The annual All-Cook Inlet Conference tackle football teams have been announced, and you can check them out in Wednesday's dead-trees of the ADN, provided you have time to devote to something that reads like the phone book.
Hey, everyone's a winner! OK, not everyone, but way too many guys. Gee, and people talk all the time these days about folks who feel entitled -- hmm, wonder what contributes to that?
The CIC team has been bloated for decades now. Look, there's 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense. Yet CIC coaches sought fit to place 16 guys on the first-team offense and -- as Dave Barry would write, I am not making this up -- 20 guys on the first-team defense.
Why not just give every kid on varsity a participation trophy? That way, no one will get their feelings hurt.
Many of these picks are lock-solid. They went to players who achieved and were clearly better than their peers. But more than a few defy reason. Really, the first team needs five running backs? I'm not aware anyone in the CIC was running the wishbone-plus-two. Really, six defensive backs? What's that formation, the nickel-plus-one? And yet coaches picked the requisite five offensive linemen -- interesting.
We're not here to pick on the kids, so we're not naming names. Besides, some kid who really didn't deserve to be picked first-team didn't have anything to do with getting picked, so it's not his fault. It's CIC coaches and administrators who have allowed the annual all-league team to become so bloated the awards lose their value.
As I said, and written for years, giving out so many first-team awards diminishes it for the guys who deserve it and, frankly, cheapens it even more by giving it to guys who don't deserve it. And guess who is the first guy to know a certain fella doesn't deserve first-team status? The guy getting it. And his teammates know it, too. So now you've delivered a little slice of humiliation to the kid.
And spare me the rap about how these kids all work hard and are deserving. There are no bonus points for working hard -- you are supposed to, that's the point. And, it's a straight-up lie that everyone works hard. I know I could have worked harder when I was that age and I guarantee you if you gave a CIC coach or player truth serum he could come up with a couple of guys on his club that don't exactly work up a lather.
And, no, everyone is not deserving. If everyone was, there would clearly be no reason for awards.
And don't get me started on how your fabulous Johnny needs his recognition to boost his chances for a scholarship. If a prospective college football coach is recruiting your boy based on all-conference selection, be my guest to hand your child to that dope for four formative years of the child's life.
I played in the CIC, and if I had received any award, I would have cringed. I was marginally OK on a good night, borderline awful on a bad night -- which is why my coach wisely gave me little margin for error. I could hand the ball off/pitch it to our 100-yard dash state champion/tailback. But I wasn't half as good as Dan Bonomo at Service or that Brady kid at West -- shouldn't even have been mentioned in the same conversation as them. And that's not just an old man talking -- I knew that when I was 17.
At least the CIC coaches seemingly got it right on the second team -- 11 defensive positions picked, 12 offensive. See, that wasn't hard. Of course, if you look closer, there are four running backs on the second team, making it a combined nine running backs on the first and second teams. Yet the second-team offense includes just two offensive linemen to make for a total of seven linemen on the first- and second-team offensive lines.
Geez, must of been The Year of Running Back in the CIC. They were evidently so magnificent they barely even required linemen. Once again, the linemen don't get any love, not even from coaches who occasionally, and correctly, point out that said linemen do not get enough credit.
OK, rant over. Better have an orange slice to get back on track.