By Tom Abts










I’m not much of a cook. Pretty decent with a grill, but that’s about it. For me, cooking is just throwing things in a pan with a lot of butter.

The book “The Joy of Cooking” was published in 1931 and is still a best-seller. I like the title and get the concept, though it’s not my thing. However, I would like to write “The Joy of Sports.” I love to play sports. Not necessarily to win – though I’m competitive – but mostly because I love it. It brings me joy.

One of life’s greatest pleasures is sharing what we love. I think that’s why people go into teaching and coaching. Sure, some people like the power and control, but I think most teachers and coaches go into it for the right reasons. Thus, it made me sad when I read that the Duluth hockey coach is resigning because of pressure from the parents. He’s either getting forced out, or has just had enough, probably both.

When our boys were young, I coached soccer, baseball, and basketball. It was great. 20+ years later, we still laugh about it, and I see former players fairly often at the golf course and I’m still “Coach.”

Of course, we played to win, but what I really wanted was that they would share my love of just playing – the sheer joy of playing a sport.

I seldom watch professional sports anymore. I hate stuff like the Super Bowl Halftime Show. All the tricks to get people to watch sports turn me away. Sort of like the parents who tried to bribe the kids to play sports with “treats”. I didn’t allow that nonsense as a coach.

Bribing people to play golf with “chits” rubs me the same way.

I think it’s all related:

* Super Bowl Half-time shows

* Treats

* Chits

*Crazy parents

They don’t understand that sports are just a game. They do not define who you are. They are to be played for the pure joy of playing.

Years ago, one of my sons played on his high school baseball team. They were pretty good – rated in the top ten. But when they played against Joe Mauer – it was a joke. He was so much better than anyone on the field it was laughable. 99.9% of high school athletes are not going to make a living at playing a sport. Stop the madness.

Last month Tim Herron almost won on the PGA TOUR Champions. He’s actually playing golf for a living. Look at how rare it is for a Minnesotan to become a TOUR player. He joined the TOUR almost 30 years ago. Has anyone younger than him from Minnesota done much on TOUR?

There’s a big difference between professional sports and recreational sports. They are two totally different cats. One is a profession. The other is played for the fun of it – for the joy of it.

Please enjoy playing golf.