Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Hate Football

I have a husband snoring in bed next to me, a cat curled up on my chest and yet, here I am half awake or half asleep, blogging.

I went to the last footba...er, I mean, standing game today. I drove over an hour toting my two littles with me, sat in the cold with three blankets wrapped around me to watch my son stiffly try to move his cold body onto the field in the last moments of the 4th quarter of a game that they were losing so badly there was no hope they could ever win.

It's official, I HATE FOOTBALL!!! Would I hate it less if my son played more? Maybe. But, the fact that I can't pick him out of the huddle on the field or the mass of bodies clumped after a play, makes me think.... I would still hate it. It is the stupidest sport my children have ever been involved with, and they've been in a lot of stinkin' sports.

Never, have I questioned the integrity of a sport so much as football. It has been poured down my throat like thick syrup this year how much football will aid my son in becoming a better man, make him work harder, be stronger, treat others with more respect....excuse me while I gag for a moment. How? How does football do those things? How does any sport do those things? Heck, if that's true then I'm glad Clay didn't play football! I know how much you all love him already, it would be disgusting how wonderful he'd be if he had only PLAYED FOOTBALL! And let's face it, I would never have lived up to the standards that a man who's played football would require, what woman could?

Ooooh, I think I'm having a bit of a tirade here. Here's the deal, these boys are in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. They barley know how to get dressed by themselves and I guarantee most of them are still missing their aim at the toilet. How the heck are they going to learn how to play if they stand on the sidelines freezing their little Lycra covered butts off? Oh, wait, is that part of making them better men? Teaching them patience maybe? I know it taught me a lot of patience, but I'm definitely not a better woman and I have a blog where I can complain, so there.

It shouldn't be about winning or creaming a team at this level. It should be about putting the good players in with the bad so they can all learn and teach each other (because that would be an excellent lesson in patience and encouraging one another...Right?) and get some experience. Am I off my rocker here? Does this sound ridiculous? I don't know a lick about football, but that little bit seems obvious to me. I've seen coaches take their best players out and stick in a kid that can barely catch, run or hit in soccer, basketball, baseball and volleyball, sometimes my kid is the one being taken out and sometimes they are the one being put in, I'm okay either way, because I want to see the whole team get some playing time and improve. Why is football so different?

By the time these boys are in high school they will figure out if they should continue playing football or be in the band or stick with the one sport that they have some skill. I have no problem with coaches playing their top players in high school, those kids might be trying to get a sports scholarship. But, in junior high, every kid out their should get some significant time on the field. Right? What am I missing?

I hate football. I have three sons. Football will not be leaving my life anytime soon. I hate football. But, I do love my sons and if they want to play that dad-blasted-stupid game I will be supportive. I will say, "I'm so glad you're getting involved in the STUPIDEST sport created by the ego's of overgrown boys, really son, I'm just thrilled that you want to go out there and learn to hit people, roll in the mud and crouch down like an animal, because those are all the things I've been trying to instill in you....you know, to make you a better man."

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm right there with ya' sister!
I hate....hate...hate football, and I live in NE....where it's like the ONLY thing we hae to live for.
I'm just lucky I dont have children. I do however have a nephew in high-school so I've gotten stuck several times, and no, my nephew didnt get any more "play-time" than yous sons.
I dont get it either!

Rhea said...

I have an 11 yr old boy who is playing football for the first time this fall, and it's been...interesting. He hated it at first...but now likes it a lot and may try out for the school team next year, lord help us.

He plays most of the game...as a lineman. I can't follow him half the time...he gets lost in the pileups, like you said. And, I have no idea what's going on half the time. I need a translator.

My boys have played almost all sports, and I've loved them all...this is the first one I've had no clue about, honestly. I kept having to return to the sports store to buy different pads and straps and such because I'm a total retard.

Rhea said...

BTW, did Rechelle tell you I need to get in touch with you? I don't know your email. Mine is rhea@tx.rr.com.

Email me and I'll let you know what it's about.

Lori R said...

Oh April, I'm sorry you're having a hard time with this! I used to feel the same way, but we decided to let our 8th grader have a go at it this year. All those things they promised you, I've actually seen happen...hard work, discipline, respect. I think A LOT depends on the coaching staff. I've done my share of griping (a blog helps!) but the bottom line for us is whether or not the kid in question enjoys it. As long as he's having fun, we'll keep it up.

Since I don't really get football, I spend my time at the games behind a camera, learning how to take action shots. Most of them are not of my kid, but I've learned a lot!

Alisa said...

This is the way I feel about soccer. Except at my son's age (8), it's a running, pushing, shoving, getting kicked in the groin, game. At least in football, they're not allowed to whine.
I know we all *heart* Clay and usually ignore you, but I will profess my admiration for just how good of a mom you are. Bravo for going to your son's standing games. You deserve a trophy. Or, is that too, "I'm okay, you're okay" of me?

Lori R said...

Oh, and finding your kid on the field is all about the socks. In swim, it's identifying the tan lines (because I swear once you put a swim cap and goggles on a girl you can't tell who she is anymore)!

Southern Gal said...

I know from basketball (I played & my dad's still a coach of middle schoolers) that it is unsportsmanlike to cream the other team. When you're winning so bad, you should let up! And at that age, it should be about learning sportsmanlike conduct, teamwork, & HAVING FUN! Why do these MIDDLE SCHOOL coaches (not my dad of course) get so puffy-chested as to think they have the RIGHT to boss families around?! "You MUST have your child here on a SUNDAY at NOON, or it will be YOUR fault when he doesn't play in the next game!"

And I don't hate football - I just don't care about it enough to muster up such a strong feeling. The Clemson v. Carolina game is a Big Deal in S.C. & I remember watching it with my dad once (he was freaking out), & I said, "I don't see how a bunch of 18-22 year-olds that I DON'T KNOW, throwing & kicking a ball around, has got squat to do with my life, but if it means so much to you, I'll try to care." :)

I'm sooooo glad I married a guy who's not super into dumb sports! You'll never catch him parked in front of a t.v. on "game day" watching "the game!"

Sorry for the Looooooong comment!

Jenni said...

Josh missed his last JV standing game yesterday. He stayed home because we thought he might have pink eye. Alas, it was only allergies. I am so disappointed to have missed that game last night. (It was a home game, so I would have gone.) I thought he had just one more game to go to on Thursday (JV is required to attend V games too)and then we'd be done with practices and games and move on to the next season in which we watch stinky, sweaty adolescent boys in spandex roll around on a large mat and hopefully not cause serious injury to one another. Unfortunately by some fluke our pitiful small town team made it to playoffs.

Lori Shaffer said...

You lost me at "It shouldn't be about winning..." ;-)

Maren said...

I feel your football pain! You are a very selfless mom to support their playing! My son wanted to play, but I just couldnt'.

Sheri said...

Nice rant!! I totally agree. My youngest wanted to play, but he is really on the small side and is much better at wrestling. I was so glad that he changed his mind.

cndymkr / jean said...

I've learned to hate football. My son doesn't play it, thankfully. We live across the street from the towns practice field. From August to November there is a constant stream of players, coaches and parents. It sounds like a boot camp with all the shouting, chanting, and grunting. And that's just the parents. I love our town but the football hysteria here is over the top.

Sharon said...

My husband lived for football. He was nothing like Clay. I think football destroys the things that makes Clay so special. ;) Besides, no architecture student ever had time for anything extra-curricular in college.

Linda said...

At that age, and that level, yes all the boys should be given an opportunity to play. This is the age where they can learn teamwork, discipline and respect. They can use those skills long after football. Not everyone on the team, any team, is going to have to same ability. They should be taught to work together regardless. Those are the lessons worth learning.

You are a much better mom than I am because you've actually attend all of the standing games. I made it to one, count it ONE, of my son's football games this year. Simply because I did not want to wrestle my 3-year old to get her to sit in the stands and watch. Plus I can't handle the stinky ride home with a dirty, sweaty "athlete". But I still support his decision to play and I'll try and attend more games next season.

Egghead said...

You have just said what I have felt for years. I can't tell you how many games I stood at on the side lines while my son never got to play. In his senior year he finally was able to play a little. But the point is that the game just seems like a bunch of buffoons out there trying to knock the snot out of each other. I really don't get games like this. I love basketball and soccer and even baseball but football just drives me crazy. BUT the farmer and the son are obsessed.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm..... I almost hate to say this, but........ I'm married to a football coach. (ducking head)lol My oldest son is a senior and he plays quarterback and also some running back. We play six man football. We are in a very small school with only 17 seniors this year. There are not enough boys to have an eleven man team. We LOVE football here. I love to sit on those cold bleachers wrapped in a blanket. I love to catch the mini footballs that are thrown to the fans by the cheerleaders and I love to eat messy nachos and drink Coke from a 20 oz. bottle. Most of all, I love seeing my son having a great time out there with his dad coaching him along the way. I'm sad that he's a senior and this is his last year to play, but I'm so glad I have another son who is only seven who can't wait to start playing. Football is in our blood. Oh, love your blog. :-)
RetroHousewife

Dawn said...

Me too, Me too! I hate football but am afraid to confess it--especially at school where it is assumed that all good faculty members go to the games and cheer on the team. I'd skip the pep assemblies if I could. Thanks for sharing that rant!

Betsy Bryan said...

I know this post was about football, but I couldn't stop laughing about the boys and missing their aim in the bathroom. Thanks for the laugh.

Indiana Laura said...

I was in marching band in HS and football games were only for laughing with friends. My parents always brought my little brother along to the games to watch the band. Then when little bro was in HS he played football and I took my young son along to watch those games. Now young son is 16 yrs and 6'2" and playing football (since 7th grade). He plays on JV and "stands" on Varsity. Lucky me - we got to go to TWO football games each week this fall! And now I'm taking even younger son along... he's only 5 but already talking about being a football player too. Its a vicious cycle!

However, it is so awesome to see his little boy's face light up with awe and happiness and pride when huge, hulking football players give a special wave during or after the game! It makes it all worth it! Most of those teen boys who are trying to kill the other team on the football field are the nicest, most polite and sweet young men off the field. In our case, I know the HS coach has a lot to do with it! My son will come home from practice and give me a huge bear hug and say "Coach told us to be nice to our moms - I love you mom" (Then I hide in the bathroom and cry happy tears!)

Becky said...

Oooh I am right there with ya. My son just started playing flag football this year (6, 7, 8 year olds). They don't start knocking kids down until they are 9 around here, apparently. Or should I say SUPPOSEDLY. There are a couple of kids on these pee-wee teams that I want to tackle and sit on until they cry uncle. Little hooligans! So far the whole "good sportsmanship" lesson is right out the window.

Anonymous said...

Okay, April, I know you HATE football in every way possible & yes it would help if the playing time was equal, but REMEMBER that the games are only a little slice of the pie. I know that Seth no longer wears his thigh pads on his butt & knows that he does need a belt to hold up his pants. I know that he no longer ditches his entire bag for you to clean, and I know that he knows how to run faster & work harder than he did when he began the season in August. I know that he knows that his parents aren't the only adults who yell because they love him & I know (from his coach - who happens to be my sweet husband:) that he thinks your boy has grown into a little more of a man this season. I know I happen to be a football crazy mom who has a son who doesn't love to play, but please don't bail on football after only one season. I'll guarantee that over time they are not all "standing games".

You know I love you!

Leila said...

I only had one son play football for one season and I had no idea what was going on but I was pregnant so that's my excuse.

That was in private school, so the practices and games were during the week. But what I hate about town football is that the practices are Sunday mornings.

Sorry, Sunday mornings are for church, not football!

I too hate sports where you can't tell who the players are. Even baseball is like that as far as I'm concerned...those caps...

SheSue said...

Wow, after hearing all those stories, I'm glad my son never wanted to play football. He played baseball one year and hated it, instead he became very involved in Boy Scouts. My daughter was in gymnastics. It wasn't the sport that I hated, it was the coaches. She was rude, mean, spiteful, immature and played up to her favorites. Coaches need to go through a lot more training on child development. Just my opinion.

Michele Wassell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele Wassell said...

Great post.. Not a big fan either and after 4 years photographing a few clients playing football, I still can't follow the game nor them! Its tough, but the family is awesome, so I keep photographing them every year..

ladyfi said...

I guess you're referring to American football (and not what we call football in England - i.e.soccer)? I agree with you 100% - it seems so violent. Just like the game of rugby. Hate and can't see the point of glorifying games like these...

Swede at Heart said...

I still have 2.5 years until the standing games commence. I am dreading it! I keep pushing other sports hoping he will forget about football...

MrsCoach said...

Ok, as the Coaches wife I should defend football but I frankly don't really care about the game. But let me throw a little different curve on the situation in most towns. I'm not saying this is everywhere but in the few schools we've been in it has been evident. Some of these boys don't have mother's who will watch them stand, play or be the star. Their dads are nowhere around and their siblings are step, halves and who knows. The other boys on the team are their brothers, the coaches and their families are the families they don't have. For a few hours every afternoon they are safe and secure to be young boys, to play and to enjoy their youth without worry. (other than breaking a limb or losing brain cells) There are so many of these boys who just need some attention and in our little town they get plenty of it. We feed them several meals a week, help them pay for school stuff to play and on trips, love them and listen to them. We get phone calls all hours of the night, text messages in church or other "family time" and our doors, cars and wallets are never shut to any kid who needs it. Our kids are growing up with 20 big brothers who would defend them till death. It's not about the ball on the field all the time or the winning, sometimes it's just about survival. Your boys standing on the sidelines are silently being a lifeline for many of them. Bless you for letting them be that.

Sorry for the long post.

Lori R said...

Mrs. Coach, the world needs more of you and Mr. Coach's kind! When my hubby coached water polo, we had a 16 year old player (who was already a father) over for dinner. It was the first time he had ever seen broccoli.

Suzanne said...

It's ridiculous, it's boring and many times it's just background noise as he sleeps in his La-Z-Boy.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

christfollower said...

I hate football as well. i don"t get it and never have. Your children are beautiful, if you would like to check out my blog the url is http://walkwithmyjesus.blogspot.com