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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Still Waiting for the Amish Athlete breakthrough...

Maybe, just maybe, I think I get it.  While traveling this week for work, I hit a road that had a detour off the highway into some backroads.  On these backroads, I discovered homes being costructed by long-bearded men who had horse carriages parked in front of these homes.  These men seemed to be hard-workers but out of the hundred or so people working on these homes along this stretch, I only seen one woman, who only appeared for a brief moment as she walked out from her front door onto the porch and than back inside.

A little further down the road I seen a few of the younger boys taking a break from their work and hitting a large softball with their wooden bats.  It was one kid that smacked the ball and the other kids chased after it.  I stopped and watched for a few minutes, and than after a few more times of "chasing the ball," another bearded man came along and said something to the boys in which they all quickly got back to their chores. 

I quickly thought about the 90's parody hit by Weird Al of "Amish Paradise and realized that this didn't seem like a "paradise" at all.  I don't know alot about the Amish and I read and investigated some when I got home and still don't know alot.  They live by a different set of rules based alot on their own religious beliefs.  Doesn't mean their wrong or right, its their lifestyle and believes to live and choose from and that, I get.  But I thought, is this undiscovered talent.  I thought about the movie "Kingpin".  The movie that had an amish man who was one of the best bowlers there was.  Yeah, the movie wasn't real but are there some of these Amish citizens that could be very good athletes.  As I read more on the Amish background, it said that many of the groups enjoyed playing softball and volleyball.  But they don't play in organized leagues with teams, coaches, or umpires.  It's kind of like us as neighborhood kids getting together to play a game in the front yard with wiffle balls or tennis balls.  Those were fun times.

But as I researched further, I could never find a famous Amish athlete.  It suprises me that out of all these settlements in 24 states and Ontario, Canada that not one has produced a famous athlete.  Not one has left the "Amish Paradise" for a chance at becoming a "famous, pro" athlete.  Maybe they have tried and not succeeded.  It just suprises me.  I've heard of people leaving Indian tribes and colonies and moving on to becoming an athlete but not of an Amish.  So is there a chance for an opportunity of undiscovered talent in the "Amish" world?  Maybe, or maybe not.  Maybe there is nothing to discover but I would think at some point in time, a needle would be discovered in the haystack. 

Maybe the Amish really just value their beliefs and want to live that lifestyle more than having a million dollar contract.  Maybe they just really value family and their own pursuit of their dreams, than the pursuit of becoming a famous athlete.  Maybe they just dont want to break the traditions that they are taught and are scared to scatter off into the options that we are afforded.  Maybe I shouldn't care, but maybe I'm intrigued as well as to why they care about not going after any type of "monetary gains".  Maybe the sports world doesn't intrigue them as much as it does for people like you and me.  Maybe they love the "fun" of the game and not the "money" of the game.  Maybe they just really love their families, and on that, I definitely get it.

Just for fun, heres a link for the Amish Paradise youtube video....

http://youtu.be/lOfZLb33uCg

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