MILWAUKEE -- The top basketball plays include a lot of dunks -- so the impressionable kids who are able will spend a great deal of time above the rim. Consequently, few grow up with the necessary skills to make a midrange jumper . . . much less a free throw.
The top baseball plays show a lot of home runs, so children, large and small, swing from the heels. Accordingly, not enough move on with the ability to lay down a bunt, much less go the other way.
And don't get us started on all the creative ways to celebrate the mundane that eventually show up on the playground.
But while we're lamenting the erosion of fundamentals, the spread of excessive showmanship and the role ESPN and others may or may not play, there was a piece of sports programming from Wednesday night that moms and dads need to show their boys and girls for as long as YouTube and its ilk choose to air it.
With 26 batters down and one out to go, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers lost a perfect game on an umpire's blown call.
So what did he do? Mope or go into a funk? Scream, rant, rave and go after first base umpire Jim Joyce like Serena Williams tearing into that poor woman working the '09 U.S. Open lines?
No, Armando Galarraga smiled.
He smiled and went about finishing his job as if one of baseball's most rare and precious accomplishments had not been so unjustly snatched from his grasp.
Galarraga exuded dignity. He radiated serenity. He was the epitome of class.
Now there's a lesson worth a million times more than a Michael Jordan highlight-reel dunk, or a replay of Corey Hart's third-deck homer or another stale showing of the Brewers' bowling-pin shtick.
Maybe a rare child will grow up with the physical skills to take off from the free-throw line and dunk, or hit a baseball 450 feet, or run for a touchdown and then pull a writing tool from whatever pads football players will be wearing in the future and sign the ball in front of the cameras.
But how many more children could grow up showing what Hemingway and Churchill talked about -- the capacity for grace under pressure?
Even the day after the stunning mistake, Galarraga had perfect-game stuff.
He was spot-on in his response to a Detroit radio station on whether baseball should adopt full-scale instant replay because of his situation. "No," he told WJR. "Baseball is a slow game; they start doing that kind of stuff, it will make it slower. . . . We're all human. . . . Nobody is perfect."
Even if Galarraga should've been perfect, he didn't blame Joyce. Joyce, too, was gracious in admitting his mistake to the young Detroit pitcher. As bad as the situation was, it became, in a way, a redemptive night for baseball.
Yes, it would make sense for Bud Selig to use his powers to restore Galarraga's perfect game, because that would be the right thing to do for history's sake. But similar to CC Sabathia's no-hitter for the Brewers -- lost two years ago on an official scorer's ruling -- the moment is gone forever for Galarraga and everyone in the stadium that night. The commissioner could apply his eraser, but the moment of great achievement can never be recaptured.
That seems OK by Galarraga, whose role-model message remains 27-up-27-down perfect.
Only a select few could ever be like Mike.
But practically everyone could be like Armando if they chose to be. And what a world it would be.