Snake Oil
Blog: From the Director
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You almost have to admire QVC, the televised home shopping network whose acronym stands for “Quality, Value, Convenience.”  It has just about mastered the art of selling things you didn’t know you wanted and heretofore didn’t “need.”

Like the traveling snake oil salesman of the early American frontier, QVC hosts have a carefully scripted and practiced “shtick” that makes people buy impulsively and painlessly – at least until their credit card statements arrive.

And when I hear the arguments for national tournaments for high school sports, I have the distinct impression I’m listening to a sales job as slick as QVC or its itinerant frontier forerunner.

Such could be the case early next month at the annual summer meeting of our national organization.  Some there will argue for national high school sports tournaments.  They will opine that the events would be good for kids and will have no negative side effects or unwanted unintended consequences.

They seem to ignore the abuses and excesses that have visited youth sports which promote national tournaments as well as the corruption that has come to reside in many major college football and men's basketball programs.

They somehow will fail to see the blatant inconsistency of lavishing special treatment on a few athletes or teams at national venues when the basic programs and services of school sports are being cut at the local school level in every community of Michigan and most other states.

By the way, no MHSAA staff will be attending this five-day convention in San Diego.  The cost cannot be justified when member schools are cutting the jobs of our colleagues and opportunities for our kids.  We’ll express our opinion less expensively.

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