I know that a kid is a baby goat, but the Urban Dictionary also says that a kid is what teenagers claim they are not. And the same uncertain source says that kids are any offspring of any age. When I say kids I’m talking about teenagers and twenty somethings and millennials and college coeds that, by-in-large, haven’t grown up or shown up or come up with what to say or how to contribute in a meaningful way. Without objection, we will go with this definition which is what you and I know a kid to be.
So, kids these days . . .
Kids these days aren’t like the kids of yesteryear. Kids these days aren’t like the kids I played with when I was growing up. Kids these days are self-centered and self-interested; they’re all about “me” and “my” and what happens to them without regard to history or antiquity or much anything else outside of their personal space.
Yes Kentucky lost. They lost because they lost it. And they lost it down the stretch. The kids on Kentucky didn’t have the stamina or the resilience or the fortitude to hold on and hold up and and hold down the fort when it counted. Kentucky, chock full of “kids” — a.k.a, freshman phenoms — couldn’t hold it together or hold out to the end against Wisconsin. Yes they beat Notre Dame, but Wisconsin was different. It appeared to me that in the Wisconsin game, Kentucky expected the opposition to just lay down and give them the game just because they were Kentucky. The Kentucky kids expected to win because they were undefeated and because they were destined to go 40-0 and because things were supposed to go their way . . . just because.
And so the question of the season has been asked and answered. Kentucky’s undefeated, unblemished and untarnished season is no more. It’s OVER. They finished 38-1, with the lone loss coming at the hands of Wisconsin in the Final Four. And it was a game that Kentucky could have won. Tied at 60 with about 3 minutes to go, the wannabe, would-be Wildcats wilted under waves of Wisconsin wear and tear. For their part, Wisconsin weathered and withstood the wall of seven foot tall ballers that really didn’t try hard enough to score in the paint.
Kentucky crumbled during crunch time and stumbled down the stretch. They flubbed and faltered, froze and fumbled away a game that was theirs to win. They looked lost and leery, appeared baffled and bleary, and played no way near like they were the top team of the Tournament.
And so the answer and the reason we don’t want freshman to jump to the NBA after one year is played out yet again. I submit that “One and Dones” aren’t mature enough or secure enough or for sure enough to win tough tight games when the stakes are high and the margin for error is low. To say that the Kentucky kids were poor sports and sore losers would be an understatement.
Kids these days think they’re entitled to win and to succeed and to go undefeated, just because. Kids these days think they should have a high paying job and the key to a corner office, “just because.” Kids these days think that they are supposed to be indomitable and invincible and unconquerable all at the same time. Not so. There’s such a thing as “paying dues” before you cash in.
My Dad’s generation believed in work. Hard work. And they had a work ethic. They worked hard for everything they got and fought for everything they had and I believe they appreciated it more. I believe that’s a part of God’s Playbook. Kids these days want everything handed to them on a silver platter. Am I right? Of course I’m right. Now if you’re one of those millennials that I’m writing about, you probably disagree, (if you’re still reading) but if you take a minute to measure your standards and your values and your ethics and your morals against, say, Depression Era Die Hards or Bursting Baby Boomers, you will agree that there are distinct differences and clear-cut contrasts between the generations.
But that’s a bigger discussion for another day. I just hope that I passed some of my Dad’s work ethic on to my two millennial sons, and by the looks of what and who they are, I think I did. For now, if the Kentucky kids represent kids these days, then we’re all in for a rude awakening if we symbolically and figuratively hope to win big games or have unbeaten streaks or even have undefeated or unblemished “seasons” in the next generation.