaching the life lesson of commitment, is a lesson he will take with him forever that will pay dividends for the rest of his life.

You can always make more money, you can never replace memories.

Not only is he missing the game, he is letting others on the team down as well.

Of course family comes first, if this were a special occasion such as a wedding, or funeral, or something major like that, it would be different.

I was laughing when I looked a googlemaps because it did look faster to get there via boat! Or air balloon as you mention.

The fact is if he misses the game, he really won't remember or care like you say. If he goes though, win or lose, he will have memories he will take with him for a lifetime.

jeanie said...

Wow you both make good points. Sometimes I think we get our commitments confused in a culture that is general overly commited. So is family first or the team? Didn't you commit to the vacation and your family, as well as the team?

And how do you know C Peevie won't have memories from the family vacation that will last a life time as well? And what about letting down his family who are waiting to celebrate the lazy days of summer? Won't they be let down not to see C.Peevie?

Of course going to a championship game is a once in a life time experience, but I think we have to be careful to think it is the more meaninful experience-that is an assumption that is never questioned and yet how can any of us know what kinds of experiences will last in a kid's heart and mind?

Ok enough philosophy for one night.

I am just glad E. Peevie is back in the Green Room. I have missed her as she often supplies the enlightened comments, sweet antidotes, or l-o-l stories that brighten my day. Ms. Peevie where have you been of late? Enjoying summer!?!? Not on my dime you don't. Get back in the Green Room!!! Oh wait, I guess I don't acuatlly pay you do I? In that case have a great vacation.

E. Peevie said...

First of all, I can't believe you have a 24-year-old son. I've never met you in person, LLC, but over the blog you don't seem to be a day over, say, 35 or 40 yourself.

You are not completely wrong about the difference between a championship game and a regular season game. The one game I remember is the one I missed.

Hmmm. "Something major." Such as a long-planned family vacation, with cousins that we only see 2 or 3 times a year? That's major to me.

But in all honesty, the biggest hang-up about driving back for the game is the traffic jam from South Haven to Chicago. I'm still considering doing it, even though I'm arguing against it--but I'll have to be confident that the trip will not take four hours instead of two.

E. Peevie said...

Jeanie--it's so nice to be missed. I guess I had a dry spell for about 10 days.

But I'm back in the saddle again. I'm sure vacation will provide many blog topics.

Love your philosophical insights, BTW.

Anonymous said...

The most vivid and wonderful memories I have of summers as a child are the family vacations we took with our cousins!!!
I truly believe that while little league is an important and valuable thing for kids, nothing can compare with the values kids learn/receive from their own families. And isn't the commitment we dispay to our families more important than commitment to a sport?
Rest assured, E. Peevie, your FAMILY vacation is much more valuable and important than a little league ball game (championship game or not)!!

The Little League Coach said...

Again, nobody said miss the entire vacation. Only 1 day to be there for the team, that's all.

In the book the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey he enlightens us on the concept of symmetry. When two people have diametrically opposed views or when two options bring about an either or solution, finding a place that accommodates both more often than not leads to a better solution than either of the independent options offered.

In my mind, doing the vacation AND the championship game is the solution. Your own words speak to this by pointing out that the only game you remember is the one you missed.

E. Peevie said...

KT--glad you weighed in.

And LLC--nice, quoting Seven Habits.

Interestingly, my little league son never even asked if we could drive home for the game. When I suggested to him tonight that I was considering the possibility of taking him back for the game, he was amazed, and happy about the prospect.

I'm still on the fence. I do think it will be a really great thing for him to get to play in the final championship game, and have the chance to be there whether or not his team wins. As a former ball-player myself, I love the thought of C. Peevie getting to have that wonderful and rare experience.

I'm not so persuaded by him being the starting 1B. Sometimes he starts, sometimes he doesn't.

LLC is right, though, that we're only talking about one day. Actually, we're only talking about a half a day missed from seven days of family vacation time.

This is lame, but I think it's going to come down to how I feel about driving 5 hours on Friday afternoon and evening; and also what I find out about typical Friday afternoon traffic patterns.

The Little League Coach said...

I think it should come down to what C. Peevie wants to do. Forget everything else. Does he want to drive back and play in the game or not?