“There are intangibles to playing sports: self-discipline, overcoming hardship, facing fear, camaraderie.”

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  1. Sports is a great outlet for men. It’s an opportunity for men to be competitive and aggressive–chest-thumping, much like our primal ancestors did. Not to mention the physical and mental benefits of exercise, affiliation, camaderie, and sportsmanship. There’s been research on male competitiveness and bonding with in-groups, that corroborate male behavior and sports. The benefits are not the same by watching sports, playing video games, or reading poetry.

  2. I seriously question (and, in fact, emphatically reject) the notion that all boys must participate in sports. Boys who want to play sports should be given every opportunity to do so, but sports aren’t for everyone. Whatever happened to respecting the personal preferences of others (even when they don’t coincide with your own)? Stop making sports into a phony test of “manhood,” and stop marginalizing nonathletic boys.

    • I agree with you. Sports worked for me and I’m glad I had the opportunity to play as a kid and to continue to share a love of sports with others, but that’s not everyone’s experience. Sports shouldn’t be mandatory or some qualifier for manhood, but in the same sense, being a jock or a fan shouldn’t get you labeled a one dimensional cretin. I know that’s not your stance, Bill, but I’ve been burned a few times by people assuming that since I’m fit and I know what a cover 2 defense is, I must think Francis Bacon is in that band with Kevin or that Yeats is a misspelled baking ingredient.

  3. Joan…I coach sport’s- boy’s and girls- and I think everyone should,even if its just with your friends.My daughter (and sons) played three sports and learned important lessons,like sometimes its not about your looks.Sometimes life is black and white and it’s put up or shut up.She learned to condition her body and push herself beyond her percieved limits.She learned she is a physical being not just an emotional being.And she learned to share and be selfless;putting the team goals before her own.She also learned not whine about her weight but to do something about it if she didn’t like it.

  4. Joan…i should’ve written …should play sports.

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