Time and Money

March 29, 2016

Early in the current presidential campaign, several candidates postured to claim the support of Evangelical Christians. I found it all pretty phony. How do you know what’s really in a person’s heart?

I was once told that the best way to discern what may be in a person’s heart is to look at two indicators.

  1. Look at their calendar. How do they spend their time?
  2. Look at their checkbook. How do they spend their money?

Talk is cheap. What’s really important to a person is reflected in their calendar and checkbook (or credit card receipts): How do they spend their time and their money?

So, in this work of school sports, if we are truly committed to educational athletics, it will be obvious in how we – schools and the MHSAA – spend our time and money.

  • Do we daily spend time promoting and protecting our brand of youth sports?
  • Do we annually budget adequate funds for the purpose of designing, delivering and defending policies and programs that maximize the benefits of school sports to students, schools and society?

This will provide the proof of our commitment.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.