Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Coming To Grips With Your Declining Athletic Prowess

Let's rock.
One of the trademarks of this here average-at-best blog is that I tend to wait a few days and then attack a story that has already been beaten like Barbaro. That kind of quality “journalism” is never going to stop which is why I would like to spend today talking about Peyton Manning being traded to Denver. Just kidding, of course, let’s go back to that story about the Naptown area guy who pulled a Hank Gathers on the field of a semi-pro game that no one attended or knew existed.

So what we know here is that 32 year old Dave Coleman, father of 5, and (former) Nap resident was playing in a very, very shitty semi-pro football league for a team out of Portland, IN (borderline Amish country and nearly a 2 hour drive from his house so you KNOW that he took this seriously). During a recent game in the Toledo area, he went for a tackle or something, did not keep his head on a swivel, and got Hines’d the fuck Warded. He tried to get up. He couldn’t. He never got up again. Dead.  That seems like pretty much the gist of the story here. If I forgot any important details then feel free to show me the light.

First, I have no problem with people doing what they love to do. People that enjoy playing hoops should play as much pick-up basketball that they want to play. People that like to cook should feed me delicious food that they make me for free. People that like to jerk off are more than welcome to paint their walls white until the well runs dry. I get it. It’s good to have hobbies and to be passionate about things even when you get older. However, there is a time and a place for everything in life. Competitive football does not fit into the aforementioned activities. When you strap those pads on, you are now a potentially deadly weapon.  I'm no fancy big city father (pulls on suspenders) but this does not seem like something that a father of 5 should be doing.

Sure, we all laughed at the inanity of Unnecessary Roughness when legendary screen actors Scott Bakula and Sinbad rose from the dead to play college football for one more season. What a tremendous premise that was! Look at Sinbad! He can barely move! But in real life, it’s just sad to see a 30+ year old man trying to relive past glories that no one else remembers or shares. There is a reason why most NFL players are done playing by the time they are 28 or 29 years old and that is because the human body is not designed to play football for long.

Personally, there are times every once in awhile where I wish that I could strap the pads on again and hit somebody, but that notion passes rather quickly when I realize that I am 31 years old and have no desire to get hit anymore. Football is the greatest game on the planet yet, as we learned from the Junior Seau saga, you can’t play it forever.  And unless you are a QB or a kicker or something, your body will eventually agree with that.

I like to think that your football “career” is similar to bringing a baseball glove to a Major League game. You only have so long to get away with that before you come off as pathetic and embarrassing. For the glove, I feel like once you have finished Little League (around 11 or 12 years old), then your days of bringing in your own mitt is over. No ball is going to come within a section of you and a real man can grab a liner with his bare hands. Also, you need both hands free to crush beers and inhale hot dogs. On the other hand, with football, you get one shot at it. That may end your senior year in high school or in college if you’re lucky or in the pros if you are ELITE. Once it is done, it is DONE (with exception of flag or touch or Brett Favre Wrangler Jeans football which are completely acceptable). If you did it right the first time, you shouldn’t feel the need to absorb more body and head blows. Period.

Back to Coleman though, obviously I don’t know the guy or his family or anything like that, but it’s a fucking horrible thought to know that his girls lost their dad during a weird football game in some obscure league. It’s hard to imagine going through that and understanding all the therapy that they may require. But this was totally preventable and everyone knows it even if it does sound harsh. I’m not even saying that he “deserved” this because that isn’t true and definitely isn’t cool. What I am saying is that grown men with kids and jobs and responsibilities shouldn’t be playing football. EVER. Coach or officiate if you want to give back and stay involved. Your playing days ended a long time ago. Deal with it.

Actually, that isn’t fair or true. Because Coleman was selfish, now his girls have to deal with it. And that is the saddest part about this very preventable situation. We’re all getting old now and we all need to come to grips with reality and limitations. You can’t drink like you used to. You get way worse hangovers. Your hand-eye coordination sucks. Your back is more prone to random spasms. It’s all about preservation now and not taking ridiculously stupid risks like being a tackling dummy in your early 30’s.  Just remember that people are counting on you now so it's probably for the best if you stopped trying to concuss other schlubs every other weekend.

Also, if you play men’s softball, you are gay. Don’t ask questions. You just are.

35 comments:

Eb said...

Al Bundy scored Five Touchdowns in a single game at Polk High!

He really played High School Football at Youngstown Ursuline.

God, I miss Kelly Bundy!

You would not beleive how many people play semi pro football in the Chicago Area....and how that makes them think they are your perfect recruitable athletes.

I have seen first hand the many people holding on to the "dream" who want to suit up again. The 30 year old vetran, the 40 year old dad. Hell, I had a guy that left college early only to be cut in an NFL camp come sit in front of me and ask if I could figure out a way in the rules and get him a year. Let me tell you the NAIA is shady, and I almost got him eligible!

I feel bad for this guys family, it is sad.

How the heck did Darrell Green Play into his 40's...Dude could probably still play!

Happy Hump Day!

Grumpy said...

By your logic no adult should sky dive, zip line, shoot the rapids or auto race. How many men have you heard of dying on a football field? This was a total fluke occurance.

MUDawgfan said...

That's why the good Lord invented golf. So when you get north of 30 and still want to beat the fuck out of someone, you can do it without killing yourself.

GMoney said...

Right, it was fluky. I'm not arguing that. But you can't argue that he is WAY more prone to serious injury at his age than normal people who don't hold onto the dream.

And my logic says nothing of the sort. All that I'm saying is that grown men need to leave tackle football for those equipped to handle the rigors of the sport. At 32, you're asking to get hurt.

Grumpy said...

You make 32 sound ancient. At 32 a man is still young enough to endure the rigors of tackle football. For all we know this guy was in great shape and perfectly fit to play.

What makes it sadder is that it was a charity game. I admire the guy for doing something he loved and in this case doing it for a charitable cause.

Anonymous said...

Team Grumpy on this one. While I do think playing semi-pro football is pretty fucking dumb...Grumpy is completely right about you treating the age of 32 like it's 50. Plenty of people are still in tremendous shape at 32. I would think the odds of someone dying from tackle football are probably less than they are dying from driving a car each day to and from work. Shit happens.

While I don't play, I also don't think it's gay for guys in their 30's to play softball. It's good to stay active and play sports.

--Drew

GMoney said...

Don't worry, Drew, you're just wrong. Men's softball is incredibly gay. If you do the coed stuff, that's fine because then you are clearly trying to have a good time and socialize. But go watch a men's league sometime and tell me if those guys aren't the gayest gays to ever gay.

People in tremendous shape at 32 aren't dumb enough to consider playing football. That guy was NOT in peak shape. Forget the death, let's say that he just messes up his back. Was it still worth it?

I'll say it again: if you still want to be around the game as you age, then coach or ref or move next door to Brett Favre. The tackling ends when you finish in HS/college/pro ball.

Anonymous said...

Men's softball IS gay. The only way it isn't is if there is a keg at the game.

The Iceman said...

I've seen fights erupt during men's softball leagues. Real, legit fist fights. Go blow each other instead...but good luck finding everyone's tiny penises. Co-Ed is the only softball that is acceptable.

Grumpy, a 32 year old football body might as well be a 62 year old body. I played football for a total of 6 years. My knees hurt every single day. Whenever i do anything athletic i have to wear knee braces. Im 32 and some days feel 82. The only reason NFL guys are able to play into their 30's is because they have the best of everything. Nutrition, advice, trainers, facilities...you get the idea. Some guy who eats a salad 3 times a week and hits Fruchey's every other day for an hour is not going to be in the shape required to play organized football.

I mean, he had 5 god damn kids. I have zero kids and barely can find the time to work out for an hour 4 days a week. Unless this guy was the worst father in the world (and playing semi pro football at 32 tells me he's in the discussion) how was he getting his body into the proper shape? Probably wasn't is the most likely answer.

GMoney said...

Just to clarify a bit more and sort of go away from the fact that Iceman is apparently Jerome Bettis now, I am OK with dude's staying active and playing touch or flag football. Maybe even bring a cooler of G$weisers with you. Just not bone-crunching hits. Because I can assure you, if a guy is still playing tackle football at 32, he isn't doing it to showcase his awesome fundamentals. He's doing it for one more kill shot that will make that three people in attendance cheer.

Anonymous said...

Fuck him. Semi-pro charity games? The fuck? Is this guy Justin Zwick? He was an idiot. Totes props to the guy the Ivan Drago'd him though. Thats who we should be talking about: The guy who laced up and went on a killing spree.

What is this shit about softball? I was in a championship team last year and had a blast. Go play at 6 on a Tuesday and get blasted at Brewskis (our sponsor!) afterwards. Nothing about that is gay. Granted we only didn't mercy rule one team, but thats what happens whem your team has 5 ex OSU baseball players. And me.

Ide

The Iceman said...

I prefer to be compared to Brandon Roy...because we have the same amount of cartilage in our knees. But that doesn't mean I let my knees keep me from doing what I like. I just have to wear braces now. Sucks ass...but it's just reality of getting older.

Stacking your men's league roster for a $30 trophy and $15 T-shirt must be very rewarding for you, Ide.

Anonymous said...

G$ and Iceman lost the softball argument when they said playing co-ed is fine. NOTHING is fine about playing sports with chicks...that is not fun. Ide throwing commentating bullseyes once again. Dude has been money over the last couple of months.

The guy that died was obviuosly an idiot, but G$ is just projecting his own old person attributes onto others. Just because you also feel you'd die playing football, you also go to bed at 9 every night, you can't drink anymore, etc....doesn't mean that everyone is like that. It's not our fault you feel older than Grumpy feels while being 40 years younger than him....not everyone else does.

--Drew

Brady said...

Obviously this whole thread makes me want to run my sub 5.5 40 to show my athletic prowess.

I'm kind of split on this issue. On one hand, I kind of like the fact he was still looking for that athletic outlet in his 30's. There is no substitue for real competition on the field. The guy had 5 kids and probably spent most of his time sitting on a bench at the park. I get the need for that adrenaline rush.

On the other hand, he had 5 FUCKING KIDS! That is a ton of responbility on your plate to be risking serious injury. The fact he died is obviously the outlier but serious injury is always a real threat in football. That kind of risk with such a big family to support is pretty ballsy.

Derek Lowe- 6-1 2.05 ERA

The Iceman said...

It's fun when a girl on your team playing catcher gets taken out at home by a Dbag doing his best Charlie Hustle impression. I play softball to stay active...not to get reamed for not stretching out a single to a double by a men's league coach too sad and pathetic to accept his playing days are over.

GMoney said...

I'm not projecting anything. I'm being FO REAL. Leave tackle football to the pros, all guys no longer in their 20's.

Actually, if Daniel is reading today, I would like his feelings on this subject.

Iceman is right again. Men's softball players can say all the right things but eventually they ALL take it way too seriously and either slide or argue a call or bitch about a strike zone or something and that is when they cross the line from "being active" to "complete and utter gay douche". Ide being on the Miami Heat of softball pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

I still want to see the Brady 40 Yard Dash challenge.

The Iceman said...

Brady would make it 20 yards before projectile vomiting.

Grumpy said...

So if you have kids you probably shouldn't even leave the house because you might get killed? Drew is right, you stand a better chance of dying in a car accident than while playing tackle football.

And for the record, I'm 35 years older than G$, not 40.

Brady live Tweets the Indians games; what a douche.

Anonymous said...

So, playing in a flag football league according to you is fine, but playing in a softball league is gay. Got it. You are dumb.

You guys think playing sports with girls is fine. You are dumb again.

Grumpy...you may be 35 yrs older, but I bet your brain and body feel younger than G$'s do. He talks like he's a 94 yr old.

--Drew

Grumpy said...

I can probably beat G$ at most any athletic or intellectual pursuit.

Anonymous said...

Isn't G$ the all-time hits leader in baseball at Napoleon High School, or am I mistaken?

-Lil' Strut

Anonymous said...

I have to side with Grump and Drew on this. Since when did playing flag football outside of college intramurals become acceptable? I was a men's softballer for a couple years during college and while their were plenty of douchers out there, I found it to a lot of fun especially with beer comsumption.

-Daman

Anonymous said...

Ah, LS, that would be me!

-Damman (spelled correctly this time)

Prime99 said...

Coed sports are stupid unless you are single and in college. Even then, they are suspect.

Men's softball can go either way. A few years ago I tagged an older guy out and he told me he'd cut my fucking nuts off. He was taking that shit way too seriously, so I get where G$ is coming from. Unsure, if I'm in full agreement but grown adult act like fucking brats on the softball diamond.

Brady said...

Twitter would suffer if I didn't live tweet Indians games Grump. I'm really pissed at my iPad for not notifying me of the twitter threesome going on last night. I was too busy watching some kid almost die on Deadliest Catch to notice I guess.

Next time the Iceman and I get together, I will have him tape my 40 yard dash with his space phone. Then the world will see how gifted an athlete I really am.

The Iceman said...

Holy shit. I owe it to this half assed sports blog to make sure this video happens.

Grumpy said...

I can't find Napoleon baseball records before 2003, so I want to see some hard evidence.

GMoney said...

So if you have kids you probably shouldn't even leave the house because you might get killed? Drew is right, you stand a better chance of dying in a car accident than while playing tackle football.

What the fuck are you even talking about? You aren't even close to the point that I'm trying to make. I was always under the impression that you were better than this. Not once did I say football = funeral which you apparently think that I wrote.

So, playing in a flag football league according to you is fine, but playing in a softball league is gay. Got it. You are dumb.

What is it with you two today? Operating in black and white only is a stupid way to live life. If you absolutely HAVE to keep playing football then that is a perfectly acceptable way to keep livin' the dream.

My hatred for softball likely defies logic and reason but it is very real. If you ARE going to play though, you better do it drunk and you better not play "win at all costs".

Isn't G$ the all-time hits leader in baseball at Napoleon High School
I had to let Damman get a few records to avoid Seau-ing but I believe that all of mine (4 or 5) are still intact.

Coed sports are stupid unless you are single and in college.
This was what I was thinking of. There always should be sexual tension.

Brady is the worst. Live tweeting Tribe games defines why I will never be on Twitter.

Did I answer your questions? Are you not entertained?

GMoney said...

I don't really have anything for tomorrow. Should I finally write about why I hate men's softball?

Anonymous said...

As long as you discuss your Click Chiropractic days.

-Damman

Anonymous said...

You know what, no, this is bullshit. Playing softball and flag football is really fun. Since when was athletic activity ruled gay? I agree that those overzealous douchebags are retarded, but they are great to make fun of.

Last fall after my softball domination, I was in a football league and had a blast. Went undefeated as well. In the winter, I play in a basketball league. Playing sports woth a bunch of 30 year olds is great, especially with all the drinking involved. Its a lot more fun than how G$ spends his Tuesday nights; aggressively fapping.

Ide

Daniel said...

Ask and you shall receive.

I was fortunate enough to play (practice and watch from the sidelines) organized football until I was 22. To say that I love the game is an understatement. Looking back on it though, the thing that I miss the most is practices and the lookroom and just being part of the team. Recent events have shown the innate danger of the game. But let's be realistic, you have a higher chance of dying driving to the stadium than you do in the game. To not do something your passionate about out of fear that you might be the 1 and a million statistic is assinine in my opinion.

That said, though I still have the desire to play the game and had opportunities to play in some BS leagues that draw less fans than your Napoleon Wildcats, the cost outweighs the benefit in my opinion. Being an adult, I have responsibilities. And I realize life isn't always about doing what you want to do when you want to do it. This dude had 5 daughters. I'm guessing a lot of the time he spent playing could have been spent being there for his family and raising his daughters. So though I feel bad for the dude's family, I don't hold it against him for what he did. I just have different priorities.

Buffalo Bills - DREAM TEAM 2.0 Bitches!

GMoney said...

Thanks, Dan!

Damman, the Click Chiropractic portion of my life didn't really fit into tomorrow's post so that might be something addressed in the comments. I was a terrible RF.

Grumpy said...

Softball is acceptable if you play in shorts and a t-shirt. Leagues where grown men wear uniforms as nice as MLB are stupid.

G$, Iceman has predicted that you will be on Twitter by the end of the year. I believe that to be true. You won't be able to resist the urge to see what we're talking about.

GMoney said...

What do I win when I win? Because I'm going to win.