Mama's Boys

Thought the group would find this entertaining-

Our failing boys
Daddy Oh
Tony Robinson
Sunday, August 21, 2005

To fear the foe,
Since fear oppreseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness,
Strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.

  • Shakespeare, Richard 11

In the recently concluded World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, young Usain Bolt once again failed to successfully finish a race where he was slated to do well. While he was not expected to win, he was at least expected to make a good account.

However, just like last year’s Athens Olympics, where he ran out of the blocks, then halfway down the track, he reduced his speed to a trot and ambled to the finish line. Unlike the Olympics, however, when he was just coming off an injury and was not physically or mentally prepared, this time he was as fit as the proverbial fiddle. He simply bowed to the pressure when pitted against the guys in the big league.

Watching him from the preliminary rounds, I must confess that I had no faith in him, especially with his style of constantly looking around to see where his opponents were, as opposed to focusing on his own race.

My fears increased when I saw how he ran the semis, and when I realised that he was drawn in lane one, I basically wrote off any hopes of a medal. Still, when I saw the young man speed out of the blocks, made up the stagger and was stride for stride with the big guys, my fading hopes quickly rose again.

“Backside, him can do it!” I shouted. But all this was dashed as, once again, he succumbed to pressure and wilted.

What hurts the most, is that on two major occasions the world has seen this highly touted Jamaican as a quitter. As a people we are not used to seeing this, it’s unfamiliar territory that has left us dazed, angry and confused. This has sparked a huge debate about his age, mental fortitude and all manner of psycho this and psycho that.

The fact remains, however, that there are many athletes his age who are doing well. These athletes show a grit and determination that almost smacks of the old saying, ‘death before dishonour’.

In the same meet, our 4x400m female relay team dropped the baton on the last exchange but Lorraine Fenton, after retrieving it, ran her heart out, never thought of quitting, qualified for the final and the team eventually won a silver medal for us.

The question was asked, if young Bolt was in that position, would he have tried his best, or just quit?

Trecia Smith won gold in the triple jump, even though she was injured. In fact, she hobbled to the podium with the aid of crutches to receive her gold medal. Young Sherika Williams is barely 19 years old, yet showed great maturity as the lead-off runner in our 4x100m women’s relay team which won the silver medal. Alyson Felix of the US is barely 19.

What makes them different? They are women. By the way, of the eight medals that we won, our ladies gave us six. This has been the trend for many years.

I was taught at an early age that losing was not a problem as long as you did your best. The brave may fall, but never yield. I have no problem with losing, as long as you gave your all, and that’s why I’m so turned off cricket.

Those young cricketers have all the privileges and money that their predecessors could only dream of, yet they are joking it out and underachieving.

Do you see any parallels? The same goes for some of our ‘superstar’ footballers. Where are they now? I don’t place the blame solely on young Bolt, although he must take responsibility for his actions and we must stop making excuses.

I do blame the factors that created him, that create our failing boys. As one lady said, perhaps Bolt has no motivation and does not really want to run, although he has this enormous talent. If so, why is he demotivated?

As we debated the issue last week, I mentioned the fact that many parents, especially mothers, mollycoddle their sons too much. Young boys, having no sense of independence, buckle at the first sign of pressure.

After all, mummy is always there to bail them out. I know of mothers who basically do the homework for their sons, instead of helping them, so when crunch time comes and he’s asked to perform on his own, he simply can’t.

Teachers are complaining in the press about this problem. One mother who was debating the issue with me almost jumped down my throat and scratched my eyes out when I told her that I found it disgusting that mothers still picked up their sons every day from school, even when they were in fifth or sixth form.

“I see nothing wrong with picking up my son from school when he’s in sixth form, and I will damn well continue to pick him up even when he’s in university,” she shrieked at me.

Therein lies a big part of the problem, I thought.

I also reflected on my youth. There’s no way I would have allowed my mother to pick me up when I was in sixth form. “Hey Teerob, go get yu school bag and yu nipple bottle, your mummy is here for you.ha…ha…ha.” I would have been washed with shame.

Mothers nowadays cling to the umbilical cord as if it were a lifeline. One psychologist said, “They substitute their men for their sons, seeing them as the only man in their lives, making them de facto surrogate husbands or lovers.”

When did mothers get this way, and what is different about the modern world that makes them smother their sons in this manner? I was so shocked and saddened to read recently that a young man had stabbed his girlfriend then hanged himself, all because he thought that she was paying too much attention to their baby.

Fortunately, she survived. His actions were stupid and extreme but perhaps, just perhaps, he had a glimpse of what was to come and simply could not cope.

I have lost count of the men who complain that their women continue to neglect them because of their sons. The girls are allowed to be more independent, doing household chores and such, but it’s like as soon as the boy is born, the man is pushed aside, into the background, neglected, left to fend for himself. It’s a constant cry and although many don’t do what that guy did to his babymother, their anguish and pain still exists.

Lanny Davidson, a member of Fathers Incorporated and an advocate of fathers’ rights, has brought some facts, figures and tales to the fore. The perception is that fathers are worthless, neglectful beasts who just sire their young and move on.

True, that is the case in many instances, but there are also cases where mothers push away fathers, use the child as leverage, as a weapon, rejecting any input from the father. They believe that only they know how to bring up the youth.They ultimately pay the price. Not all fathers are bums, and Lanny has the literature to prove this.

In my martial arts class I am constantly besieged by mothers who bring their wimpish sons to me with the same sad song: “I beg you, make him into a man for me.” I am now supposed to fix years of damage brought on by smothering, spoiling, and picking up after. It’s difficult.

Girls, on the other hand, are not treated this way, and I have no such problem with them. Girls have so much ambition, and even those who leave school without passing the prime exams still go on to seek other areas of advancement. They fill our vocational schools, trade institutions, and universities.

Young women call me every day seeking employment. Few men do. The blame is often put on absentee fathers or weak fathers who allow the mothers too much say, and often rightly so.

However, our girls grow up in the same environment and still have strength and fortitude. Hey, even animals kick out their young after a while to fend for themselves, but so many mothers won’t let go of their sons. A real contributory factor to our failing boys.
More time.

Footnote: All that being said, I am so proud of our athletes who did EXTREMELY WELL. Look how small a country we are, yet our name is so big out there. We were in all the major sprint finals, displaying our colours. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. Yet we expect so much more from our athletes.

Host Finland won only one medal, a bronze in the long jump, and they almost declared a national holiday. We won one gold, five silver and two bronze and still wanted more. Do you know how many large countries came away empty-handed, much less heard their national anthem played? We must be thankful.

Shifting gears now, for all the ladies over 45 who offered to show me their ‘young desirable bodies, thong and all,’ thanks, but I’ll pass. I know that you look good and are the exceptions that I talk about.