Jan 21, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterLet's take a short quiz.
Which sports league has coaches who recently said the following:
"You have the opportunity today to rip their freaking head off and let them bleed. If I cut them with a knife, they are going to bleed red, just like you."
"There should be no reason why you all don't make other teams cry. I couldn't care less if they cry."
"Blow chunks. Blow chunks and then we're going to go."
"Today was the biggest day of my life, and I didn't meet my expectations."
"I don't care how much pain you are in. You don't quit."
"Knock him on his ass."
"If that kid comes across, I want you to put it in his helmet. You understand? I don't care if he doesn't get up."
"We're going to separate the boys from the men."
Here are your potential answers to whom these quotes can be attributed:
A. Coaches in the National Football League
B. Coaches in the NCAA
C. Coaches in the National Hockey League
D. Coaches in the Texas Youth Football Association
Any of the answers could likely be correct. That is sad enough. But these quotes are all from season one, episode one of "Friday Night Tykes," a reality show that debuted this month on the Esquire TV network.
It is the most depressing, frightening, disgusting show I have ever seen on TV.
Google it. You can watch it online.
The show is about five teams in the San Antonio 8-and 9-year-old division of the the Texas Youth Football Association.
What these kids endure should be fodder for prosecutors. It is hard to believe that parents stand there watching and, dare I say, supporting it.
At a time when the NFL is rightfully concerned about head injures, coaches on this show celebrate a helmet-to-helmet hit. They chastise children for visiting relatives during the summer and not practicing football. A coach tells us how proud they are that his team, "has a clean slate," after being penalized for recruiting violations the year before.
These kids -- it's just awful -- are 8- and 9-year-olds, many birthdays short of being men.
So, what's to learn from "Friday Night Tykes"?
The message is that we have to be vigilant and involved as parents for our kids. We have been blessed in Riverton that our youth and school sports programs are led by well-meaning, mature, and generally positive coaches and league administrators.
But there could come a day when that could change and a rogue coach conducts him or herself in a manner we know is flat wrong and inappropriate for our young "tykes." If that happens, we need to have the courage to stand and say, "That may be how it's done in Texas. But that is not the way we do it here."
The National Alliance for Youth Sports publishes a coaches code of ethics. It's worth a read (and a commitment).
Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!
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