Why I’ll be watching House Hunters

Published 11:30 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

I watched Survivor begrudgingly.

Sitting through it on a weekly basis this season was managed only because my wife loves it so much. Since Lyndal wanted to watch it, I gave in and watched it with her rather than going to another room.

After a few weeks I began to actually enjoy the show. I couldn’t believe it, but I was actually picking people that I wanted to do well and that I wanted to win the game.

Before I go any further, let me digress and tell you that I was one of the first people I know who started rooting for the “bad guys” in wrestling. Back before it was popular to cheer the villains, I was a fan of Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen.

I wasn’t a Johnny-come-lately. I was a fan of the Four Horsemen from the beginning with Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson.

For those who aren’t old enough to know any of those guys but Flair, I’ll relate it by saying I was a fan of the Undertaker when he was wrestling against Steve Austin for the WWE title.

With that background, I’ll jump back to this year’s survivor.

The 20th season of the show featured a twist. It was Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. I never had a doubt where I’d end up. I was going to root for the villains as soon as I heard the title.

As I watched, I became a fan of both Russell and Parvati. They were my two villains of choice. While I also like Jerri and even Coach, it was Russell and Parvati that made me get interested in the show.

What made it even better was that Lyndal was rooting for the Heroes who were being picked off one by one as the show went along. In the end, only three Villains were left to be chosen as Sole Survivor.

In the end, it was Russell, Parvati and Sandra. The latter was the carry-along – the one who made it to the end because she never got in the way. Russell played the game better. Parvati played it better. Heck, many of the ones who were voted off played the game better.

I was excited about the finals.

Then the most unbelievable thing happened – America’s culture took over.

See, when I was growing up, we were taught to play hard, play fair and win. Yes, I said win. Competing was good, but it wasn’t enough.

Nowadays, we teach children that it’s okay just to compete. They don’t really have to work extra hard, they just have to show up and if they do we give them a trophy for effort.

While a trophy for every team member is fine in the early years of recreation baseball, football or whatever the sport, there comes a time when children should be taught that we play games to win. Not at all costs certainly. Not so much so that we cheat, but we play to win.

On Survivor Sunday night, the jury of those who had been voted off gave $1 million to someone who admitted her number one strategy failed. She didn’t play the game well, she just didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings while she played.

It was a sad testament to the world we live in. One that I dreaded to see and one that made sure that when Survivor starts next season, I’ll be in the other room watching House Hunters.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 332-7211.