Sep 23, 2009

A local bulletin board is polluted this week with one of those beneath-stupid arguments about coaching football -- for third-graders. (I'd be pleased to post the url if I thought this corner of the Blogopolis SMSA held anyone dull enough to care about parents' opinion on whether the "win!" or "let-em-all-play" philosophy should prevail in coaching pre-pubes.)

However, it occurs to me that in about 20 years a good many alumni of this third-grade football mania will be shocked to discover that the world economy has too few insurance-selling jobs to accommodate all the disappointed young men who planned a lush living in the NFL . The brighter among them would gladly trade a working knowledge of Chinese or Arabic for all memories of the ass-pats they earned by not falling down too much.

If you can teach a kid the off-tackle slant when he's nine you can sure as Hell get him started on something likely to be useful.

Full disclosure: I personally played third-grade football if one of us could find the needle to blow up David Stouffer's leaky football and if the mean big kids weren't using the vacant lot and if it really seemed like more fun than walking down to the river with a cane pole. What a waste. If my community had had an organized youth football league and a few dozen daddies who were, themselves, frustrated athletes, why, heck, me and Joe Namath would have been team mates and drinking buddies. I guarantee it, and just writing about it deeply saddens me about my deprived childhood.

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