Most of you know I'm a fan of the absurd, so I've decided to share an email I sent to my KICKBALL team tonight. Please remember the KICKBALL part as you read along and enjoy!
"Good morning, guys! I have a couple things I need to get off my chest if you'll bear with me for a moment. (Geoff, please try to keep reading even though I said chest and bare...)
There is a nasty, negative undercurrent to the team and I'm over it. I do not want to be the captain of a team like that. It's been going on for a couple seasons now, but we had bigger negative contributors, so it didn't seem so bad by comparison. I suspect everyone isn't experiencing it and I'm happy for you if you're not. My every move, thought, and gesture seems to be up for critique however and I'm tired of it.
For the record, I do not have to explain myself to you (I apologize to those of you who are innocent bystanders, but I thought it best to send this to the whole team). But I'll address two things that seem to come up routinely: 1) I get on base more when I kick than when I bunt. As a rule, it's better for people to bunt, but if you know you get on base more by kicking, then flipping kick. I don't really keep track of what everyone does, but some of you seem intent on keeping track of what I do. 2) Those of us who have played softball and/or baseball for much of our lives know a little bit more about how to handle the infield and runners. While it is typically best to get the ball in to the pitcher (and I harp on this each season more for those of you who didn't play softball/baseball), if the runner is already halfway to the base, he will be given the base even if the ball has made it back to the pitcher. It makes far more sense to run down the lead runner and force him back to the base he last passed or try to block his way and tag him. If you don't understand this, feel free to ask me about it.
I would like our team to be supportive of each other during the games. No team has ever done well by snarking on each other, making fun of each other, or making negative comments about each other during the game. No one is perfect and we will all make mistakes. It is far more important to commend each other for trying than to kick someone when they're down. Again, I do not want to be the captain of a team like that. What's worse, is that for me personally when I feel like I'm constantly under attack, I start fighting back. And I do not want to do that or feel that way during every blasted kickball game. We're supposed to be out there having fun with our friends, not snapping at each other.
Speaking of captain, any one of you is more than welcome to step up and be the captain of the team. According to at least two of you, nearly everything I do or say is wrong so you would probably be helping out the whole team by taking over. Just say the word and the job is yours.
If you have any questions, you know where to find me. Otherwise, if you want to continue being negative and making fun of your fellow teammates, I suggest you find another team. If however, the team supports you in this behavior, I will gladly find another one instead. You guys just let me know.
Thanks for your time,
PS - I've left out the whole arguing calls thing. But let's not forget that according to at least one of you I don't argue enough, I argue too much, I argue the wrong calls, and any number of other things. Honestly, I think you guys really need a new captain! :)"
Something Randy Pausch said keeps running through my head. He was talking about trying to find the good in everyone and said that a friend taught him that everyone will ultimately impress you. If someone hasn't impressed you yet, you haven't given them enough time. So maybe I haven't given the two primary subjects of my email enough time. They both definitely have more positive traits, but unfortunately their negative behavior makes me forget what those traits are. I hope I get through to them. For me, for our team, and ultimately for them.
LOL -- this is all over kickball! Hmm...maybe I can work out some "kickball as a metaphor for life" thing. I'll have to think on it...