Thursday, August 9, 2012

SB Jump the Shark

"Jumping the Shark" is an saying used to describe a moment when something begins to decline in quality that is beyond recoveryIt is derived from the infamous fifth season episode of the sitcom Happy Days where the main character, Fonzi, 
tries to prove his bravery by jumping over a penned-in shark while on water skis. 

On the show it signified the moment that the writers had run out of material.  To this day, the saying "jumping the shark" refers to the seminal point at which something good had taken an inevitable and irreversible turn-for-the-worse.

Softball has plenty of jumping the shark situations ... let's explore

Top Ten Softball Jumping the Shark Situations you should recognize

10. Team I played two games this week that began with 8 guys (one game in entirety,  the other for half an inning).  Both good teams. Both have jumped the shark.You have to ask yourself : "Is your team good and you still are scraping for 9 guys every gameAre you constantly looking in the parking lot or entrance of the field before the game instead of warming up because your short players? Are you begging players to show up? Are players cancelling at game time?"

If any of these answers are yes, then your team has jumped the shark. Time to put away your Fonzi leather jacket/jersey and fold after the season ends.

9. Compensation - Are you paying players to show up? Worse, are you begging players that you are paying to show up? Hell, even worse, are you being strong armed, lied to, or dissed by players your "doing favors" for to show up? If so, you have definitely jumped the shark and quit while you are behind. Like many sitcoms that hung on a bit too long this is the last season.

8, Position Player - Are you embarrassing yourself defensively? Are you unable to run to 1st base without stopping (forget slow, I mean run without stopping). If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you have jumped the softball shark and its time to cancel your softball series.

7. Pitcher - Are you getting hit harder than a pinata?
If the answer is yes you have jumped the softball shark.

6. League - Is your league fair? Have you let illegal pitching in? Is their competition? If your answers are either - No, Yes, or No - then your league is going down a path of self-destruction. Prepare spin off series league b/c once a league goes bad then there is no going back.

5. Commissioner - If your running a league and dealing with assholes that bring illegal pitching, wringers, and goons are making your life miserable. Is it worth the time, energy, and money? Do these losers really appreciate everything you do? Take a stand dude. Find a new way to run things as the old one has jumped the softball shark. Change or get out. 

4. Fun - Everyone has a different perception of softball fun. Whether it be winning, dominating, laughing, hitting, playing a certain position, drinking, smoking, meeting women, friendships, managing, making connections, getting money, etc. Do you look forward to the game or is it just a chore/obligation

Bottom line if your apathetic about the game and unwilling to put up with the bullshit anymore why bother? You can't drown a shark so walk away from the game before it eats you alive.

3. Umpire - Do you rush games by calling outs and strikes that don't exist? Do you mark the bases off more than 60 or 65 feet and deny that they are the wrong distance when they are marathon length? Do you care about earning respect of the players by giving your very best by knowing the rules, hustling, and trying to get the call right? There's nothing wrong with wanting to umpire to earn money, but realize it is a job and you have responsibility. Remember the sharks can smell blood, so I hope you have a good set of skis and a fast boat when you try to jump over them as softball sharks are merciless.

2. Equipment - If you use duct tape on any part of your equipment it should be fed to the sharks. If your pants or cleats have holes in them c'mon dude time to upgrade to some fresh new gear. Even Fonzi used a good set of skis and a high ramp.

and the #1 Softball Jumping the Shark Situation

1. Blogger and Readership- If all I write about is illegal pitching, selfish accomplishments, hypocritical shit, or malicious self serving agendas then I'm done. When I am out there people want to see if what I write is me and that's why I try and be clever/insightful when I put together every installment. I know I haven't jumped the blog shark yet, but I've come close on many occasions. Luckily, I haven't run out of material or inspiration thanks to my loyal readers. Speaking of which, I appreciate all my readers, teammates, fans, and yes critics as well, as you really have become the driving force behind my work and this forum. 

There is a blogger-reader connection, sometimes we both come close to jumping the softball shark, but so far our love for the game and ability to transcend our differences has kept us afloat. I know I want to go out on top and not become shark bait, so should you.

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