Via Deadspin, a story about high school football coaches behaving very badly:
Alabama high school football coaches coming to blows after a game shouldn’t be that surprising, considering how seriously Alabama takes football in general, but that doesn’t make the incident any less ridiculous.
The key phrase above is “but that doesn’t make the incident any less ridiculous.” I don’t care how “seriously Alabama takes football in general,” these are adults being paid to coach kids. Yes, high school football is a big deal in some parts of these United States. Youth sports in general have become increasingly popular over the past 10+ years (my estimate), with major media coverage of younger and younger players. Remember the story about a 13-year-old QB committing to USC in 2010? (Here’s a follow-up on the now 17-year-old David Sills from June of 2013 if you’re interested; I admit to not actually watching the video I just linked to because I don’t really care.)
In case the above parenthetical was unclear, I’m not a fan of the excessive media coverage of youth sports. These are kids, most of whom will not go on to have professional sports careers, and they don’t benefit financially from the attention they receive unless they do manage to make it to the pro level. I am a fan of kids participating in youth sports, and I hope that the increased scrutiny of young athletes hasn’t taken away any opportunities for less talented youngsters to get on the field. For example, I was a sub-par baseball player — my first season I didn’t get a hit, although I was third on the team in walks because I quickly realized that 12-year-old pitchers don’t hit the strike zone all that often (at least they didn’t back then). By the time I stopped playing, I was good enough to start at first base and probably hit about .260 (guessing here). But I loved baseball. I was never going to be a superstar, but neither were most of my teammates. Why did I quit? Because the kids AND THE COACHES became increasingly hostile and hyper-competitive. Competitiveness can be a good thing on and off the field. But when a grown man screams and curses at a 10-year-old for striking out, that’s insane. A lack of sportsmanship from teammates doesn’t help either. This isn’t to say that everybody has to congratulate you for whiffing at an easy pitch and ending the inning with the bases loaded. But, to paraphrase Lisa Simpson, why would you come to our game just to boo (and curse at) us?
That’s why the video upsets me. It looks like a freakin’ bar bawl. I know these aren’t little kids; many high school football players are anything but little these days. It doesn’t matter. No one should behave like this, but for non-professional coaches it’s even more embarrassing.
via Alabama High School Football Coaches Get Into Postgame Brawl (Deadspin)