WA and "Sports Ball"

Last Update: Mar 23, 2017


Reading the plethora of blogs and quips which come at us every day must give us pause to seriously reflect on just what they all mean, not merely the individual attempts at wisdom or humor, but the collective meaning of it all.

And here you will have to indulge the old philosophy/physics major in his idiosyncratic endeavor to try to make some sense of it all, because the sheer number is becoming quite overwhelming, even modestly stated.

There have been a number of us in the WA Community who have lamented the onslaught of e-missives which share with us their individual perceptions of life, of wisdom, of inspirations, and of the endless parade of opinions and proclivities which we are encouraged to honor and acknowledge if we want our rankings to become impressive.

I know that on a single day earlier this week I responded to no less than 146 of them – sincerely, honestly, and as thoroughly as I could. I have been informed that this is not an unusual amount to receive and/or to offer responses.

My real dilemma is this – there seem to be so many of these personal observations which are repetitions of other penetrating pearls of humanity to which we are supposed to render equal homage and tribute. If we do not, then the algorithms which calculate our rankings drop their value-assessments resulting in little or no positive change in rank.

I am all for creating a “community”, but it is beginning to appear that the ranking has become the summum bonum of the WA program and learning how to make a living from an online business has taken a back seat to the WA Community’s efforts at blessing us with their individual astuteness.

And that’s when it hit me. My wonderful wife, who suffers being married to “one of ‘those’ jocks who can actually read” along with his scions who all have been cursed with their father’s “debility” in this fashion, looks at all athletic participation and achievement as a monolithic venture, which she labels “Sports Ball”.

Now, this is for every sport ever devised or invented – to her there is no difference between American Football and Australian Rules Football, between tennis and baseball. It has a “ball” in it doesn’t it? Folks run around after it or avoiding it, right? Well, then, it’s “Sports Ball”.

This is where I found an apt analogy, because one of the most important elements of athletic participation, of “sport”, is understanding and appreciating that without a competitor against whom to “do battle”, there is NO “sport” – NO competition – NO athletic activity – NO “Sports Ball”.

No, the submitters of those endless e-missives are NOT our “competitors”, but they ARE a significant part of OUR WA Community. By definition, where there is only “one” there is no community. Thus, without those contributing blogs, we have no “Community” – no WA as we have come to know it.

It would merely be a list of “how to” in sequential order, and our achievements would not have the same impact on us as members of a “community” whose “citizens” are all striving toward the same goal.

You see, we all play “Sports Ball”. Keep it alive with those e-missives, folks! Don’t know what my wife would do if WA didn’t have its own version of “Sports Ball”.

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Recent Comments


Great post Dr. Ogden. It is sometimes a delicate balance scheduling time to read community emails and research and write for our own betterment. There is comfort in knowing we don't struggle alone.

an inspiration... thanks


thanks for sharing!

Thanks for this.

We should all have a Servant's heart.

Great Post!!!

Leon B.

Good evening Alex,

I agree with your wife, "Sports Ball" describes all of this very well.
In my first month I concentrated on the first 10 lessons and making 2 web sites. I did not bother with following, commenting etc. Now that I have started doing all that I realize some 2 hours a day go in reading and writing, of course I also learn new things but still. I have read your post and I like it.

With greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske

Wow....now there's a name I've never seen! How does one pronounce your name Taetske?

Good evening,

It is not easy to describe how to pronounce my name, I think practice does it but I have long time friends who still cannot. This name comes from the most nordic province in Holland called Friesland. I was born in Australia, the first grandchild to my mothers parents. My grandfather and his grandmother both had this name as it can be used for boys and girls so I got it also.

Regards, Taetske

Great...pero me llamo es Arturo..no es Alex...

Oh, I beg your pardon, Arturo or Arthur?
As you had not put your name at the bottom of your post and I did not remember it I scrolled down and copied somebody else.

Que tengas un buen dia, Taetske

Tu tambien!

Lo siento...yo no lo recuerdo.

There's a large number of players here Alex, each adding a piece of he pie!

Great post Arthur and like all other marriages around the world ,if we weren't playing ball at WA we would be driving the other half cracked.haha.

You're still something else, Lady...

Nicely put Arthur!

You know how to word well, as a fellow worder myself, I truly appreciate not only the nature of this post, but the vocabulary you used to express your thoughts.

You have hit on many things here, one of which is that many within the community we so enjoy are drawn to "compete" solely within the community.

That's mistake number 1.

The community is a lever on which we pull to get a much-needed start. When your virgin site is in need of comments, or links (even those that are decorated with the "nofollow" spider directive) that's where this community shines.

People should take the time to become a part of this community, but not in spite of the work to be done on their site. Don't give in to the temptation of "contribution procrastination"; it's about your site first, WA second. WA is a tool, a system, support network, and more rolled into one monolithic aggregate.

Mistake number 2 is more insidious and somewhat contrary to the advice just given.

We become too focused, we focus on ONLY getting that next comment or that next like. It becomes what you can do for me rather than what we do for each other.

Too many of us will comment with a one liner on someone's site, but then expect a novella in return.

Pay it forward, do unto others as you would have done to you, NOT before they do to you.

Set good examples, BE the example.

As I can attest from the many comments I've enjoyed from you, I think you get this. Just make sure you're working on your site too! :)

Your wife sounds like a smart lady.

Keep up the good Arthur!


Yes...her only6short coming6is in choosing men..

James...many thanks for your comments...I, too, enjoy your scribes...I am in the process of finishing a book...2 chapters to go...publisher is a bit impatient...don't blame her...It is titled "Philosophy of American Sport: Toward a Quest for Virtue"...between the emails, the website, taking care of my 4 children (I'm a stay-at-home-Papa), teaching 3 online courses at local cc's, helping my wife get her business started, I can't seem to find enough candles at Mass to get it all going symphonically...more like a cacophony...but I keep on trying...you see, I taught freshman comp among other courses years ago so I have an abiding appreciation for your "word smithing" as well...look forward to working with you more, James...Press On!

I know this is a late response, I've been on the road a lot lately and precious little time to write anything.

I love that you have a publisher :)

Someday I intend to write a book or two myself. I've been told many times I should.

I'm torn. I don't know if I have "the chops" to make it in fiction, though I've been drawn to it most my life.

I know I could write a technical book. I'm thinking of starting a blog along the lines of short stories to test my mettle.

Great perspective. Thanks you. Debbie

No,,thank YOU!

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