I keep an old Starbucks cardboard cup - it's really gettin' kinda gross - in sight which has a quote from Brenda Stonecipher (Everett, Washington City Council member) on the side: "Give me world politics, gender politics, party politics or small-town politics...I'll take them all over the politics of youth sports."
Before continuing, and this parenthesis is especially for those who will feel stung by this KD and will want to silence or slander me which is not uncommon for folks who can't handle the truth (see KDXXI), KDs reflect personal passions and principles with no emotional or intellectual need for response, regard, or reward; though it would be really cool if someone bit on the, uh, reward thing mentioned in KDXX.
If you're not provoked to think better thoughts (i.e., conforming to Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture) or labor/pray for a better world (i.e., conforming to Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture) or just think, I'm cool with that; because it's much more about witnessing and much less about winning pour moi.
I'm old enough and still marketable enough that, as MLK said, "I just want to do God's will."
I may be wrong on lots of stuff - some of my subscribers have pointed that out quite convincingly - but I'm gonna keep pitching; recalling how Moody responded to the mainliner who objected to his evangelistic methods, "I prefer how I do it to how you don't do it."
In other words, I don't crave affirmation, pay no attention to antagonism, and remain satisfied with the affections of family and friends.
I am speaking for...
Well, uh, you decide.
Be that as you determine it to be, this is just another KD; and so you're wasting your time if you take me out on anyone related to my call as pastor of First's family of faith, professor of homiletics (CEDS), police chaplain (Belvidere and Boone County), and President of Rock Valley [Junior] Tackle Football. KDs may or may not speak for or to 'em; and, as inferred already, that's really not what KDs are about anyway.
I've spent a lot of time in sports.
My dad was one of the best all-around athletes to come out of NYC.
My wife was a highly regarded and awarded college athlete.
My oldest two sons were D1 scholarship athletes.
It's in the genes of my youngest two sons.
I was, uh, O.K.
Anyone who plays golf avec moi will attest to the preceding sentence; giving new meaning to scoring bipolarity.
When I threw out my arm before 9th grade because my coach knew more about Bud and Gibbons than throwing too much stuff and heat for too long too young, my dream of pitching for the Yankees became as fanciful as the Cubs winning a World Series before the parousia.
I played in the old days when playing time and positions were determined more by ability and attitude than the prejudices and politics of coaches, school boards, sponsors, or obsessive-compulsive parents.
While I may be wrong, I'm convinced all team sports should be developmental until high school; encouraging all participants by fairly equal playing time in the knowledge that an athlete's potential more than proficiency is rarely manifested before the varsity level.
I hesitate to guess the number of athletes who never came close to realizing their potential because of politics inhibiting participation and retarding enthusiasm in the nascent states of development.
As president of the most competitive youth football league in Northern Illinois uninhibited by socioeconomic individuation, I'm all for winning concomitant to character development and fairly equal playing time.
Fairly equal playing time means everybody plays a lot as long as they work hard, follow the rules, respect coaches and referees, and can participate at levels which do not put themselves and teammates in physical jeopardy.
As President of RV[J]TF, I've seen some of the worst politics and socioeconomic individuation; and in keeping with John 3:19-21, I haven't kept my mouth shut.
I haven't campaigned either; but when asked, I've told the truth as I've seen it and offered to recant whenever my understanding of the truth wasn't the, uh, truth.
For example, we've gained some teams that want to play competitively without socioeconomic individuation; and we've lost some.
Truth is the teams that have left have left because of socioeconomic individuation and, uh, well, sorry about it, they just can't compete against some of our consistently stellar organizations; so our league has experienced significant addition by subtraction in terms of the level of play and constructive cooperation and mutual respect of all organizations.
Then there are organizations (not in RV[J]TF anymore) that do everything possible - some really nasty intrigue here - to keep new organizations from organizing on their turf.
What I know about that stuff makes water boil.
It's very ugly and dark.
If it were not for the integrity and genuine concern for developing competitive excellence concomitant to character development of the eleven organizations of RV[J]TF, I would have left long ago because I don't need some of the headaches; especially from parents who are convinced their kids who play like Michael Jackson or Tiny Tim are the next Lawrence Taylor or Eli Manning.
Here's an example of the silliness surrounding and threatening youth sports today.
Not too long ago, I got an e-mail from somebody from an organization which left us for dubious rationalizations which asked for my snail mail address.
While I knew what was coming - a certified letter which would ask/threaten me to stop saying what I thought when asked as if we live in China or somewhere else where only the entitled can say what they think - I told the guy to use e-mail.
I decided to make him work a little harder.
Note that he never said why he wanted my snail mail address!
It was as sneaky as the previously established pattern of behavior.
I've never dealt well with people who can't man up.
Have you heard of the Bob Rule?
I wish I had come up with it; for if I did, I wouldn't have to ask somebody/anybody to front the 12Gs mentioned in KDXX.
By the way, there's still time to send in a check...
Anyway, here's the Bob Rule: "If everybody disagrees with you, you may be right; but if everybody disagrees with you, you may want to consider they're right and you're wrong."
What follows may come under that rule for them or, uh, gasp, gulp, sigh, me.
So the organization that left to form a new league so they could win championships by playing with themselves and by not playing teams which always beat 'em along with other intrigues hired an attorney to write a nice letter to me to shut up about the truth of their departure and continuing behaviors with a thinly veiled threat.
Just like I don't waste time with mainliners who rationalize their apostasies, I ain't gonna get into a tinkling contest with some of the skunks who hurt and slandered so many of our organizations when they left to form a new league.
I don't blame the lawyer.
She seems nice; as you'll see for yourself in the letter which follows.
I'm gonna send a copy of my last book to her to say there are no hard feelings in her having to, uh, man up for him.
Besides, one of our leading elders is one of the most respected lawyers in Boone County and one of my best friends is a renowned national litigator living in Pittsburgh who'd love to come out here for a round or two.
And though my friends may not like the inference, we know how too much lawyering goes these days; servicing whoever pays the bill regardless of veracity.
So I don't blame the lawyer.
Actually, I don't blame anybody; and I've always kinda liked the, uh, brothers who showed up to represent 'em when they were in our league. They were always cordial and kind to my face.
Recalling CJ again, some folks just can't handle the truth; so they try to silence the messengers or slander to discredit/neutralize 'em.
So here's the letter (dated 4/14/08):
Dear Dr. Kopp,
Please be advised I represent _____. I have been asked by _____ to contact you
regarding your transmission of unsubstantiated negative e-mails that have been
brought to their attention. One of your most recent e-mails has accused _____
of lying and trying to seduce teams to leave your organization, in addition
to your stating you know more than you can reveal.
While your e-mail, sent to undisclosed recipients, refers to a "dark deceptive
genesis of _____," I need to remind you that prior e-mails sent by you were
supportive of the new conference and league members leaving RV[J]TF
to join it.
Understanding that both of your respective organizations may at times be
in competition, I am sure that you will agree that such competition must
be exercised fairly and justly, to set forth good examples for the
children for which both organizations serve. One of your prior
e-mail commentaries comes to mind, when you stated that "if adults
in our world or even league cannot get along, we have no license
to tell others how to get along." With that in mind, I am requesting
that your negative e-mails cease and desist. I invite you to contact
_____ who you have spoken highly about in the past, or to meet
with _____ to resolve any differences that may exist between
Very truly yours,
Attorney at Law
I said she was nice.
My response to the letter was too swift; and I called to say, in effect, and I may get a word or three wrong for the anally retentive, "I will tell the truth as I see it to whoever asks, have no desire to get into a tinkling contest, and I'm sorry if what I wrote in e-mails (private or public) offended anyone if I misspoke on any matter."
Or something like that.
I'm still a little saddened by the inability to man up.
I don't disagree with just about anything she wrote - especially when she quoted me; and to think I thought nobody reads my stuff - but the urging to meet with 'em sounds so shallow in that RV[J]TF asked then mandated many meetings with 'em which were rebuffed when they were sneaking around and trying to seduce some of our organizations to join theirs. And while it is not surprising to know which organizations were asked to join 'em, it is revealing to know which organizations were not invited.
Truth is RV[J]TF is doing very well; and it has done even better since, uh, sorry to say, they left our league.
And that's not just me saying that.
Go back to the Bob Rule.
I remember being threatened with an ecclesiastical charge for saying mainliners are increasingly apostate.
I said, 'I'd love to have the opportunity to speak publicly about it. Bring it on! But make sure you've got the time for all of the folks who will substantiate what I'm saying which you don't like."
And when it comes to some of the intrigues - and I do know lots more than I would ever want to reveal in public and probably wouldn't anyway because of pastoral privileges and the fear of reprisals against all of the folks who've been talking to me over the past few years - surrounding the thinly veiled threat against me, I'm always ready to recant if proven wrong.
Speaking of the disingenuous or sincere but deceptive, I received an interesting response to my questions for Election 2008's Presidential finalists (KDXXI).
Parenthetically, the source, who knows folks who could have come up with the 12Gs, is from Florida and knows more than he can reveal which would also befuddle my aforementioned friends (his responses are in italics).
For HRC: If you can't tell the truth about anything now, how will we know you're telling the truth then? "If her lips are moving, she's lying. Therefore, perhaps the only time she is truthful is when she shuts up."
For BHO: Are you gonna hang out with your funky friends in the White House? "Yes, but he probably won't get caught renting them the Lincoln bedroom."
For JM: Can you provide assurances that you won't need naps during Cabinet meetings? "Nope, but at least he'll be well rested while his VP covers for him."
If I could just find those two gift cards which I lost, I'd go to Starbucks.
I need a shot after getting one.
Blessings and Love!