Jesse J. @TheShamRap
Huh? Did you really think I was going that route?
While Justin Brent’s Fall Break social media
shenanigans were an interesting filler to an otherwise
exhausting bye-week following “crabby flag-gate”,
there’s only one message to be taken from that;
Ok, now that that has been addressed, on to stuff that matters…
Playoffs? Playoffs?! We are ranked 10th and you wanna talk about playoffs?!
So we’re ranked 10th in the inaugural Playoff Committee Poll.
Did you REALLY think a close loss to Crabby Patty U
was gonna be enough to keep us in the mix for the
playoff action?! Hell no. These assholes don’t respect
And why should they? Our biggest win is a loss, and our 2nd biggest win is to Stanford, who until hopefully
this week vs. Oregon, hasn’t done us any favors with their play.
In fact, non of the teams that were supposed to give us
a chance to show our might have done us any favors
as far a S.O.S.
We can hope Louisville at least has a strong showing
We can pray that ASU crushes Utah before our showdown in Tempe.
We can half-heartedly put our hatred aside for USC,
and hope they close the season out impressively.
WE CAN WATCH AS THE REST OF THESE CONFERENCES
You may have heard how Keenan Reynolds is a
dynamic play-maker for Navy, and we should be wary.
Stop it. Right now.
I’m not gonna kill you with a page full of seamen stats,
so I’m gonna make it simple…
Navy is TERRIBLE this year.
This is not even in the same class as any Midshipmen squad we’ve faced over the last decade. Not even as good as the Navy team we beat 50-10 in Ireland to open the 2012 campaign.
This is the PERFECT game to start playing ANGRY.
I’m not even going to waste anymore time talking about Navy.
We win 56-13. Game over.
It’s not time to hit panic mode yet folks!!!
A lot of football yet to be played!
That’s my 2 cents. PEACE, I’M OUTTA HERE!
What. A. Game. To be honest I’m still pinching myself to make sure that its all real. Notre Dame absolutely embarrassed Michigan last night in prime time in front of the entire country the final scheduled meeting of the rivalry. Anytime you beat a rival its a good feeling but when you beat a rival as bad as Notre Dame beat Michigan it makes that feeling even better. The Skunkbears were completely outmatched and out coached from start to finish Saturday night. Everett Golson cemented his position on the Heisman watch list with another stellar performance, throwing for 226 yards and three touchdowns and the young Irish receiving corps once again showcased their speed against the Skunkbear defense. The offense only gained 280 total yards however having really good field position to start most of their drives can be a pretty large factor in those numbers. I guess the Skunkbears thought they were playing against the 2012 version of Golson for some reason because their defensive game plan seemed more focused in stopping the run instead of getting pressure on the quarterback. Notre Dame gladly accepted this and focused their offensive attack on the passing attack that shredded the Skunkbear defense. The Irish only rushed for 54 yards but it didn’t matter one bit and I wouldn’t be too worried about the lack of a running game. The Irish have three very good backs and they were really just playing what the defense gave them. It obviously worked.
With as good as Golson and the offense looked, the defense looked even better. Of course they pitched a shutout against a hated rival which is always awesome but they also only gave up 289 total yards and only allowed Devin Gardner to throw for 189 yards. The Irish defense was all over Gardner the entire game making him uncomfortable in the pocket and forcing four turnovers. Brian VanGorder’s new defensive scheme worked magic against the Skunkbears as they were never able to truly get anything going. And just as awesome as how well the defense played, was Brian VanGorder’s reaction to how awesome the defense played. It was truly epic.
After a game against Rice where the defensive line got very little pressure on the quarterback, the Irish defense turned up the heat putting constant pressure on Gardner making him look like a deer in the headlights. The defensive line looked fantastic and was really the key to the disruption of the Skunkbear offense and the secondary was just as vital keeping a lid on Devin Funchess and not allowing any deep passes down the field. It was just an outstanding effort all around for the entire defensive unit.
- First and foremost I have to give a huge shout out to every single fan that was at the game. The atmosphere was ELECTRIC. Myself and everyone around us stood for the entire game. When the entire stadium started chanting “Hey-Hey-Hey Goodbye” I got chills. It was awesome. Bravo fans. Bravo.
- I don’t know if its the move to the nickel position or if its the new scheme but Mathias Farley has had himself a spectacular start to the season. He was flying all over the field and making big plays. Last season fans remember him for some blown coverages and missed tackles but he has really found a spot in this defense.
- There still is not a “go-to guy” in the back field and to be honest I don’t think there will be and thats ok. Each of the last two weeks the carries have been spread out pretty evenly between the three running backs. Each of the backs has a strength and I don’t see it being a problem.
- How big was the addition of Cody Riggs in the offseason? He has been outstanding in secondary thus far this season in his coverage. Not only that but he has been very valuable in special teams as well. He had his first interception of the season last night when he beautifully jumped a route. With the recent academic investigation and the fate of KeiVarae Russell unknown, having Riggs on the roster is huge.
- Ill probably be saying this every week this season but Jaylon Smith is a BEAST. He is so fast and was making plays all over the place Saturday night. He finished the night with 10 tackles but his contribution was much larger with the amount of plays he influenced. Brian Kelly moving him to the inside this season is looking more and more like a genius idea each week.
- The defensive line played their asses off. Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day were in the backfield all night long and never allowed Devin Gardner to get in any sort of rhythm. Freshman Daniel Cage looked very impressive in his first game of major action after getting a few snaps against Rice. Kolin Hill did make his Notre Dame debut and he did not disappoint. He really reminds me of a Prince Shembo type player.
- This was the second game where the Irish played crisp and clean football. Notre Dame committed zero turnovers for the second straight week and only committed three penalties for the entire game. That kind of discipline makes it much easier to win football games.
- Welcome to the show Amir Carlise. After having an undefined role last season as he tried to find a role in the offense, he is coming into his own as a slot receiver. I cant wait to continue to watch him grow and develop. Having a dangerous slot receiver makes an offense so much more difficult to defend.
Notre Dame kicked off the 2014 season off with a 48-17 bludgeoning of the Rice Owls at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday afternoon. From start to finish the Irish were in complete control of the game and even while Rice was able to tie the game in the first quarter there was never really a doubt that the Irish would cruise to an easy and impressive victory. The offense looked very crisp with Golson back under center and even though the receiving corps came into the game with little to no experience, they preformed very well (minus a few drops). The three headed monster known as the Notre Dame backfield preformed very well with a solid performance from Bryant, Folston, and McDaniel as they amassed over 280 yards on the ground against the Rice defense. However as good as the offense looked, nothing looking better than Everett Golson. Golson accounted for five touchdowns himself including three scores on the ground and finished the day with 295 passing yards and 41 rushing yards. Even more impressive than the stats for Golson was the throws he was making. His throw to CJ Prosise near the end of the second quarter, that was a sure touchdown had Prosise not dropped it, was an absolutely beautiful pass and the following pass to Prosice that was caught for a touchdown was equally as impressive. Its evident that Golson’s time with George Whitfield was very well spent.
The defense also played well in the season opener. Jaylon Smith again showed just how good of a player he is and can continue to be. He was flying all over the field and making plays. Joe Schmidt led the team in tackles and looked very impressive against the run. While there was a lot of concern regarding the defensive line headed into the season, the unit preformed very well. Jarron Jones and Sheldon Day were able to put pressure on the quarterback and were stout in run defense. The defense gave up a total of 367 total yards however a large portion of that occurred once all the starters had left the field when the game was already won. Their performance in the first half was very encouraging and while there were some missed assignments early on, they rebounded and there is no reason to think that they wont continue to improve as the season progresses (And hopefully they get some players back at some point as well).
- It was great to finally be excited about the special teams unit. Amir Carlise, Cody Riggs, and Greg Bryant all had very good returns and were able to set up the offense the entire game. Its much easier to score when you start at the 40 yard line instead of the 20. A great change from the “Fair Catch Approach”
- Notre Dame only had two penalties the entire game for a total of 10 yards. Thats impressive in any game but even more impressive in a season opener, since teams sometimes come out a bit rusty in a game situation. I can’t remember the last time Notre Dame played that clean of a game and I really hope to see that trend continue throughout the season.
- Both Cole Luke and Cody Riggs looked very impressive yesterday. They had their receivers locked down for most of the game and looked great in coverage as well as run defense. While KeiVarae Russell is still the best corner on the roster (and one of the best in the nation) should he not be allowed to return to the team, I am very confident that Riggs and Luke can more than handle their own in the secondary.
- Speaking of the whole Russell and academic probe deal, did you notice which starter remained on the field when the second team defense came into the game in the fourth quarter? I did and found it very interesting given the entire academic suspension ordeal. Cole Luke was the only starter that stayed on the field with the second team. Now why would Brian Kelly keep that particular starter in the game when the Irish were up by so many points? It really makes me think that the staff is at least very optimistic they will be getting Russell back at some point in the future. Cole Luke was originally the backup for Russell and should Russell return, Luke will return to that spot on the depth chart. Just something that really caught my eye.
- The field turf looks absolutely amazing and I couldn’t be happier how it turned out. It does however make the temperature a lot higher than normal with the rubber that is included in the playing surface. It will be interesting to see if that effects any of the players in future home games in terms of conditioning and hydration.
- Of all three of the running backs, Greg Bryant is clearly the most talented in my opinion. He carried the ball eight times for 71 yards and one touchdown which is impressive by itself. But even more impressive was his 8.9 yards per carry statistic and that is with his longest run of the game being 17 yards. He was clearly the most impressive of the three backs Saturday and it will be interesting to see if he begins to get more carries from the staff.
It is now officially Michigan week so make sure you stay with us here at Down the Tunnel for all your Irish coverage in preparation for the showdown with the Skunkbears on Saturday night.
So by now I would assume that most of you have read at least one of the many season previews out there as the beginning of the 2014 Notre Dame Football season draws close. While I really hope you all check out our Fall Camp Primer, which you can find it HERE, there are plenty of other very good season previews out there. The amount of quality Notre Dame websites and blogs is truly amazing and really gives fans a vast amount of Notre Dame coverage. I recently was able to read ND Insider’s 2014 Season Preview Magazine powered by The South Bend Tribune and I was very pleased with the product. It was very well put together and was packed full of content.
The magazine immediately catches your eyes once you see Jaylon Smith and Everett Golson, two of the premier star players on the Irish roster, on the cover. Once you flip past a few advertisements and the table of contents you find the season predictions from Eric Hansen, Al Lesar, Tyler James, and Bob Wieneke. Not only were the regular season records predicted by the South Bend Tribune Crew, but also things like “Hottest Tangent Topic- Field Turf, Mustaches, or Publix Crab Legs?” and what game is the yearly “Trap game”. The responses are pretty funny and should play well to all the ND interwebs folks who have plenty of laughs about the typical hot sports topics.
Following the predictions, the magazine transitions to the feature articles. The first Irish player was Everett Golson. Now from when Golson was dismissed from school in the spring of 2013 to his return to to the team and preparation for the upcoming season there have been countless articles and features written about Golson and his time away from Notre Dame. However I can say without a doubt that this article written by Eric Hansen is by far the best I have read. Not only does the article contain a great account of Golsons time in San Diego with quarterback guru George Whitfield, but also the events surrounding Golson immediately following his dismissal. Hansen also sheds light just how involved Notre Dame was in the decision of Golson to train with Whitfield and how the university had the possibility to nix the entire idea. During the time that Golson was away from Notre Dame, message board posters on multiple sites would always ask site mods if there was any update on how or what Golson was doing. Now those same posters can read this fantastic piece by Hansen and know what Golson was doing during the entire time away from the University.
Immediately after Hansen’s piece on Golson, Bob Wieneke follows it up with another very well written piece on Jaylon Smith, the star sophomore linebacker. Not only does it give great insight on Smith as a football player but it also gives insight on Jaylon Smith as a player off the field. Wieneke really sheds light on the switch from outside linebacker, where Smith played his freshman season under Bob Diaco, to inside linebacker this season under new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. The piece does a great job shedding light on Smiths work during the off-season training at AWP Sports Performance and his preparation for his much anticipated sophomore season in a new scheme.
Eric Hansen finishes off the feature article section with two well written and very informative articles on new defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder and Brian Kelly and how he is approaching his fifth season with a new perspective along with bits of advise from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Also you can find out what Brian Kelly does and does not like about the recruiting process and what coaching decision he would change from his first 4 seasons at Notre Dame.
Following the feature articles, the magazine goes into an in depth analysis of each position on the Irish roster including position battles, depth chart, and players to watch in each group. Its a great section to read as this years team is missing a lot of big names that Irish fans have been accustomed to seeing the past few years. I really enjoyed the Linebacker Analysis section and how it described Brian Van Gorders history with linebackers, how he uses them in his scheme, and the experience from the NFL that he brings to South Bend.
With a new football season always comes a new batch of players and for those who dont follow recruiting very closely throughout the year it can be difficult to learn all the new names and faces. Dont worry though because ND Insider and the boys at South Bend Tribune have you covered. They put together freshman profiles on each new addition to the Irish roster this season complete with rankings from various recruiting sites, fun facts, when they knew they were going to commit to Notre Dame, and who the hardest school/coach it was to say no too. It really gives the fans a good look into the new batch of the players that will suit up for the Irish this season. The magazine also looks at which incoming freshman have the best chance to excel and look at the “It” factor they bring to campus.
Finally Tyler James, the recruiting writer for the South Bend Tribune, gives fans an inside picture into what happens on campus on official visit weekends on campus complete with an itinerary of events. Not only that but Tyler really paints the picture of just how much planning goes into the big official visit weekends that most fans never see or would never even know would go on behind the scenes. Tyler provides some first hand experiences from current Irish player KeiVarae Russel and what occurred during his official visit to Notre Dame.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading ND Insiders Season Preview Magazine. It provided great insight into this years squad, the expectations, and some of the key players that will ultimately decide the success of this years team. The magazine did an outstanding job of not only focusing on the overall season preview but also the in depth analysis of the position groups, the new coaching additions as well as a good look into the world of recruiting for Notre Dame Football.
I really recommend that you purchase the ND Insiders Season Preview Magazine. You will not regret the decision. If you do want to get your own copy you can order either a printed copy or an iPad version at the South Bend Tribune website. The printed version is $12.95, which includes shipping, and the iPad version can be downloaded from the App Store. I really hope you guys will consider purchasing this outstanding preview. Its more than worth it.
You can purchase the printed version at https://www2.southbendtribune.com/ndannual/index.php
You can purchase the iPad version at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notre-dame-football-preview/id890206389?mt=8
It seems as if the yearly off season tradition of losing a player will continue this year. According to reports, Notre Dame running back/wide receiver Will Mahone was arrested on Sunday in Mahoning County, Ohio on multiple charges that include assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, vandalism, and disorderly conduct. News of a Irish football player having “off the field” trouble began circulating earlier today and now we know who that player is.
Mahone was a member of the 2012 recruiting class but has been limited with injuries and has not seen much playing time. Last season, the Irish coaching staff moved Mahone from running back to wide receiver to see if he could contribute elsewhere with a logjam of talent at the running back position however that never was able to pan out. The University of Notre Dame has yet to comment on the incident and the ramifications Mahone will face, however it seems that his football career at Notre Dame may be in jeopardy.
The arrest record can be found here: http://pii.mahoningcountyoh.gov/(S(0pzeta55ymm5c355mtx4xd55))/Booking.aspx
Notre Dame announced today that Notre Dame Football Wide Receiver Davaris Daniels and Notre Dame Basketball Star Jerian Grant have both been readmitted to the University after serving suspensions during the Spring Semester of 2014. Daniels was placed on academic suspension following a substandard GPA while Grant was suspended for an incident similar to that that got recently reinstated quarterback Everett Golson suspended for the 2013 football season.
The return of Daniels immediately upgrades the Irish receiving corps. Other than Daniels the only other receiver that that caught a pass from Everett Golson was Chris Brown during the 2012 season. Having Daniels returning back to the receiving corps adds some much needed experience in a group that is very talented but young and inexperienced. In addition to added experience, Daniels becomes a big play threat in the passing game that will finally have a mobile quarterback under center since Golson’s suspension.
Jerian Grant’s return to the basketball team is big news for Irish hoops. After his dismissal in the middle of this past season, the team struggled mightily in all aspects of the game and their record showed because of it. Grant will immediately add a much needed influx into the offense and should bring back some athletic play on the defense.
2013, could you come here for a moment? (pours two glasses of whiskey).
Oh, I see you’re already out the door. Well, you might want to sit down. I’m just going to come out and say it: It’s over. We both know it’s been over for a little while now, but we should make it official. To be fair, there were warning signs well before now…
When we first met, I was filled with anticipation and expectation that you could be the one. That quickly evaporated. We took that trip to Miami together. What a magical time it was to be. Yet there on the beach you left me our final night in the city. Went running off with that southern, inbred hick. I heard there was champagne and celebration, but I didn’t stay around to find out. I went off, got drunk with some of the guys, and I forgave you…
After all, the flirting period the Fall before had been incredible. Every Saturday you’d found a new way to tease me. To make me feel special. Eventually there was no denying that you and I were going to meet. The stars were going to align and we’d be meant for one another. In December of 2012 I heard the rumors you were too good to be true. I quickly dismissed it though. “Just jealousy from those that hate me,” I said.
Screw them all! 2013, you and I were going to prove them wrong. Miami wasn’t what it could have been, but we were alright. Then, the bombshell hit. It turned out parts of you were too good to be true. You took away my heart, my purity, my moral compass. I was speechless. People mocked me for even thinking you could be the one. Okay, so you weren’t perfect, but still….I was intoxicated from the Fall of 2012. I could also have still been feeling the buzz from Miami.
(pours another glass of Whiskey)
There were other warning signs. Not too soon after some of your imperfections came to light, I noticed that folks started to run away. I searched for the reason and found solace in their reasons. Turned out one guy I really liked had family commitments that couldn’t be ignored. Another knew that you weren’t going to belong to him and sought greener pastures. I wrote them off too; flawed in their logic that you couldn’t be the one. Not only that, but in early February you brought me that litter of puppies. You showed me their elite pedigree and said raising them together would bring us closer. You said we’d be able to enjoy them for years to come and to just have some faith.
I did have faith. I believed you. Then I found out that you’d had other indiscretions during 2012. That part of what made you alluring then, and tangible now, was going away. No, you didn’t cheat on me with another man, but you cheated on me mentally. That creative spark that I so admired may not be quite as bright as I thought. My god, everything was just crumbling around us. I respect that you came clean about that. You’d said you were going to re-dedicate yourself and comeback stronger, better than ever. By this point, I wasn’t entirely ready to wait around, but what else could be done? You’d built me up, raised my expectations, and I needed to be the bigger man and stick by you during these times. My faith would be rewarded.
Right around that same time, one of the puppies ran away. This made me sad, but given everything else that happened it didn’t seem quite as bad. I mean, I hadn’t had an opportunity to know him yet. He was still just a puppy. I thought you and I had done our best to give him a good home, had treated him well, and if he was still too dumb to realize that, then I just hoped he’d find a good home. Far, far away where I didn’t have to be reminded that he’d left us.
As the late Summer/early Fall came around, I felt a renewed sense of excitement. Some of it didn’t directly have to do with you but still brought back fond memories. There was that magical trip out of the country I took when you were but a fantasy. When I thought back to that, I wondered if there was still a chance for us. After all, that trip was great, but it’s not like I’d had major expectations back then either.
Oh yeah, I was also less than thrilled with the idea of your sometimes annoying friend returning to our relationship. She’d been alright in small doses while we were flirting, but I never wanted her to be around continuously. This is something I never felt the need to tell you before now, but I knew your friend before I knew you. There’d been far too many Saturdays where she’d showed up and done something so embarrassing that everyone I was with reverted to drinking and making fun of her. It’s moot now but just thought you should know.
It wasn’t that the Fall was bad. It’s just that it missed the magic from a year ago that was so exciting. No longer were we destined for one another. We were in a rut. You knew it. I knew it, and there didn’t appear to be much that could be done to cure it. By this point, I knew it was just a matter of time before you and I were finished. I didn’t say it then because the timing wasn’t right. Deep down inside, I have to believe you knew it too. We found things to blame our problems on, but they all rang hollow. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right, and I think we both know that was the case here.
Hell, since I’m being truly honest anyways, your friend wasn’t even that bad. I even came to appreciate some of the moments she’d been there for. Sure, I’d rather she not have been, but given everything, it wasn’t her that harmed us. I came to like her flaws. Oh how I remember those late nights where we’d stay up late, look at one another, and break out laughing about the things that’d gone wrong that night. It was awkward. Our laughter was fueled by nervousness and discomfort, but sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.
The final straw came this last December. Our time was running short. We scheduled a trip to New York together, but there wasn’t any situation under which that could honestly be seen as a chance for reconciliation. Under the best of circumstances, I knew I just wouldn’t loathe you. Your buddy the matchmaker even left you. Don’t look at me like you don’t know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the one, I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, that had that head of hair and believed in vampires. He was hilariously awkward and had helped provide some of the most memorable moments from that 2012 flirting period. I knew if he was ready to leave, there was nothing more to be done. Only thing left was to wait until after the holidays…
Sooo….here we are. You and I. I wish I could say “it wasn’t you, it was me,” but that’s disingenuous. It was you. I’d have given you anything. My heart, my money, it didn’t matter. You just callously stomped on it. What could have been our best moment was ruined by that stupid southern hick down in Miami.
And that’s where I need to confess something to you. By chance, I found out there’s someone new out there for me: 2014. She’s promised to bring back the energy and creative spark that you cast off. Even better, I’ve heard she’s already stomped on that southern asshole you thought was better than me. No, I don’t know that much about her, but the mystery is part of the allure. All of the things that made you special, she’s now got. Fact is, you’re past your prime. In case you didn’t notice, you’re kind of a loner nowadays. Most everyone’s already moved on, I’m just joining the crowd. In a brief conversation, 2014 told me that you weren’t even that special to the southerner. Apparently, you were just a notch on his belt. That’s all I needed to hear to make this final.
While you won’t be remembered for all the great times, I should thank you. I’m confident that when I do find the one I’ll appreciate her even more. Hopefully 2014 can be that one…
(glasses up for a cheers to the new adventure)
High school football is one of the staples of life in the state of Texas. I have never been there myself but I know many people who have lived there and they all say the same thing. High school football is king. Some of the best prep football players in the nation play in the state of Texas. Its a prime recruiting ground for college football programs from the SEC, PAC-12, ACC, Big-12, and of course Notre Dame. As popular as high school football is however its not very often that a high school football game makes national news but that’s exactly what happened this week.
Last Friday deep in the heart of Texas, Aledo High School beat Fort Worth Western Hills 91-0. No that’s not a typo, the score was actually 91-0. That in and out of itself is remarkable but the real cause for the story is what happened after the game. After Western Hills was finished getting their asses handed to them one parent decided to do what all high school kids have nightmares about. The father of a player from Western Hills actually filed a formal complaint through the school against Aledo High School Head Football Coach Tim Buchanan, saying that the ass whooping that he just witnessed was bullying. The father who chose to remain anonymous was quoted by a local news station saying, “My son plays for Western Hills Football Team. On Friday night we all witnessed bullying first hand. It was not a pretty sight.” I bet it wasn’t anonymous dad from Texas. It cant be fun watching your sons team get the snot beat out of them on the football field but to call it bullying is a complete joke. It is not Aledo High School nor the head coaches fault that your son’s team sucks pop’s. Lets take a deeper look at this claim of bullying and show why is complete crap.
Coming into their game against Aledo, Western Hills had only 30 players on the depth chart. That’s right I said 30. To put this in perspective USC, who has been dealing with sanctions and scholarship losses due to the fact that they are cheating bastards, only had 48 scholarship players available to play against the Irish this past week. Having 30 players is just ridiculous. How the school allows a team to be fielded with just 30 players is just irresponsible but that’s another argument for another time. Another mind blowing stat is that the starting running back only touched the ball for Aledo five times. Three of those times however were for a touchdown. Aldeo was up 56-0 at the half. The game was already over and after the half it was only the 3rd a 4th string players that took the field for Aledo and yet they still scored 35 more points. This coach did everything he could to limit the score other than just lay down and stop playing all together. Here is what I really don’t understand. What the hell did this complaining father expect the Aledo head coach to do? He was playing 3rd and 4th string players for over half of the game. Did this father expect the coach to tell his bench players to stop trying? Did he expect them to just lay down and quit? Apparently that’s exactly what this father wanted Coach Buchanan to do and I give props to coach for not having his players quitting. Here is why.
I remember when I was in high school playing high school sports. I went to a pretty well known Catholic High School in Atlanta that is pretty damn good at its sports. I was primarily a golfer but since I loved football I wanted to play at least one year to enjoy the experience and all that. Im not afraid to admit this but I was god awful. I mean really really bad. If there was something past the 4th string that was me. The water boy was probably better than me. I barely even played JV ball let alone sniff the field for the Varsity games. But there was one time I actually got to get on the field for a Varsity game and it was in a similar situation to this game in Texas. Our team was up by so many points I cant even remember and the coach was brave enough to throw me in as a corner back. Words can not describe how excited I was to be on that field in front of my family and friends. I didn’t care what the score was. All I wanted to do was hit someone. Somehow I actually got credit for a tackle when the opposing running back bowled me over and I hung on for dear life as we both fell to the turf. I can only believe that the 3rd and 4th string players for Aledo High School felt the same way. No way they were going to lay down and not try in one of their few chances to step foot on the football field. And good for them.
I would love to say that this an isolated incident. That crazy people like this are not all over the country. I cant say that. This incident is just another that has many of us wondering, “What the hell is going on in America these days?”. Its an epidemic of handouts in youth sports. We live in a time when all participants get a trophy even if they didn’t earn one, when all participants are praised for being mediocre. This madness needs to stop. Sports are a competition. There is a winner and a loser. Losing is supposed to hurt. Its supposed to make you feel like crap. Its supposed to make you want to get better so you never have to feel the feeling of losing ever again. This is especially true in youth sports. Children and young adults are at the ages where they are impressionable and are learning valuable life lessons that will help them succeed in life. What message does this behavior send to kids? That its ok to be mediocre because someone will always be there to give you something anyway? This type of behavior is setting kids across America up for failure. The real world after high school or college is really really hard. Its a dog eat dog word. Only the strong survive. Competition is everywhere and if your not prepared for it the real world will eat you alive. Getting a job is hard. Hell, sometimes even getting an interview is hard depending what your trying to do. Not only is this type of behavior ruining youth sports, but also setting up the youth of America for failure.
Fortunately the local school district found no evidence of bullying and the matter is closed. But the real issue is that it was a matter at all. There is plenty of bullying going on in schools around the country and its a large issue. But watching your son’s team get pummeled on the football team is not bullying. So anonymous Texas dad, instead of trying to claim bullying because your sons team is awful, maybe you should try to help them get better instead of looking for a scapegoat. As always this is just my opinion and you are free to disagree with it. What do you think?