I’m in hardcore need of starting on this screenplay, but I have a lot of other stuff to say.

Starting with this:

Here’s something I like.  It was announced yesterday (and made the news -though not exactly headlines- nationwide) that the University of Tennessee in Knoxville has hired former Strong Safety for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Pittsburg Steelers, Andre Lott,  as their very own…get this…

“Character Coach”…

Andre Lott's got character!

Someone to “build character” in the players, and “guide personal growth of the players.”  Are the coaching staff at UT really concerned with the well being of their athletes, or do you think this may have something to do with the athletes having a sudden urge to commit armed robbery as of late?

But let’s be real.  Sports are wholesome, right?  Right?  Well, partially.  And the part I’m talking about is the father throwing the baseball in the back yard with his son or daughter.  Heck, even that’s not entirely wholesome a lot of the time, as I’ve noticed from being on the outside looking in, even though it’s a harmless game of catch and throw in the kid’s eyes, his father is thinking the entire time that this kid will be a sports legend.  Maybe dad was the big jock in high school.  And we stop right there.  High school is a different story.  We’ll get to that one later.

Dad signs his kid up in the little league teams (no matter the sport, we’ll use baseball as this example).  But guess what, Ol’ Junior isn’t as good as dad thought he was going to be.  He’s having a great time, but he’s striking out, he’s throwing the ball in the wrong places, he walked to the other team’s dugout.  Dad is embarrassed, and you can bet there will be an ass chewing in the car.  The pressure is on as junior’s practices seem a little harder all of the sudden and he can’t talk to his dad without talking about baseball.  Before you know it, baseball is no longer an interest to the boy but he still does them anyway because dad tells him that’s what he’s to do.  But sports are wholesome.

These guys do not

As the summer draws to an end, junior straps his shoulder pads on and heads out onto the field for his first day of middle school football practice.  The pressure is on again, though, and it’s not just coming from his dad.  The competition is tighter, coaches are tougher, the introduction of cuss words from coaches have been made, it’s suddenly all about winning, you’re not popular at school unless you’re on the team, and he and his friend’s dads are chewing the referees out because both kids cost their team a total of 15 penalty yards.  His family is embarrassing, none of his REAL friends are on the team, he’s not having fun anymore.  But he keeps doing it because that’s what his parents want, that’s what his peers want and he doesn’t want to let anyone down.  And sports are wholesome.

In high school, little (but a very sexy 16) Suzy walks out of the gym after a basketball game.  Her mother punched another lady and called her a “bitch” because she said “that Suzy girl needs to sit out for a while.”  This is the 4th game in a row where she hasn’t gotten to play the position she wanted to play in because her competition’s mom makes frequent donations to the booster club.  Earlier in the year the coach told them they had may as well not come back if they plan on going on vacation during spring break with their parents because there would be practice and a missed practice means you’re off the team.  Suzy did as she was told and missed possibly the last vacation she’d ever take with her parents and grandparents together.  All sports are wholesome.

Some of this stuff happened to me.  And while a lot of it did not, actually, I was unfortunate enough to see it happen to several of my team mates.  I played football for 9 years, 2 of which I actually enjoyed.  I quit playing halfway through my senior year of high school because I was finally old enough (and man enough) to see through the bullshit and stop right there.  I won’t say that sports won’t do anything for you, but what they will do for you is barely useful, at best.  Here’s what I learned from playing football that I can apply to my current life:  1)  I can tell my wife what’s going on when we watch football games on TV   2)  I know enough about the game to be able to pick out fools at the bar who talk shit but never played before  3)  Coach Hastings taught me that if you think too much, you’re gonna screw something up.  Aaaaand that’s it.  Unless you count:  1)  playing sports will ensure that the principal of your school will know your name (he will promptly forget it the week after you quit, however)  2)  if you have the money, your son will play whatever position you want him to, regardless if he gets beaten up every day at practice  3)  Playing sports really helps if you’re out to play the popularity game, however, unless you get a sports scholarship in college, you had better hope that you can get a job at your dad’s dealership right out of high school because the popularity game doesn’t really work in college  4)  sports, are far…FAR from wholesome.

Of course, I may be wrong.  But it appears to me that those values that we’re teaching our kids through sports must not be as good as we had once thought.  Ya know, since we have to have a character coach in college.

I don’t care what your dad says, I don’t care what your church says, I don’t care what ESPN says, sports are not wholesome.  If they were, Tennessee wouldn’t have a “character coach” and there wouldn’t be an NBA.

If you’re a parent and your kid truly wants to play sports, let them.  If they want to quit, let them.  If they want to be in the band, let them.  Being a sports jock and being popular isn’t wanted by everyone.  It’s not even admired by many.

Just take it from me, your character coach.

//The punk who was hosting this image decided it was time to not allow people to hotlink to their images.  Anyway, it was a graphic of a UT football helmet with the T replaced by an Uzi…

Enjoy today’s haiku:

I’ve decided that
Football was a big mistake
15 years too late!

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