It’s a Jerry Springer World. Are You on Stage or in the Audience?

ImageI took my son Matthew to the Cleveland Indians game against the Twins on Saturday night. It was a great night for a game. The weather was beautiful. Indians legends Carlos Baerga and John Hart were inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame before the game. And there were Bon Jovi themed fireworks after the game (which were actually pretty good, despite being billed as one of the worst MLB promotions of 2013).

Twins CF Clete Thomas singled to center to start the game. The next batter, perennial All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, hit a deep homerun to right field.

Almost immediately you could hear the chant coming from the right field seats.

                Throw it back!

                Throw it back!

When most people go to a baseball game, they hope to catch a souvenir . A t-shirt. A rally towel. A batting practice ball. A foul ball. Anything.

                Throw it back!

                Throw it back!

To catch a home run ball hit by one of the greatest catchers in MLB history is, well, beyond most fans’ wildest expectations.

                THROW IT BACK!

                THROW IT BACK!

And so what did the fan that caught the ball do? He listened to the couple dozen chanting knuckleheads and he THREW IT BACK.

And then he was promptly escorted from the stadium by one of Cleveland’s finest–in the top of the first inning–missing a marathon game that Cleveland eventually won 8-7.

And also missing those spectacular Bon Jovi fireworks.

Nordonia High School principal Casey Wright (follow him on Twitter @CaseyGWright) likes to say that it is a Jerry Springer world, and we are all either on stage or in the audience. Generally he tells this to students who are prodded into doing something silly by their classmates.

But it’s important to realize that adults, too, are subject to the Jerry Springer rule. Sometimes people want you to do things for their own entertainment, knowing that you alone will need to face the consequences. Indeed, the only guy thrown out of the Indians game the other night was the fan who caught a homerun ball hit by Joe Mauer, not the two dozen lunk-heads who told him to throw it.

As we work in the field of education, we are constantly trying to remind kids that the right thing and the easy thing often are not the same thing. Sometime you have to take a stand and do what is right, even when others are encouraging you to do wrong.

I’m not sure the profession of the gentleman who threw the ball back the other night. But I’m hoping he is not an educator. We need to give our kids the best role models we can at all times.


One thought on “It’s a Jerry Springer World. Are You on Stage or in the Audience?

  1. Wow, shocking that he would throw it back-
    Love the analogy here-on the Springer show-too bad for the guy-
    and yes, totally agree that we need the best role models in the world of education at all times!

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