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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 10, 2007 / 26 Menachem-Av, 5767

Don't cut the kid

By Dave Weinbaum

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have a bone to pick with academic types who are oblivious to the benefits of sports. Not all of us grew up in the prestigious surroundings of parents who went to college, much less graduated from it. Unless these educationally lacking parents have some superior knowledge, coaching and or coaxing their kids academically may be lacking at best and counterproductive at worst.

There are other options for those at-risk kids to gain success in normal society.

Extracurricular school activities will acclimate a child to team effort. He will get to know other kids from different backgrounds, exposing him to children of the educated. If the team is successful, he will feel a part of that success. After all, the most important lesson you can learn from winning is that you can.

Since my history was one of academic surrender and low self-esteem, I did the only thing that my misinformed but well-intended parents and I knew to do. I went out for high school football. I will never forget the day I waited in the football sign-up line as a 108-pound freshman. I was so small my parents joked about putting me on steroids! Two large, fierce-looking boys took turns telling me that I was an idiot for going out for football because I would be killed, maimed and otherwise disabled by large beasts like them. Having only played pick-up football with friends in my back yard, I had no reason to doubt them. It was as obvious as Hillary's running for President in 2008. But in my mind I had nowhere else to go.

Today I wonder how many other kids are in my position. I stayed in football. My freshman year, I would have been cut. Instead, my school had the wherewithal to have a "B" team. I found out that while I was often knocked down, it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I was quicker off the snap than most of the bigger boys and I could position myself under their strength to make blocks or locate myself to tackle, while fending off their hits. I was having fun. Most importantly, I gained grudging respect from my peers and coaches.

I stuck with it.

My senior year, I came into two-a-days weighing 154 pounds and listed at fifth (last string). My chances of starting were small. The line I was trying to break into averaged 230 pounds and all four linemen ahead of me were swifter.

Again, the demons and doubts came in. I considered quitting. Any other school would have cut me by now.

I held on.

Toward the beginning of the season, the coaches held challenges, a one-on-one test of offense and defense, strength and technique. Miraculously, I beat every one in my offensive guard position. I was prouder than Bud Selig was of Jose Canseco for bringing all that needed PR to baseball.

The next day, expecting to be first string, I saw my name posted as third stringer. I garnered the chutzpah to ask the coach about this discrepancy only to be told that I hadn't weight trained religiously enough. I cried all the way home on the back of a friend's Honda scooter. I went to bed depressed and quitting and woke up ready for war.

In my haste to quit, I forgot that the third string got to scrimmage full contact with the first- and second-stringers, in my case, people I had beat one-on-one at least for a day. Every practice and every play became a bloody war right up to the whistle, and sometimes beyond. It became obvious to the coach that he needed to give me what I had already earned, a promotion to first string offensive guard. I played there the rest of the year and I was effective. I was offered a football scholarship.

And those two buffoons that were "worried" about my well-being my freshman year? They both quit after two weeks of freshman football practice. Maybe they listened to their own advice.

This sport experience was a life-altering event. Had my school cut me, or had I quit, who knows what would have become of me? I don't think it would have been anything good.

Not to say that my life is perfect. I still get knocked on my rear end on occasion, and I still fight the tendency to quit when I'm behind. However, most times I'm guided by my high school football experience to make the right decision, especially in advising my own brood.

I learned that victories often occur when you see no way to succeed, but refuse to give up anyway.

I also learned that cutting a child is a sure way to forsake him.

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JWR contributor Dave Weinbaum, originally from Chicago, is a businessman, writer and part-time stand-up comic. He resides in a Midwest red state. Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Dave Weinbaum