Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scouts, that's real life

Brad Sham joked that his Boy Scouting career was like his military career -- undistinguished and void of rank.

But the 31-year radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys should get some kind of merit badge for his address at the 2010 Good Scout Award Luncheon Tuesday before a packed crowd of around 550 in the Civic Center's Grand Plaza. This month is the 100-year anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America

"Sports is not real life," said Sham, who has made a career of announcing sports, most notably for the Cowboys. "Sports at its best teaches us about hope and possibilities and hard work, but ironically the best of sports is not in the black and white of the scoreboard, but real life is found in those gray areas that are outlined in black and white."

Sham spoke of going to the NBA All-Star game Sunday as a fan and seeing LeBron James and Dwight Howard, of his close friend Troy Aikman and the perks he receives as a celebrity athlete/broadcaster, and the sparkling Cowboys Stadium where he works in the fall. None, he said, make up much of reality.

"It's the greatest stadium in the world, but has nothing to do with real life," he said.

Sham said real life is the notion that we don't control anything and yet we control almost everything. We don't control the earthquake in Haiti or the sudden snowstorm that hit Dallas last Friday. And Sham didn't do anything to cause the heat to go out in his home the other day.

"But God is not going to go and turn the heat on for me or drive a snow plow, but God gives you the tools and opportunities to take care of yourself," he said. "People are saying that sports and winning the Super Bowl for New Orleans was an opportunity to feel good and for that city to come together (after Hurricane Katrina), but not if they don't use this and build on it."

Sham said what Boys Scouts teach is what real life is.

"Scouting teaches perspective, one of my favorite words, and fair play, the juxtaposition of self-reliance and teamwork," he said. "Scouting puts people in a position to be challenged in ways they've not been challenged before and to push themselves and rely on that person next to you.

"Scouting embodies those gray areas, of lessons learned and ways to improve yourself. To be a stronger person, which makes for a stronger family, which makes for a stronger neighborhood, which makes for a stronger community.

"Where there are Scouts, that's real life. Real life is what you carry forward."

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