It’s For…..

If you ever want to hear stories about the lunacy of some people rationalizing things by stating one thing when actually wanting another, go listen to a group of youth sports officials when they are resting at a tournament or after a game.

A friend of ours tells the story of umpiring a baseball game with another mutual friend. It was not a well played game and in the latter half of the game, a kid tried to stretch a single into a double. The left fielder threw the ball into the second basemen and as the player slid into the base, the second baseman applied the tag. The umpire waited a second to make sure the fielder had maintained control of the ball and then called the runner out. It was a routine play and one that shouldn’t have caused any issues but it did. The manager of the offensive team was ejected. The kid was close to going as well. From the stands, a parent who had never stepped on a ball field screamed “c’mon Blue! It’s for the kids!”

Uh huh. Sure.

In another case, a friend was set to work a couple of games in a basketball tournament. The Tournament Director showed up late. The facility in which the games were played was opened late causing everything to be pushed back. When that happened, the officials (who also have lives) were in some cases forced to leave because their games wouldn’t start on time and they had other commitments. Of the final eight games that day, our friend was forced to referee 4 of them. His day that started at 9:00 AM and was supposed to end by 3 PM, dragged on until 7:30 PM. Because he was working games and couldn’t get away, he didn’t have a chance to eat all day and by the end, well…. you can imagine. Running for miles without food, sweating and cooling down, being yelled at while on the court and questioned when off of it led to a picture that was not pretty.

After the last game a woman came up to him and said that she had just moved into the area and while her son had been playing in the league all year, the last game was her first game she had seen in person. She then told him that she had never seen such horrible refereeing and how the league sucked. Everything was wrong. The uniforms, the coaches, the other teams, the refereeing. You name it and in her opinion, it was horrible.

“It’s for the kids, you know,” she told our friend.


It was so much “for the kids” that she never volunteered, showed up or did anything until the last game of the season when suddenly she became an expert on officiating and how to run a league.

Our point is that while the baseball manager and the woman at the basketball game were not interested in “the kids.” They were only interested in their kid winning a game in a youth league.

It has been our experience that anytime you hear the rationale of “it’s for….” in order to get something, reach into someone’s pocket or restrict someone’s rights and freedoms, it isn’t about the stated reason at all. It is about something else. Whether it is for more money, more power, more authority or more restrictions on people’s choices, there are those who will use one stated reason in order to justify something else.

It’s kind of like a magician that wants to looking at one thing while the really important thing is happening elsewhere.

To illustrate the principle, the Danish government has announced they are repealing a tax on saturated fats. The tax was passed ostensibly as a “fat tax” in order to stop people from purchasing foods that are high in fat content.

You see, “it is…. for the health of the people” that the tax was passed.

So why are they repealing the tax?

But authorities said the tax had inflated food prices and put Danish jobs at risk.

The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar, the AFP news agency reports.

The ministry said one of the effects of the fat tax was that some Danes had begun crossing the border into Germany to stock up on food there.

So the law wasn’t about the health of citizens as advertised. It was about money. The government wanted more tax revenues and when that not only failed and went south, they had to back off the tax.

Perhaps we are getting old and cynical, but every time we hear “it’s for….” we start looking for the real reason.

We keep looking for the real reason – the reason the people don’t want you to know.

Abracadabra! Your money is gone!

Tip of the hat to Questions and Observations.

2 Responses to “It’s For…..”

  1. Jerry says:

    The field is unsafe, game is cancelled…’come on blue, it’s for the kids’.
    Not enough players show up for the game, sorry, game is cancelled…’come on blue, it’s for the kids’.
    Probably from the same parents who would sue if their kid was injured.

    • AAfterwit says:


      Thanks for the comment.

      People may not understand what you are talking about but in essence, you are telling what happens when games get cancelled because not enough kids or there is a monster mud pile at all of the bases. Instead of getting their child to the field on time or even honoring the commitment the child and the parent made to the team, parents and coaches will blame the umpires for the game not going forward because by rule it cannot.

      If it’s “for the kids,” then have your kid show up on time, ready to go. The other kids were there. The umpires were there.

      “It’s for the kids” is generally the argument of the desperate who refuse to take responsibility for their own failures.

      A. Afterwit.