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Crying videos serve no purpose

July 10, 2012
By JAMES ANDERSEN - News Sports Editor ( , The Alpena News

There seems to be a growing trend in sports that's capturing the nation's attention.

No it isn't the formation of Big Three powerhouses around the NBA or the rash of arrests of Detroit Lions players.

It's the viral videos of young crying fans and the parents behind those videos.

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A typical scenario usually goes something like this: Mom or Dad turns on the video camera and tells their young son or daughter that their favorite player has been traded, or signed with another team. After a moment of confusion or sadness, the child begins balling their eyes out at what they've just heard.

The video is then put online where people like me see it.

First there was Michael Young and the possibility he might leave the Texas Rangers much to the dismay of a young boy. Then there was LeBron James sinking a game-winning shot during the NBA Finals much to the horror of an Oklahoma City fan. The latest one came just yesterday, where a four-year-old girl burst into tears when her mother told her former Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash was headed to Los Angeles.

Along the way there's been many more and it doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon.

There really seems to be no purpose these videos serve. It's not exactly adorable to watch someone else's kid sobbing, especially when they've been told their favorite player won't be playing on their favorite team anymore. In the case of the little girl at that age, telling her something like that might be as heartbreaking as a best friend moving away or losing a pet. Not exactly heartwarming when a little girl says of Nash that she will "never like him anymore," after her mom drops a bombshell like that on her.

I question what the motives are of the parents who want to capture these "precious moments" on camera. What exactly are they trying to gain other than less than 15 minutes of fame? Kudos to the athletes who are touched by these videos and respond, but I would hate to think that a parent would stoop to that kind of level like that just to get an athlete's attention. If a parent does tell their child that their favorite player is moving away and the child is sad, I would think the appropriate response might be comforting the child instead of recording it so that every aunt and uncle and see it on Facebook.

As a reporter I've seen many athletes and coaches cry in good times and bad. Two months ago, a player was crying at the end of a softball game because she thought she'd let her team down by making the final out. Two weeks later, that same player came up with several big hits to help her team beat the same squad that had beaten them a few weeks earlier. As much as I gave a thought to using that anecdote after her team won, I thought it might not be the best route to go because she was legitimately upset after the loss.

When a team's season comes to an end after a gut-wrenching loss, there are usually a lot of tears flowing. While it can be hard sometimes not to feel for those athletes, especially seniors whose high school careers are coming to an end, my first inclination isn't to whip out the camera on my cell phone and record an athlete sobbing in the arms of a parent.

I'm sure that when I have kids of my own someday I'll want to cherish all the little moments in their lives.

I'll just take it easy with the video camera.



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