Mud throwing is not a team sport

Before we begin let’s take a look at some basic definitions.  First, what is MUD?  According to, MUD can be described as a wet soft earth or earthy matter, as on the ground after rain, at the bottom of a pond, or along the banks of a river.  I think we can all agree on that one.  They also suggest a more informal definition; “Scandalous or malicious assentation’s or information”.  An example of this might be,  “The opposition threw a lot of mud at the candidate”.

Secondly, what is a team? The simple definition (for the purpose of this article) can be stated as “A number of persons asmud throwingsociated in some joint action to perform a task”.  Many of us think of teams as related to sporting events. But teams can also be a group of individuals that are part of a group or organization that have a common goal or task to complete.  At your place of work you might refer to your coworkers as a team.  Other teams can be your study groups when taking college courses, or even members of clubs you belong to.   As a matter of fact, as members of the ARA of NJ, we can be considered a team.  We are all associated with each other and we do have common tasks, such as the success of our industry, promoting standards, educating our potential customers and future rental entrepreneurs.

Speaking of sports, I read in the Wall Street Journal recently an article comparing the careers of David Wright and Derek Jeter.  For those of you who are baseball fans, I’m sure you are aware of these two NY stars.   For those of you that are not, just bear with me for a moment.

If you look on paper at the statistics of these players they are pretty similar, but the big difference over their careers is that Derek Jeter has been a member of the very successful NY Yankees while David Wright has been a team player for the not so successful NY Mets.  Now what if the situation was reversed?  Do you think we might see each player a little differently?  The obvious answer is yes.  Although both players have great individual stats, the success of the entire team makes the difference.  Although you can be thought of as a great superstar, the bottom line is you will be judged and remembered favorably on the success of your team.

One common trait both these players share is they are representatives of their respective teams.  If you notice at press appearances they each play down their individual accomplishments and speak highly of their team accomplishments.  This, to me, is a sign of a “class act”.  You can be sure if either of these players started throwing MUD, (see informal definition above) the press and the fans would be all over them.   We can list many sports figures in various sports that have learned this the hard way.   How many athletes have had their careers cut short when they take up MUD throwing?   Although they might think it hurts the person they are aiming it at, in the long run, it will come back and only hurt the one throwing it.

I consider myself fortunate that I can work with many members of the ARA of NJ. I consider these people players on my team, not only on large events, but also for advice and suggestions on everything from products on the market to specifics on venues and events we all commonly do.  As team players, we respect each other and keep communication channels open.  Throwing MUD is not even an option.  Our respect for the rental industry and its success is the glue that binds us together.  Much like David Wright and Derek Jeter, we represent our Association and the Rental Industry.  For those of us that have been in the industry for many years, we have developed a bond that keeps us not only as friendly competition but as team members we can count on.

For those of us in this Industry and any other Industry or sport that think MUD throwing will make them a better person, I believe they should do some soul searching.  When the day is over, and you are alone each of us needs to look himself or herself in the mirror and say: “Am I proud of who I am and what I did today”.

There is no sport that I am aware of that tolerates MUD throwing or encourages it.  Even politicians have learned that it doesn’t get votes.  The most successful individuals and companies have learned that teamwork is the key to success.

Growing up, my grandfather told me often “If you have nothing nice to say about somebody, don’t say anything at all”.   Many family dinners and gatherings he was very quiet.   I assume he had his reasons.  The point though is well taken and understood.

We have all made choices in our lives and have chosen careers that suit us.  I would think that we should all respect each other not just for our own personal satisfaction but for the good of our industry.  The next time you feel like throwing some MUD, step back and think of the consequences.  Mud throwing is not a team sport. That is clear as day and NIGHT.


Baggy Pants leads to arrest but not flip flops.

Recently a story of a 20 year old college student who was arrested in San Francisco on June 16th for not pulling his pants up while boarding a plane caught the media attention. Apparently, Deshon Marman was told by a customer service agent to pull up his low-slung pants as he boarded a Phoenix-bound flight at San Francisco International Airport. He refused and was again asked by another flight attendant as he was boarding the plane. He again refused. It was at that point that the pilot placed Mr. Marman under citizen’s arrest.  I guess a pilot could do that.  I sort of like that idea.  Well to make a long story short he has arrested and held with bail set at $10,000.  He has since been released, but the story is far from over.

In the news now is the family’s plan to sue the airlines, the police department, and the city of San Francisco for racial discrimination. Give me a break!  Talk about a waste of tax payer dollars and court time. This case has nothing to do with racial discrimination.   This is simply a matter of RESPECT.  That’s right, spell it! R-E-S-P-E-C-T.! All of this could have been avoided, if Mr. Marman would have simply pulled his pants up out of respect for the other passengers who were also on that flight.

Not too long ago, I remember my parents placing my brother and me on an airplane to go visit our grandparents dressed in sport jackets and dress pants. There was a day when airline travel was considered an important social event. Over the years the dress codes have become more relaxed for both travelers and airline crews.  What hasn’t changed and should never change is respect in public places.  Airlines are entitled to have dress codes and they are also entitled to enforce them.  The airline was following correct procedure.   Mr. Marman was just being disrespectful. END of STORY.

It does not matter what nationality, religion or color Mr. Marman is, the airline was right in their actions.   I RESPECT the airline for its decision.  Rules and regulations are part of our daily life.  I agree, some are not good but they are put there for a reason.   When there is a regulation or a rule that you are not comfortable with, there are better ways to disagree than with pure defiance.   By refusing to pull his pants up, Mr. Marman was not showing any maturity.  Maybe Mr. Marman should have “tweeted” or “blogged” his discontent with the rule and regulation and then presented his case to the airline at another time. This is how change comes.

For years I have been traveling to a time share in the Caribbean with my wife for our vacation.  One of the rules is, men have to wear long pants, collared shirts and shoes at dinner.  At first I found this to be a hassle. It involved extra packing and it really cramped my style of dress.  I would have preferred shorts, t-shirt and flip flops.  After a few years of this routine, I actually got to the point of looking forward to dressing up.  I enjoyed the experience of shopping prior to the vacation and planning out what I was going to wear.  The rule was enforced, although I never witnessed a citizens arrest by the hotel staff.

This week I just received my Island newsletter and guess what! As of July 1st, the dress code is being relaxed and now men will be allowed to wear shorts at dinner, although no jean cutoffs (does anybody wear them anymore?).  Casual shirts and open shoes will now also be permitted.  Believe it or not, I’m sort of bummed out about this.  I wonder what happened. I guess several guests decided to write letters, tweet, blog and send emails to the resort voicing their opinion on the dress code.  I never once witnessed a guest refuse to take his shorts off at dinner.  I also believe as new generations of guest and hotel staff arrived they brought with them new styles and trends.   As they say change is inevitable.   I think when the day comes that baggy pants down to your knees are allowed during dinner at our time share, it might be time for me to search out a new island.

So Mr. Marman, I hope you reconsider your lawsuit and just grow up a little bit.  I suggest you invest some time in learning proper manners and learning to respect the feelings of others.  If you want to wear your pants down to your knee, for now you will not be welcomed at my time share.


Steve Kohn

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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