Buzzing the feet.
These are the five steps to Heads Up Tackling that football coaches are trying to teach kids for safety purposes. In theory, it makes a lot of sense. At practice, kids are able to learn it. Great.
When it comes to game time, however, things quickly change. Your opponent is fast, strong and unpredictable. The other team’s coaching staff calls plays you’ve never defended before. Adrenaline is rushing by now. An opposing player taunts you. You say something back you don’t really mean. Tension grows. The pressure to win is almost suffocating. There are a lot of eyes watching that you don’t want to disappoint. The more points you allow, the more frustrated you get. Soon, the five steps you learned in training quickly turn into something very different:
Buzzing the feet.
Disable as quickly as possible.
Well, that sounds a little bit different now doesn’t it? When you mix testosterone and physicality, it’s no surprise the product is oftentimes violent behavior.
Like when Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus sucker punched another player in a high school game.
Or when a post-game fight broke out in Rancho Cucamonga.
Or when a high school team forfeited their homecoming game for starting a fight with baseball players.
Or when a player took off his opponent’s helmet and bashed him in the head twice with it.
Or when a University of California player was hospitalized after fighting with his teammate.
There are many more documented stories that you can find online. There are many more that you’ll never know happened.
Coaches are supposed to serve as role models for these young, hormonally charged youths. Sometimes I think we forget that these coaches are former players themselves. Although older and wiser, they are susceptible to these violent outbursts as well. It’s second nature.
Like when some high school coaches brawled after a game in Alabama.
Or when a game in Indianapolis was called due to blows thrown by two opposing coaches.
And so on.
A lot of these kids never quite develop the way they should. When this carries over into adulthood, this vicious mentality is escalated to a whole new level. Taking blow after blow to the head certainly doesn’t help matters either.
It doesn’t really matter who pulled the trigger.
And then you have those little triumphs in football that somehow seem to justify the erratic behavior.
Like when your team’s quarterback throws the game-winning touchdown.
Or when a wide receiver makes a near impossible catch.
Or when a player returns the ball all the way down the field.
Or when a kicker hits a 50-yard field goal against the wind.
Or when a lineman hits a career high in sacks.
And then you have that one moment that comes around once in a blue moon that makes you forget that there’s anything wrong with the sport at all…
Football is one hell of a sport. It brings out the best and worst in people. You see it all on a regular basis. With that being said, I leave you with a quote from one of football’s greatest:
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi