Thursday, December 10th, 2009

High School Football Whiners Are Destroying America, by Tom Scocca

LIKE THISFrom time to time, The Awl offers its space to normal, everyday people with a perspective on national issues. Today, we're pleased to bring you this report by Tom Scocca, who at this time has some thoughts about high school football.

Hurry up and enjoy your rugged NFL action while you can, America! Also your willing soldiers and what's left of your competent builders, hard-working truckers, and anyone else who applies guts and effort to get through adversity. The Washington Post brings a report from the high school football fields where the character of the next American generation is being molded-or rather, not molded, because who wants to play around in icky, squishy mud?

"People say football is a game that is supposed to be played in all conditions," said Lake Braddock Coach Jim Poythress, who has been on every side of the discussion thus far this postseason as his team prepares for Saturday's Division 6 title game against Thomas Dale of Richmond. "But in the NFL, fields drain, they're not used by everybody and their brother and it's covered. In high school, it becomes a big puddle, used by everybody."

And so athletic officials snivel that it's just not fair that the youth of Virginia should splash around in a puddle during the football playoffs. (The Post tries, unconvincingly, to drag neighboring Maryland into the story, but the real whiners are all below the Potomac.) So what if the weather in playoff season is naturally cold and wet and nasty? Why should teams play their games at home in front of their regular fans, on the natural surfaces where they've played all year, when a clean, artificial surface can be found somewhere?

The most pathetic voice in the story belongs to Jim Manchester, the sore-loser athletic director (athletic director?) of Massaponax, which lost 23-20 to Stone Bridge on a muddy field:

"That was inexcusable to let that game be played at the mud bowl," said Massaponax athletic director Jim Manchester, who has tried contacting Virginia High School League officials to voice his complaints and try to change policies for next year. "I told them I would not ever play a game under this field condition. The field was just horrible, it should never have been played on."

Manchester's Massaponax team, the Post reports, "lost four fumbles" in the slop. That's one way of saying it. Or you could say that Stone Bridge, playing in the same conditions, took it away four times-including on one play in which "a kick returner dropped the ball and was unable to locate it in the chocolaty mud." Well, Stone Bridge didn't have any trouble finding that ball, did it? But why talk about winners and what they did to win, when there's a loser crying about being victimized?

Hey, Virginia: sometimes it rains! It rained on the Argonne. It rained on Okinawa. It rained on the Eagles and Rams in '49. Stop yelping and hand off to the fullback, like football-playing Americans have been doing for more than a century. If your boys can't handle being out in the weather, why stop at artificial turf? They still might get cold, right? Maybe Massaponax can play next season indoors, in Madden. With gloves, so they don't chafe their fingers on the controller buttons.

Tom Scocca has had it up to here with you kids.

21 Comments / Post A Comment

barnhouse (#1,326)

This reminds me of Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure.

mathnet (#27)


Hobbesian (#255)


myfanwy (#1,124)

You sadist.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Amen. Seriously, what's next? The offensive linemen are going to want some kind of "stats" so that their individual achievements can be chronicled in the paper like cake-eating wide receivers or, worse, baseball players? THEN they'll probably want to sit out games when their finger gets dislocated instead of just TAPING THAT SHIT TO THE FINGER NEXT TO IT and getting back in there. Fucking wimps, all of them.

Matt (#26)

This is just further proof that NOVA should be firebombed (and I *live in* NOVA).

Matt (#26)

Seriously, these people have trouble driving their SUVs in the rain, how can we expect them to WALK in it?

Hobbesian (#255)

These kids' parents probably grate Gruyere on their mac'n'cheese.

jfruh (#713)

But they can still concuss themselves into brain damage and senile dementia by age 40, right? I'm sure the coaches won't complain about that.

muskegharpy (#2,094)

Actually, it sounds like it's all the adults who are mud-adverse whiners. How'd the players feel? I remember the muddy games were the absolute best in High School. (I played soccer, but still.) Though it may have had more to do with our all-white uniforms than anything else.

rj77 (#210)

Haven't these kids watched Friday Night Lights (TV edition)?! They played in a cow pasture in rain and mud, right next to the damn cows!!!

Of course, *real* football weather is when it's around 30 degrees and snowing…

hockeymom (#143)

Yay for Frozen Tundra.

Bittersweet (#765)

Snow Bowl!

LondonLee (#922)

Proves my theory that American Football is just Rugby for pussies.

Abe Sauer (#148)

You will not draw me into this tired untruth.

LondonLee (#922)

Don't look at me, I couldn't play either. I'm a total pussy, I like soccer.

KarenUhOh (#19)

As Vince Lombardi once said, "They don't play the games on paper. They play them on TV."

cherrispryte (#444)

Suck it up, NOVA. If my 12-year old self could play soccer in mud up to my ankles and weather so cold my RecSpecs were fogging up (everyone pause to consider what a huge nerd I was), you people can handle some mud and rain. Unless you're ok with being more delicate than a 12 year old girl in RecSpecs.

balsa_wood (#465)

I wanna read Tom Scocca every day, Awl! Make it happen!

barnhouse (#1,326)

I, too, want this.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

The thing that finally helped me see the truth of evolution is the following scientific fact:

More evolution = less American football.

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