I know you’ve all heard about the Texas Pee Wee football brawl between angry coaches and parents. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out below.
OK. I know every newspaper columnist and blogger has condemned this incident and the coaches/parents involved. But as usual dear readers, I’m here to offer you a different take on things.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think this melee was such a bad thing. Here’s why:
Football is a violent sport. That’s why you need pads and helmets. You can couch it any way you want, but the end goal is to flatten the other team and wrestle them to the ground until they relent. As a player these kids need to learn from an early age that you have to be willing to do anything to win. So when these coaches got into a fistfight, it was a positive message to the players that even after the whistle blows, you have to keep fighting. Even if the other guy has his back turned.
It is never too young to realize the value of winning and the shame of defeat. After all, this is Pee Wee football dammit. Can you even comprehend what’s at stake? These kids are almost teenagers. If they don’t learn a win-at-all-costs mentality now they’ll be doomed forever. Sure this was just a regular season game played by a bunch of kids who haven’t even hit puberty yet, but that’s not the point. You play to win the game. And if your coaches can beat up the other coaching staff in the process, all the better.
Sportsmanship. Everyone is pointing to this brawl as an example of poor sportsmanship, and I agree. Case in point, if you look at the video you’ll see one of the young players run over and desperately try to separate two grown men trying to kill each other. What the hell does that kid think he’s doing? Football is a sport full of gladiators battling to determine a winner. By trying to snuff out that competitive spirit and interfere with his coaches, that young man displayed some truly weak and troubling behavior. If anyone should be suspended, I think that young man is first in line.
When the punishments were handed down, I felt it was a mixed bag. Unfortunately one poor coach was suspended for life, all for the meager offense of sucker punching another man in the back of the head when he wasn’t looking. Some call it a cheap shot, I say it’s gaining a competitive advantage.
But at least they got it right when they suspended both teams from competing in the playoffs. That’s the right call. I think it’s essential these young kids be punished for the actions of their coaches. It doesn’t matter that the kids did nothing wrong. What’s important is they suffer for the sins of grown men who made the decision to duke it out on the gridiron, in front of a few dozen impressionable young men who look up to them as role models.
Long live youth sports.
*** DISCLAIMER: Even though this should go without saying, the above was sarcasm. I know there are always some poor souls out there who couldn’t recognize tongue-in-cheek if said tongue was tickling their special no-no place, but rest assured I’m being sarcastic.