“co-operative,” i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing.
19 November 2023
by Not Sure
Joey Erace was ten years old when he was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, September 4, 2017, in an article entitled “How Kid Sports Turned Pro.” Known as Joey Baseball, he had more than 24,000 followers on Instagram and had been approached by jewelry and apparel companies to pitch their products.
In a little video that accompanied the story, he took viewers on a tour of his bedroom, decorated with a baseball motif. He proudly pointed to his books, about fifteen or twenty, which all appeared to be about baseball.
Joey lives in New Jersey but was a top player for nationally ranked teams based in California and Texas. Joey’s backyard has a $15,000 batting cage and when the article was published, his private hitting coach was $100 per hour and his fielding coach another $100 a pop.
Sports for children in the U.S are rapidly being privatized and this is big business. In 2017, the U.S. youth sports economy was $15.3 billion per year and growing. Little League participation is down 20% from its peak in 2000. Local leagues, town soccer, and church basketball are out. Highly competitive “travel teams” which function like professional sports teams are in. Talent is scouted as young as six and even four years of age. There are travel teams for girls’ soccer and travel teams for football, baseball, and basketball.
Luke Martinez was mentioned in the TIME article. At ten years old, he played second base for the Alamo (Texas) Drillers which were the No. 1 team. His family lived in a mobile home in south San Antonio where his mother cooked for a food truck and his father worked for a printer and copier company, working overtime to help pay for “Luke’s frequent overnight trips across Texas and to Louisiana, North Carolina, and Florida. The family has skipped car payments and put off home repairs to help.”
A big motivator for many families is the possibility of college scholarships or even eventual professional sports. The average annual tuition for college/university is $42,162 at private (this is public in the UK) colleges, $23,630 for out-of-state students at public universities and $10,662 for in-state residents at public universities. Travis Dorsch, founding director of the Families in Sport Lab at Utah State University said, “I’ve seen parents spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars pursuing a college scholarship. They could have set it aside for the damn college.”
Only 2% of high school athletes go on to play at the highest college levels and only a select few college athletes make it into professional sports or Olympic competition. As of 2017, Joey’s dad estimated he had spent north of $30,000 on Joey’s baseball career. One volleyball dad claimed it costs him $20,00 a year to fund his daughter’s sports commitments.
I carefully went through the article to see what had become of the children who were playing so competitively and at such expense to their families. Most of them have not received further mention in the media, so who knows where those youngsters are now. Luke Martinez is listed as a player on PerfectScore.org as of 2022. Maybe the car has been paid off by now and his dad still has the health and energy to work overtime.
Joey Erace plays infield for St. Augustine High School in Richland, New Jersey. He is due to graduate in 2025, and in August of this year, he committed to play for Rutgers University. This is what the Rutgers Wire wrote:
“Erace is ranked a ‘9’ by Perfect Game. That ranking translates to a projection of being a ‘Potential top 10 round pick and/or highest-level college prospect.’ He runs a 6.79 time in the 60 and has an infield throwing velocity of 88 miles per hour. Erace is a huge social media star, with over 60,000 followers on Instagram. In 2017, he was on the cover of TIME as the magazine explored students being trained like professional athletes.”
“Shock And Awe - The Manipulation of The Human Psyche” is the first part of an interview Alan Watt did with the Prison Planet film crew in the summer of 2009. Alan talked about the technique of moving the human herd from one field (system) to another field or system as it suits those who control us. Humans don’t like change, so bloodless revolutions are used to alter culture. Crisis is also used. Terror, financial crashes, pandemics. Shock and awe to make a person and a whole population punch-drunk.
Alan talked about how sports were used to change men. He said, “We’re all tribal to an extent; that’s why we even bother to vote for a tribal leader. This is well understood; that’s why we’re supplied with these leaders. And because the average man was to become more disengaged from his own destiny as the expert class arose, it was decided that the males would get their outlet basically, gradually becoming helpless as males, through sports. Therefore, they’d have a tribal team they could identify with; they could cheer them on as though they were winning. In their own personal lives, they were getting nowhere. They were getting disenfranchised in a sense, as experts took over decision-making for them in all kinds of fields.”
In Bertrand Russell’s 1931 book, The Scientific Outlook, he wrote about how the Jesuits used one sort of education for boys who were to become ordinary men of the world and another type for those who were to become members of the Society of Jesus. Russell wrote, “In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play. Children will be educated from their earliest years in the manner which is found least likely to produce complexes. Almost all will be normal, happy, healthy boys or girls. Their diet will not be left to the caprices of parents, but will be such as the best biochemists recommend. They will spend much time in the open air, and will be given no more book-learning than is absolutely necessary. Upon the temperament so formed, docility will be imposed by the methods of the drill-sergeant, or perhaps by the softer methods employed upon Boy Scouts. All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “co-operative,” i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished, will be scientifically trained out of them.” Russell then went on to describe the education of the scientific and governing class.
Russell’s scientific vision has been achieved. The biochemists have brought us genetically modified food and injectables. Book-learning went the way of the dodo. AI prompts will steer children to appropriate topics, and their docility will be imposed by the softer methods of the “travel team” coach.
If I was the dad who paid $20,000 a year to fund my daughter’s future via volleyball, I wonder how I’d feel when she had to compete with “transgender” players.
© Not Sure
Transcript - Alan Watt: Shock And Awe - The Manipulation Of The Human Psyche
How Kids’ Sports Became a $15 Billion Industry
Once on the cover of TIME Magazine, Joey Erace commits to Rutgers baseball
Erace family reflects on 2017 TIME Magazine feature
Once on the cover of TIME Magazine, Joey Erace commits to Rutgers baseball
Data Shows Travel Teams Killing Youth Sports
I Did Travel Sports for Over 10 Years—Here Are the Pros and Cons
Travel Teams - Pros and Cons
Swampscott field hockey injury has readers questioning mixed-gender youth sports
All Your Questions About Trans Kids in Sports, Asked and Answered
The Scientific Outlook - Bertrand Russell (1931)