Selling Out

There is something frustrating about having things you like to do or things that you believe in, change for the sake of obtaining something better at the expense of losing the ethos of what that "thing" was.  I have raged constantly about the "selling out" of the scouting program by professional scouts, adult leaders and yes, those of us at Camp Parsons.  The main example I will make of myself is that for the sake of ease, when we have a troop cook out during the week, we supply it as a troop and not as a patrol.  If we were true to the scouting program we would have the troops give us their patrol lists and then package the food for each patrol (with enough for the adult "guests") and send it out in that manner OR have the patrols come and pick it up.  That is the scout method way, but for ease and efficiency, we bulk it together.  We make excuses for it by saying that it is a temporary stop-gap until we have the new dining hall, then we can go back to the patrol distribution as we have done in the past.  Unfortunately, our stop-gap has been going on for 16 years.  So perhaps the only thing I can say is that we are consistent.

Now, it may not have anything to do with scouting, but one of my other outlets is college football.  To me, it is a great game to watch particularly when you have so many talented players giving it their "all" unlike a similar number of professional players that just phone it in.  College football was more than just a game, it was an event for students, alumni and supporters alike.  A chance to take a day and breathe it all in.  However, commercialism has slowly crept in bringing along with it greed.  We began having night games and weekday games, not for the love of the sport, but a chance for television companies to broadcast to an audience who is just as likely to sit on the couch than to go to the game.  Along with that came increased revenue for the school, a chance to be on the national stage and as such, a chance to recruit.  These are all favorable outcomes of this slow "creep".  Now I know that I am old fashioned in the belief that athletics offering student athletes a chance for an education of which, the education came first.  That belief faded when you saw areas of studies such as "Sports Media" or "General Education" popping up as majors.  Oh sure, they will toss in that odd athlete who is truly brilliant in the classroom as he (she) is on the field.  They are the exception and not the rule.

We finally received the PAC-12 schedule for next year so that we could plan our work parties and other events around the home schedule for the UW.  As a result of a conference agreement, every team must play three games on a day other than Saturday.  For the UW that means hosting Stanford on a Thursday evening, playing at California on a Friday and.......get this......playing WSU in the Apple Cup on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in Pullman..........PULLMAN.  I think my WSU staff members and alumni would agree, that is no favor to WSU or to the UW and our respective fans.  Where's the brain trust that came up with that one?  Simply put, it was the contract that the conference made with the media.  To heck with the fact that the heart of the game is in the people who are in the is more important to broadcast to the people who have no intention on attending the game.  For those of us who have to work....we will soon be in that crowd.

For some of you this is not a big deal and would argue that if you are going to continue to recruit on a national basis as well as bring revenue to the conference this has to happen.  Poppycock I say!  The points of the argument are correct if we surrendered to that common belief.  Instead, if we held true to the student athlete mantra, all games would be played at the same time and fans as well as the media would have to chose whom to watch.  Life is tough, make choices and live with what you choose.  If 6 PAC-12 teams played at 12:30 and 6 played at 4 PM on a Saturday, well......make a choice.  Sure, you could be like Notre Dame where you could potentially have a losing season for 8 years in a row, but every game is guaranteed to be broadcast.....then again, they are and they are not really winning are they?

It is a moot point as it is no longer is an argument, it is a fact and that is the way collegiate sports will go.  I just hope other things like the BSA will not falter for the sake of money or hopeful outcomes that are not based on fact.  The methods are the methods and the program is the program.  Then again, maybe we can take the lead from the NCAA and begin camp on a Thursday.  I wonder how many adults would want to take time off of work to drive to the Hood Canal for that?

It is a shame that there isn't a little common sense when looking at this.  Someone who could think logically would provide a nice contrast to the real world.