Ken Belson, writing for the New York Times, brings us an infuriating story entitled Pee Wee Football Game With Concussions Brings Penalties for Adults.
It was a peewee football game in central Massachusetts where five prepubescent kids got concussions in the course of a single game. Two got hit so hard on the first play that they were pulled from the field. These are kids as young as 10 years old and five of them were diagnosed with concussions. The winning coach blamed the losing coach for not coming to him and forfeiting during the course of a game.
I’m not one for treating kids as delicate flowers, but when the coaches allow the game to proceed in a way that five kids get concussions in a 52 – 0 blowout, the coaches are no longer teaching the kids anything of value. I don’t know if their dads didn’t love them enough or what; but at that point, the coaches are compensating for some deficiency in their own lives.
It’s not the Super Bowl. You’re out there to encourage the kids to get some exercise, learn the value of team work, learn to compete, develop your motor skills. Maybe the coaches would say this incident falls under the category of “learning to compete” but based on the score and the number of injuries, it wasn’t a competition, it was just one group of kids under the supervision of adults delivering a beating to another group of kids directed to receive the beating by another group of adults.
And now five of the kids have sustained head injuries that have at least the potential of affecting them negatively for the rest of their lives. Hell of a way to spend a Saturday afternoon.