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6 Terrible Lessons Learned From Sports

Look, I’m not saying that there aren’t lessons to be learned from sports, I’m simply suggesting that most of these lessons are ones that would probably not want to intentionally teach to your children.

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There’s no I in team, but there sure is one in win.

Come on, who gets the endorsement deals? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not the team, it’s the guy who scores the points. Think back to the most iconic sports moments in history, and tell me how many of them center around more than just a single exceptional player. I call it the law of conservation of glory; the more you try to spread it around, the less there is. So, if you want to be a celebrated athlete, you better be prepared to leave your team in the dust.

Hard work won’t get you as far as talent

Here's a sad truth: Most of us could spend our entire lives practicing and improving our bodies, and still never be able to compete athletically on a professional level. Maybe we're too short to be able to dunk, or our eyes just aren't keen enough to track a fastball on its way over the plate. Whatever the case, the fact remains that while hard work is important, it's not nearly as important as innate talent. That's why people like Tiger Woods, who's been hitting the ball like a pro since he was still in diapers, fascinate us so. Hey, if everyone could do it, it wouldn't be special (that's why we have fantasy sports, right?).

If you’re an athlete, you can get away with anything

Jim Leyritz was a professional baseball player who accidentally killed someone while driving drunk. What penalties did he face? Well, he initially spent a few nights in jail and was eventually sentenced to a year's probation and a $500 fine. That's right; for a year's probation and less money than it takes most of us to buy a plane ticket, he was able to repay his debt for taking a human life. Other criminals to get off easy because of the "athlete defense?" How about Tonya Harding, Michael Vick, Darryl Strawberry, Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant ... well, you get the idea.

Entertainers are the most valuable people in the world

Does the name Michael Jordan ring a bell? Of course it does. Now, what about Jonas Salk? Jordan was an exceptional basketball player, and, let’s be honest, he seems like he’s also a pretty decent guy. As for Jonas Salk, he was only a poor boy from New York who happened to discover the cure for polio. Jordan is one of the most famous and admired men to ever live. Salk is a footnote in a textbook you might read in college. I guess it’s only fair that our athletes make hundreds of millions of dollars annually while teachers, social workers, and scientists have to beg for handouts and funding.

It’s OK to hate someone for thinking differently

What's your favorite color? Mine happens to be green, but if you prefer blue, or red, or burnt-sienna, then that's just fine. It really doesn't matter one bit. Well, guess what? Favorite sport teams are just as meaningless. However, for some reason we tend to get it into our heads that the other team—and all of its fans—are worth every last drop of our burning hatred. Thanks sports, for teaching us all how to accept each other's differences.

Winning is everything

It has been said that you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. However, the unspoken truth is that it's the shots that you do take — and then miss — that can really hurt you. After all, the world loves a winner, but if you put yourself out there and then lose, you face ridicule, scorn, and possibly even physical harm. So, if winning is so important, what's an athlete to do? Well, cheating is always an option — just ask Lance Armstrong.

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