Celebrating Mediocrity is Bad.

January 27, 2009

If you haven’t read or heard about this story already, a high school girls’ basketball coach was fired after refusing to apologize when his team beat their opponents 100-0. Apparently losing so horribly is bad for one’s self-esteem, and any coach who would allow their team to trounce another team so horribly is being disrespectful and has no regard for the self-esteem of others.

Frankly, this is completely ridiculous. It’s competition; there will always be one winner and one loser and the losers have to deal with it. If any apology is necessary, it should be given by the coach who is so grossly incompetent that he couldn’t train his girls to score a single basket in 4 quarters of play. Seriously, what exactly would you be apologizing for? “I’m sorry your coach is awful”? “I’m sorry I didn’t tell my team to suck for a while to make you feel better about yourselves”? In my mind, allowing someone to score for the sake of their own confidence is more demeaning than having enough respect for them to not let up. As long as there wasn’t any cheating going on, there’s really nothing more to say. One team won, one team lost. You can go cry about it if you like, but firing somebody for succeeding by too much is moronic.

When you punish people for being overly successful, you’re encouraging mediocrity or even outright failure. Failure means that conversations like this actually happen. I sat and listened to that with my mouth literally hanging open, and now I’m terrified at the fact that people like that Verizon supervisor exist in society. On one hand, I don’t want to go outside ever again. On the other, the internet is frequently worse.

To end, here’s a letter of complaint written to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines. Maybe it’s just late and I had too much sugar, but I was crying of laughter by the fifth paragraph. The grammar and spelling is unfortunately terrible, as I can’t help noting, but it was still probably one of the best things I’ve ever read.

I have to be awake in six and a half hours and am now going to bed.

-Caitlin

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