Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jim Evans Tournament not held on Memorial Day ...yet

I’ve covered plenty of tournaments in my time.
Many of them with names attached are of the memorial variety.
That’s why when Brian Gordon suggested a baseball and softball tournament at Royal Oak High School in my name a few years ago, I immediately checked my pulse.
I looked in the mirror to make sure somebody was staring back at me.
I cross referenced the obituary page and made sure yours truly did not have a byline on it.
I inhaled, exhaled and finally told Brian thanks, but a tournament was not necessary.
He went ahead anyway. I just look at it as the dumbing down of high school athletics. What’s next, the Paula Deen Cross Country Invitational?
Anyway, the tournaments were played on Saturday, May 5, in Royal Oak.
I guess it is Brian’s way of saying thanks.
No thanks are necessary, because more than 30 years later, I still love this job. I get to write about the accomplishments of your sons and daughters.
The homer hit so far that folks from NASA tracked it via satellite. The 3-point shot from so far behind the arc that the Spalding had to show a passport before it was allowed to travel through the hoop. The running back quicker than a fleeting thought. The linebacker so tough that beef jerky comes off like filet mignon.
It’s even better when stud is just an abbreviation for student-athlete. I love the kids who study on the bus. I love the ones who finish their homework in the bleachers waiting for their own games to begin. I love the ones whose grade points are even more impressive than their scoring averages; whose real slam dunks come in AP classes.
I love all of the kids who seize the opportunity, because it is so fleeting.
The shelf life of high school athletics is mighty short. It lasts about as long as cottage cheese or a gallon of milk, and that is that.
It’s either onto college or the real world, and neither of them offer the same kind of attractions.
Most who go on to college play intramural sports. That’s great, but do not go looking for your name in the newspaper, online, or in a game program.
Most who go right into the working world wind up playing slowpitch softball or flag football, and the only people watching those games are holding your kids or your Styrofoam cooler filled with beer.
So appreciate the high school years. I’ve appreciated all of these years covering high school sports.
Honestly, I appreciate the Jim Evans Tournament, too. Let’s hope it doesn’t add Memorial too soon.


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