Archive for the ‘Wussification of America’ Category

FRAMINGHAMAfter several players on the Framingham High football beacrwalteam received large blisters during practice on Thursday, all coaches on the team have been suspended, according to sources within the schools. The Framingham School Department said in a statement that it has decided to “cease football activities.” “Given the size and scope of this incident, where there were a number of students and adults involved, we decided it was prudent to cease football activities in order to collect relative information objectively and expediently,” the statement said. “Placing staff members on administrative leave is part of this process and should not be deemed as a punitive measure; the goal is to ascertain the facts surrounding an event before reaching any judgment.” 

So I think most regular readers know how I feel about this. However, I’m not a football coach. I coach basketball, and we don’t do bear crawls. We do other conditioning exercises. Anyway, I’d like to hear from some football coaches and players, both present and former, on this particular issue.

Should coaches be suspended when there players get blisters?

PS – I can’t believe I just typed that.

The Big Lead: Philadelphia Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis warmed up without a helmet for Thursday night’s preseason game against the Steelers. It proved to be a costly decision. An errant punt hit him in the head, resulting in a late scratch due to concussion.

Oh, for the love of God. A football to the noggin can cause a concussion? Please. Man up, son. I assume he lay there like a little baby in the fetal position, as if he’d been hit by a military sniper. Sigh. Let me tell you a story . . .

Not actual photo of incident.

Not an actual photo of incident.

When I first started teaching I coached junior high football at Greenfield McClain. One afternoon it was about 10° and we were practicing extra-points at the end of practice. I might add we were using those hard rubber footballs as well as the regular leather ones. Anyhoo, a kid named Mark Paugh, who was about my size, kicked an extra-point with one of the rubber footballs as I was stupidly walking in front of him. Long story short I took a hit that knocked me for a loop. Did I mention it was bitterly cold? That ball was as hard as a rock. Anyway, when I got up there was blood oozing from my ear and my entire head was numb.

Did I go to the doctor? No. Did I go through concussion protocol? Nah. Was I deaf in my left ear for a couple weeks? Probably. Did I think I was Pee Wee Herman for a day or two? That’s neither here nor there. Bottom line, over the years as a coach and teacher I’ve seen hundreds of kids and coaches hit in the head with footballs, basketballs, baseballs, dodgeballs, volleyballs, and the occasional fist. How many of them sat out a game or class because of this? Nary a one.

Yet, a professional football player (albeit a kicker) takes a football to the cranium and sits out the game.

Sigh. Just another sign that the Wussification of America is upon us.

Sigh. So Ellen DeGeneres joined in on all the Usain Bolt meme fun the other day, posting this photo on Twitter:

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Innocent fun, right? Well, not according to the politically correct, thin-skinned, whiny pansy assclowns of the world. Seems many of them find this tweet to be racist. The backlash was so intense, in fact, that Ellen issued an apology.

Sweet Jesus, is this what it’s come to?

With all the stuff I’ve posted recently regarding The Wussification of America, wussificationI started thinking about all the things that happened to me as I was growing up and how I could have possibly survived my treacherous, unprotected childhood. I already touched on this in previous blogs entitled Killer Toys, Soft Kids and a Sobering Realization, Dodgeball, a Microcosm of Life and others, but I feel as if I need to expound on it a little more.

You know, because you guys deserve it.

Anyway, I started thinking about all the accidents I was involved in as a kid and how my parents and other family members reacted to them. I gotta say that, in retrospect, I’m damn lucky to be alive. Because when I got hurt, more often than not (and when I say more often than not I mean every time), I was told to suck it the hell up.

I know what you’re thinking, kids. Shoe, let’s hear some examples. Well, as always I’m hear for ya . . .

I don’t recall the following story but it’s been retold to me several times so don’t let any of my bloodline deny it, OK? It happened.

As the story goes, I was just a wee, innocent baby, the third child of my mom and dad. I had two loving older sisters who were disgusted thrilled to have a new little brother. One day my wonderful mother had put me down for a nap and had gone to do the dishes. She heard me crying for a bit, and then I’d become very quiet. Too quiet. So quiet, in fact, that mom became a little concerned. So, she went to check on her little angel. What she found was this . . .

My 5-year old sister, who I shall not name here (it was Sara), was carrying yours truly around by the neck, swinging me around like a lifeless Cabbage Patch Kid. Oh, and my face was blue. Hence the silence on my part. You know, because it’s hard to cry when your windpipe is being crushed. Mom saved me, but she never rushed me to the hospital or anything and I don’t think there were any long-term adverse effects on me.

I don’t think.

Then again I do suffer from periodic blackouts and an intense fear of people touching my neck, so there’s that. Oh, and I’ve never turned my back on my sister since. By the way, she’s way meaner than she looks. Kidding. Love ya Sid.

Later on, when I was around 10-years old, I was climbing a tree in our front yard with my buddy Ted. I believe it was Halloween and we were climbing up there in order leap down and scare the bejesus out of passing Trick or Treaters. Seemed like a good idea at the time. So I was ahead of Ted, probably 20-feet off the ground, when I reached for a branch to pull myself up higher. Well, the branch snapped and I henceforth plummeted downward, past Ted, hurtling towards the ground.

I hit, and my mouth must have been open, tongue out, because when it slammed shut upon impact I bit a substantial sized hole in my tongue. And yes, it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. It was dark, and I first thought I’d bitten my tongue completely in half. I ran into the house screaming my head off, blood gushing out of my mouth and in a state of panic. Mom and Pop were sitting on the couch, probably watching “My Three Sons” or something. Here’s the conversation that followed:

Me: “I bi my ‘ongue! I bi a hole in my ‘ongue! A-h-h-h-h-h-h! 

By the way, it’s hard to say the letter “t” without using your tongue. Try it.

Mom, not looking away from the TV: “Put some ice on it.”

Me: “Wh-a-a-a-a-a-a-a???”

Dad, eyes glued to the screen: “Shhhhhhhh! Ernie got into some trouble at school! His dad just found out! Put some ice on it!”

So, I put some ice on it and laid on the bed in my room in agony. I think maybe Dad came in during a commercial, took a look, and said I’d be fine. I might have even got a pat on the head out of it.

So, I walked around for a few weeks with a hole in my tongue until it finally grew back together. I can still feel a lump there though, swear to God.

I guess my point is that If this happened today the emergency squad would come and a team of doctors would be called to do reconstructive surgery to repair the damages. Back then? Nah. Put some ice on it.

Another time my buddy Billy and I were bored and decided to have a war with some old 45s my family had in the basement. For you youngsters out there, a 45 was a record, not a gun. It was round and had music on it. You see, you put it on a turntable and . . . never mind.

Anyway, we set up a couple forts with some old couch cushions and started firing these records at each other like frisbees. I happened to peek up at the wrong time and caught a record right over my right eye, and it put about a 2-inch gash right through my eyebrow. Did I mention it bled like hell? I looked like Mike Tyson had caught me with a right cross. Billy, horrified, ran home like a banshee while I ran upstairs looking for help, where I found Mom doing the dishes:

Me: “Mom, I cut my eye! MY EYE!!!”

Mom, grabbing a dishrag to wipe the blood away: “Oh, settle down. It’s not your eye. It’s above your eye. Put some ice on it.” 

Do you see a pattern here? By the way, I still have the scar in my eyebrow. Battle scar, baby.

Another time my friend Ted (yes, him again) and I found some empty beer bottles in a ditch and thought it would be a cool idea to act out a western bar fight. Hey, it looked harmless on TV.  We both got a couple bottles and started swinging, and about 5-seconds in Ted caught me with a shot right to the temple. Turns out those bottles are harder than they appear. I went down like a sack of hammers, blacked out for a few seconds, and awoke to find Ted standing over me, laughing. Our “pretend” bar fight was over.

I never even told my parents. I just put some ice on it.

I used to spend a lot of time up at my Uncle Myrl’s house. He and Aunt Dorothy had 8-kids so there was always something going on. Everything revolved around sports. One summer day I was up there and we went outside to play some baseball. The problem was, we couldn’t find a baseball so cousin Kevin grabbed a croquet ball from somewhere. We’d been playing awhile, I was pitching, when cousin Mick sent a screaming line drive right back at me. I didn’t get my glove up in time and the croquet ball caught me right between the eyes, knocking me out cold.

And what was the reaction of my loving cousins? They all ran back into the house.

I have no idea how long I was out, but I do remember getting up and staggering back into the house, where everyone was watching TV:

Me: “What the hell? Thanks for nothing.”

Mick: “Hey, look. Dave’s alive.”

Kevin: “Better get some ice on that.”

What can I say? We were a little more hardcore back then. Once I was in the woods with my cousins John, Mark and Martin when I leaned on a tree, embedding a humongous thorn in my upper arm. I mean, it was in deep. Hurt like heck too. I mentioned something about going home to get it looked at when somebody said, “Screw that, we’ll get it out.” Next thing I knew they’d heated up the tip of a bowie knife with a cigarette lighter and went to work. After 10-minutes of painful probing, the offending thorn was found and pulled out.

Couldn’t forego a fun hike through the woods because of a silly puncture wound and copious amounts of blood, now could we?

One when I was about 5 or 6 I my parents and I were sitting on the front porch and Dad told me to run around the house to see how fast I could go. In retrospect it’s pretty obvious he was just trying to get rid of me for a little bit, but that’s neither here nor there. Any, I was barefoot as usual and when I made it back around and stood there panting, he sort of looked down, pointed, and calmly stated, “Hey, looks like you cut your foot there.”

I looked down, and sure enough there was a 3-inch slice of meat hanging off my instep like you would not dream. Blood everywhere too, I might add. But hey, no biggie. Mom just slapped some mecuricome* on it, added a band-aid or six and I was ready to rock and roll.

*For you younger folk out there, mecuricome was a wonder antiseptic that was used to prevent and cure all sorts of maladies. And yes, it had mercury in it. I recall it was red and it stung like a mofo. Sadly it was discontinued years ago. Something about causing cancer or some such nonsense. On a related note, I bet mom still has a bottle stashed somewhere.

I’m also 90% sure I broke a kneecap that went untreated when I wrecked my bike as a kid. How do I know this? Because when I get down on that knee today if feels as if I’m kneeling on a live power line. Somehow, I soldier on.

And it wasn’t just my family. I remember a basketball game back in the day at our school. A player suffered a horrific arm injury, complete with a bone sticking out and everything. As he lay on the court writhing in pain, his dad came out for a look. Here’s the conversation that transpired:

Trainer: “This is bad. We need to get him to the hospital right away.”

Father: “Yeah, I’ll go get my truck.”

Trainer: “We have an ambulance outside. Let’s bring in the stretcher and get him out of here.”

Father: “Nah, I’ll take him. Leave the ambulance here. Somebody might get hurt.”

Kid: “Wait. What?”

Random fan: “Better get some ice on that!”

The father then helped the kid up, walked him to their Ford  F150, and went to the hospital. Screw the ambulance.

What can I say? It was a different time. Hell, every kid I knew back then has similar stories to tell. We knew our parents loved us. They just didn’t panic at the sight of a lot of little blood on their kid. They knew that by not running screaming to our aid we’d learn to handle our problems by ourselves and, in turn, become more self-sufficient. They wanted us to be independent of them, not dependent on them.

So we got hurt. Suffered a little. Even bled.

And somehow, some way, we all survived.

We just put a little ice on it.

The culprit.

The culprit.

Huffington Post: Isabelle Lassiter has a beef with a Japanese steakhouse in Tennessee, where a chef sprayed her in the face with a pee-pee doll in what her husband called a “sexual-style assault.”

Lassiter said she and her family were dining at the Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse in Murfreesboro on Monday when a chef produced a plastic doll resembling a little boy and pulled down its pants. A thin stream of water spurted from a hole located in the doll’s genital area and hit Lassiter in the face, she said.

She wasn’t happy.

“He pulled his little shorts down and it had a wanger and he squirted me right in the face,” Lassitter told Fox17.com.

Restaurant manager Johnny Huang said the doll is a common part of the show patrons get at dinner. Chefs use it to control flames on the hibachi, he said.

Lassiter’s husband, James, called the spraying “a sexual-style assault on my wife,” according to NBC4i.com.

The couple called the police and filed a report.

Although James Lassiter said the doll lacked genitalia, that isn’t the issue. “Just because somebody cut off a piece of plastic, OK, it’s not there anymore, doesn’t change the fact that you’re getting peed on,” he said.  

The restaurant wants to avoid pissing off other customers. It has instructed employees to ask before spraying people with the pee-pee doll.

And so it continues. The Wussification of America is alive and well in Murfeesboro, Tennessee. I mean, we’ve all been to these types of restaurants, right? They all have these types of little gimmicks. I got squirted in the eye by one of those waiters once and didn’t punch him in the temple, let alone call the cops. It’s a doll, lady. A DOLL. “Sexual-style assault?” No freaking way. Chillax and don’t be so sensitive.

Note: Love the last line in the article. “The restaurant wants to avoid pissing off other customers” is just classic, man. Classic.

Note II: That lady used the term “wanger.” She has to be from England, amirite? Damn limeys.

The Washington Post: Three years ago, a group of researchers at Cornell apple-w_bite-copyUniversity’s Food and Brand Lab had a hunch. They knew that many of apples being served to kids as part of the National School Lunch Program were ending up in the trash, virtually untouched. But unlike others, they wondered if the reason was more complicated than simply that the kids didn’t want the fruit.

Specifically, they thought the fact that the apples were being served whole, rather than sliced, was doing the fruits no favor. And they were on to something.

A pilot study conducted at eight schools found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. And a follow-up study, conducted at six other schools, not only confirmed the finding, but further strengthened it: Both overall apple consumption and the percentage of students who ate more than half of the apple that was served to them were more than 70 percent higher at schools that served sliced apples.

Oh, for the love of God. So kids prefer sliced apples because eating an unsliced apple is too much work? Kids eat 60%-70% more apples if they’re sliced for them? Man, if this isn’t further proof of the Wussification of America I don’t know what it is. What a bunch of pansies. America, we’ve failed our youth.

Note: Seriously, who likes sliced apples? Man up, pick that thing up and bite into it. The skin is good for you, right? 

Note II: I swear to God we’re raising a generation of wimps. God help us.

Remember when you were a kid and the more dangerous something was the more fun it became? Isn’t that why we climbed trees or balanced on a fence post or rode our bikes really fast down hills?

Of course it was.

Kids today have zero idea what they’re missing, mainly because everyone is worried they might get hurt. Back in the day we had some amazing, fun toys, and they were fun because they could kill you.

Literally.

I guess our parents realized that getting hurt was a learning experience. Hey, if you’re dumb enough to shoot yourself with that pellet gun it’s your fault. Be more careful next time, dummy.

But back to the toys. Here are a few of my favorite toys from the past that could cause extreme pain or yes, even death if used improperly. Hey kids, be sure and read the directions!

JARTS

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Jarts were massive weighted spears. You threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved more quickly. During their brief (and generally awesome) reign in 1980s suburbia, Jarts racked up 6,700 injuries and four deaths. Now there’s a fun toy.

BB GUNS

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When I was a kid, everybody had a BB Gun. You shot at birds, rabbits, the neighbor’s cat, and each other. I swear I didn’t know a kid who wasn’t shot with a BB Gun at some point. Good times.

ATOMIC ENERGY LAB

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Also known as little Bobby’s first Meth Lab! Good God. This toy had enough chemicals to kill a horse or build a small bomb.

SIXFINGER GUN

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Did I have one of these? You bet I did. As you can see, it looked like a finger and shot out little missiles that looked as if they were specifically designed to pierce a cornea or an eardrum. Cool!

AGENT ZERO M SONIC BLASTER

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This thing put the boom in baby boomer. It shot a massive blast of air and made a sound like an airplane breaking the sound barrier. It may very well have led to deafness in thousands of kids like me. Anyhoo, check out that future terrorist in the photo. Hey Billy, let’s shoot down a 747!

CLACKERS

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Clackers were essentially two acrylic balls on each end of a string, with a loop in the center. You began slowly clacking the balls together until you got to really fast speeds. Like many toys from the 70s, these were deemed dangerous and taken off the market. According to my research, they were banned because they were being used by gangs as weapons. Maybe I have a sick sense of humor but I find that hilarious. “Bro, that dude’s goin’ down. Go get my Clackers.” As for me, I usually whipped them in a circle over my head and threw them at my sisters.

SLIP N’ SLIDE

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Basically a water slicked length of vinyl. You were supposed to lay down, but that was no fun. Of course we stood up. Can you say spinal cord injury? And I bet myself and all my friends had at least one concussion because of these things. But hey, we knew how to take a fall back then.

CREEPY CRAWLERS/FRIGHT FACTORY

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Because nothing says safety like an open hot plate. I burnt the living hell out of my fingers with this thing. Creepy Crawlers were awesome. You had these little metal molds that you’d plug in and they’d heat up to like 1000 degrees. You’d then pour this disgusting, smelly stuff called Gobbledy Goop into it. This would turn the goop into spiders, snakes, bugs, snails, whatever the mold’s shape resembled. They even had glow in the dark goop. Bottom-line, I must have burned my fingers a 1000 times on those molds. Not only that, if you accidentally left them on they’d start smoking, which I did on purpose just to watch. And I can’t tell you how many times I scared my sisters with the fake bugs.

PERFORATED ROLL CAPS

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Anyone over the age of 40 is smiling right now. The caps were made for toy guns but we’d just lay them out on the sidewalk and hit ’em with a rock. Or even better, a hammer.

SPARK GUN

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Yes, it actually shot real sparks. As in tiny, hot flames. When I was a kid, if we got bored somebody would invariably yell this: “Let’s burn stuff!” And that is why the Spark Gun was such a hit. What could possibly go wrong?

JOHNNY REBEL CANNON

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These things were awesome. You know, if you ignored the fact it sort of glorified the Confederate Army. They could reach up to 35 feet and seemed perfectly sized to lodge into an eye socket, down an open mouth, or through the toy slave’s quarters. Oddly enough these were a big hit in Mississippi. Hey, there’s nothing more satisfying than pretending you’re shooting those equal rights-loving bastards up north.

Not only did we enjoy these dangerous toys, if mom and dad wouldn’t buy them for us we made our own. Hell, I made many a slingshot in my day from tree branches and a rubber band. Grab a handful of ball bearings and you were ready to drop somebody like a bag of hammers. And hey, if we didn’t have time to fashion a slingshot we’d just throw rocks at each other.

Hey, it beat sitting in front of a computer all day, amirite?

 

 

[The Daily Caller] – A sorority at Dartmouth College has canceled an annualhorse Kentucky Derby-themed party in response to protesters who complained that basing a party on the popular horse race was racist.

Every year, Kappa Delta Epsilon (KDE) holds an invite-only party in the spring. Until last year, the party was held the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby, which was used as the party’s theme.

KDE vice president Nikol Oydanich said house members were convinced by critics that the party was racially offensive because it evoked the aesthetics of the plantation-era South.

“[It is] related to pre-war Southern culture,” she said. “Derby was a party that had the power to upset a lot of our classmates.”

Despite Oydanich’s claim that the Derby party related to the antebellum South, the first Kentucky Derby was actually held in 1875, ten years after the Civil War ended.

Oh dear God. I shouldn’t be shocked anymore, but damned if people haven’t done it again. A Kentucky Derby party is racist? Does this mean anything pre-Civil War era is racist?  This one really confuses me. I mean, baseball was invented in 1845 and didn’t let African-Americans play until 1947. Should we cancel baseball? And how about the little oversight regarding the first Kentucky Derby and the fact that it was 10-years after the Civil War? Good Lord.

PS – The first Christmas was celebrated in AD 336. Cancel it!

Watch the video. Article and my comments follow:

[LA Times] – It had all the ingredients for a classic, made-for-Los-Angeles police chase: a convertible with its top down performing doughnuts on Sunset Boulevard, people cheering from the sidewalk, a leisurely cruise past the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a close call with a TMZ tour bus.

Naturally, the rainy-day chase ended on a narrow residential street with two suspects sharing hugs, high-fives and handshakes with a growing crowd — and lots of selfies. The wild pursuit ended with the two men surrendering to Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies without incident.

The chase lasted about two hours and began with a report of a residential burglary in Cerritos at 1:24 p.m.

After hugging and high-fiving bystanders and taking selfies, the men crossed their hands behind their backs and approached sheriff’s deputies, who had just arrived to take them into custody.

LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman said the long delay between the men stopping and their arrest was deliberate. The men were in LAPD territory but were being chased for a crime outside the department’s jurisdiction, he said.

So I posted an article earlier today about an Easter Egg Hunt in California parentsbeing ruined by a bunch of parents. Well, it seems helicopter parenting isn’t confined to the left coast. Here’s what happened when the PEZ Headquarters attempted to host a free Easter Egg Hunt in Orange, Connecticut – once again parents stormed the field, knocking kids down so their precious children wouldn’t get left out. And again I say this – if kids are taught to be self-reliant, rather than be dependent on mommy and daddy, they’d go out there and get their own damn eggs. And the wussification continues . . .

CBS Sacramento: A massive Easter egg hunt at California’s state Capitol was intended to set a 1world record but turned chaotic as combative parents stepped in to snatch eggs themselves, leaving crying children in their wake, according to participants.

Organizers had set out more than 500,000 plastic, multicolored eggs on the Capitol grounds Saturday with the goal of breaking the Guinness record for the world’s largest egg hunt.

The joyous event quickly turned ugly.

Some parents shoved their way into the hunt and scooped up all the eggs they could get their hands on. Arguments broke out over whether adults should be permitted to help their children, the Sacramento Bee reported. The frenzy prompted organizers to make an announcement urging parents to stay out of the hunt.

Although I wasn’t there, I can tell you exactly how this went down. A bunch of parents, the type who always jump in to save their kids at the slightest hint of adversity, saw their precious little children getting out-hustled by a few hard-nosed go-getters who’d been raised by parents who let them fend for themselves from time-to-time. The result? The spoiled, helpless kids were getting demolished so mommy and daddy jumped in to help. Because of this stupidity a fracas ensued.

Good God, man. Disgusting. Get it together, people!

And the Wussification of America continues.

Note: I bet the kids who were getting the least amount of eggs have never played dodgeball in their lives. Sad, really.

paddleNote: The names  in the following story have been changed to protect the parties involved. Except mine of course. I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed by now.

If the story I’m about to recount had taken place in 2006 or even 1996 everyone involved would have probably been fired. But this was a different time, a different place. This was 1985, and the place was Greenfield, Ohio. Read on …

It was mid-morning and I was teaching Reading at the time. Teaching Reading was great because they basically let me write my own curriculum, which is either downright horrifying or spectacularly exciting, depending on your viewpoint and opinion of me as a professional educator. Let’s just say I created some unorthodox lessons plans, such as deciphering the lyrics to Don McLean’s “American Pie”, or “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus” by my beloved Beatles. Hey, there’s nothing more fun than explaining what John Lennon meant when he wrote “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together” or “Yellow mother custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye” to a bunch of impressionable 13-year olds.

Good times.

Anyway, I was in the middle of class when I heard the principal’s voice over my intercom: “Mr. Shoemaker, you’re needed in the high school office immediately.” I responded, “Sure, let me get someone to cover my class and I’ll . . .”  At that point I was interrupted. “Never mind that, just get over here right away.”

Uh-oh.

I immediately walked/jogged to the office, mind racing as I went. What the hell had I done? Was it taking the kids to the roof for that lesson last week (don’t ask)? Was it discussing evolution? Was it letting  that kid walk over to the Kahlua Cream to grab me a milkshake the other afternoon? Since I usually did 2-3 things a week that could be considered controversial, the possibilities were endless. Alas, when I arrived at the office my fears were allayed.

I walked in the door, and in the corner stood Joe, a high school kid who had been in a lot of trouble, mostly involving physical altercations. Joe was sort of in a crouched position, looking around wildly, waiting to pounce on the first person brave enough to approach him. Watching him was my principal and the high school football coach, who had also apparently been called in as an enforcer along with yours truly. At this point my principal looks at me, grinning, and says,”Mr. Shoemaker, Joe here took a swing at Mrs. Blipnoid (not her real name) and he’s refusing to take his whoopin’.”

Keep in mind these were the days when paddling, or corporal punishment as it was called, was commonplace. Joe then demanded to speak to his father, but my principal had other ideas. He said, “Tell you what. I’ll call Charlie myself.”

My principal knew every single person in town, I kid you not. He then proceeded to call Joe’s dad, explains the situation, listens, and hangs up the phone. He then looks at Joe, grins maniacally and says, “Looks like the whoopin’s a go, Joe.”

At that point Joe knows the deal and decides to go for broke. He leaps over the desk and makes a break for the door, except I was in front of the door. Before he runs me over the football coach steps over and sort of blindsides the kid (using perfect form tackle I might add) and takes him down in one fell swoop. As this is happening the principal clears everything off his desk with one sweep of his giant paddle. The football coach and I then body slam Joe facedown on the desk. The principal actually proceeds to paddle Joe by raising the board over his head, swinging straight down, while using both hands. If I recall it was 4-whacks give or take a whack.  We then let Joe up, he apologized, shook our hands, and went back to class. No suspension, in-school restriction, Saturday school, nothing.

Problem solved.

If it happened today we’d all be on 60-Minutes trying to explain ourselves. Back then? Just another day at Greenfield McClain.

Hey, I told you it was a different time.

As many of you know I taught Physical Education for a few years. For the dodgeball1record, I was never a certified PE teacher. I ended up there because I’d been an Athletic Director for 9-years and switched over to PE due to problems with a new boss, but that’s a blog for another day (and what a blog it will be). I’m actually certified to teach grades 1-8 and had a minor in History. Anyway, my few years in the gym were interesting ones to put it mildly.

I was constantly getting these ridiculous emails from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. They had all these strongly worded recommendations (backed by studies!) that stated I should avoid “games of competition.” Wait. What? See, they didn’t want any winners and losers, and by not wanting winners and losers they meant not wanting losers. You know, because if you lose a game of Chinese Freeze Tag your feelings might get hurt, your self-esteem will plummet and you’ll end up living in a cardboard box on the mean streets of Humboldt, Ohio.

And as you know, in real life there’s no competition so why learn to deal with it when you’re young? That doesn’t make any sense, except in the sense that it makes absolutely perfect sense. With this in mind I get a visit from my principal one day. I don’t think her heart was really in it but she felt required to tell me that the game of dodgeball was being phased out in schools across the country and I should probably think about doing the same. The fun-haters at the forefront of the anti-dodgeball movement would like you to believe that it puts too much pressure on the psyche of our youth, that it somehow damages a student’s self-esteem to engage in such a “violent” sport, that getting knocked out in a game is harmful to a child’s well-being and, indeed, their fragile egos.

To this I say poppycock, balderdash, and whatever other cool name for bullshit I can think of. Do you really think kids want to engage in non-competitive activities like dancing, aerobics, and Tae Bo? Boy, that sounds fun, no? Woohoo! We’re gonna learn the salsa today kids!

Good Lord.

Kids hate that crap. On the other hand, any sport that involves throwing stuff at each other is a big hit. Pun intended. That’s why dodgeball is so beloved and why we used to play it so often. And by the way, none of this “no head shots” malarkey. In our world not only were head shots allowed, they were encouraged.

Kids love games where there’s an element of danger involved. That’s why we climbed trees when we were little, right? Because the danger of falling made it fun? And why did we ride our bikes down big hills? Because it was scary! No risk no reward, amirite?

I am.

And so, I have a little secret for all the psycho-babbling eggheads who want to destroy the single greatest game ever invented. Life is competitive. It’s sometimes hard. You get hit. You get back up. You figure out how to stay alive and advance. Sometimes you have to be aggressive and have a killer instinct to be successful.

Just like in dodgeball.

dodgeball-313429_960_720Things got so bad a few years ago that I had to change the name of the game we played in my classes. Since we were strongly recommended not to play dodgeball, we played a game called Avoid the Sphere. The rules were, uh, strikingly similar to dodgeball . . . OK, they were exactly the same. Anyway, technically it wasn’t dodgeball. Actual conversation between our principal and one of my 3rd graders:

Principal: “What did you guys play in gym today? Was that dodgeball?”

Jackson: “No, maam. We don’t play dodgeball. We played Avoid the Sphere.”

Attaboy Jackson.

As in life, dodgeball players fall into several distinct groups. As you read these, try and picture people you know in life and what group they’d fit into. Here they are:

The Attackers

  • The Attackers are the aggressive go-getters, the players who are always on the move. They’re hard to hit, hate to lose, and are always on the offensive. I love The Attackers. Think they’ll be successful? You betcha.

The Slackers

  • The Slackers are the ones who drift to the back, don’t really try to get out of the way, basically just hope they get put out early so they can go stand on the sidelines and watch the game, and life, pass them by. The Slackers ask to go to the bathroom a lot.

The Sneaks

  • These are the guys who like to sneak around the side and nail you in the back. They’ll lay low, creep slowly up without drawing attention to themselves, and before you know it you’re drilled right in back of the head. Know anybody like that in your life? That’s what I thought. This technique usually works early on in the game but as the numbers dwindle the laws of nature take over and one of The Attackers takes them out in a violent manner. That’s always satisfying to watch.

The Plotters

  • Ah, The Plotters. Always scheming and planning, always looking to make alliances, only to turn on their friends in the end for their own advancement in the game. As The O’Jays said it best, they’ll smile in your face, but all the time they want to take your place. Once again, The Plotters are a reflection of the real world.

The Invisibles

  • The Invisibles are exactly what you think they are. I’ve seen a player run right by an Invisible and go after someone else without evening noticing. Invisibles remind me of an animal that stands still to avoid being eaten. Once they move or start running they’re dead meat. Just as in your life or workplace, you have to watch out for The Invisibles.

The Cheaters

  • And finally, The Cheaters. The Cheaters will flat out ignore getting hit if you’re not watching. They’ll swear on their mother’s life that a ball that blasted them in the temple missed them completely. Cheaters will do anything to win and would rather climb a tree and lie than stay on the ground and tell the truth. Cheaters can ruin it for everybody, tearing the very fabric of the world’s greatest game.

1I’m retired now, but I’m keeping dodgeball alive by once again running our school-wide tourney every year in early May. The tournament is complete with painted faces, team t-shirts, an announcer who does introductions, the works. We have team names like the Headshots and The Knockouts. The gym gets so loud you can’t hear a blistering shot to the earhole. The kids, teachers (and yes, the principal) love it. We’re fighting the good fight. Dodgeball may be dying in schools across America but we’re keeping it alive here in southern Ohio.

You know, to eliminate Dodgeball would be a disaster for school kids everywhere. Hell, it should be an Olympic sport. Dodgeball teaches life lessons every single day you play it.

So here’s to Dodgeball, Avoid the Sphere, or whatever you want to call it.

It’s a microcosm of life.

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HOLLISTON Does the ugliness at high school sporting events have you happyfeeling despondent? Here’s your antidote. It happened a week earlier, at a playoff game between Holliston High and Concord-Carlisle High, and it was gorgeous. The Holliston Panthers, making their first playoff appearance in a decade, were woefully outmatched by the powerhouse Patriots. So how did the students behave at the game? Did frustrated Holliston fans cast aspersions on the Concord kids’ masculinity? After Concord opened up a huge early lead, did their fans yell “Scoreboard, scoreboard,” rubbing Holliston’s faces in it? No and no. This game was different from the start. Each crowd cheered for its own players, rather than trying to tear the other team’s down. Then, with Concord up 30 points at halftime, extreme kindness ensued. The Concord fans started chanting “You guys are chill!” at Holliston, bestowing the ultimate in adolescent affirmation. Holliston returned, repeating, “We respect you!” Then, all together: “Sportsmanship! Sportsmanship!” As the valiant Holliston players’ clocks continued to be cleaned, the gym erupted into song, both sets of fans united in “Sweet Caroline” and then, “Don’t Stop Believin’. ”

Well, that about does it. The Spirit of Competitiveness has finally suffered a grisly demise and this proves it. I swear if Michael Jordan reads this he’ll punch the nearest baby right in the temple.

“You guys are chill”?

“We respect you”?

This is what it’s come to? We can’t have disparaging chants like “scoreboard” anymore?

Ladies and gentlemen, it is over. We have failed as a nation.

PS – I’m pretty sure that’s what our boys chanted at the Nazis back in World War II, right? “We respect you”? I’m pretty sure it was.

PSS – I’m holding onto the hope that the students were being sarcastic. Please God, somebody tell me they were being sarcastic.

On Feb. 25, ASUCD hosted its Block Party on the Quad, where the associationsumo offered a myriad of activities for students to participate in as part of its Student Appreciation Week closing celebration.

Among those activities was an attraction in which students could dress in sumo suits and wrestle each other. The activity immediately drew criticism from members of the student body, who accused ASUCD of fat shaming and culturally appropriating Japanese culture.

According to the students who raised this issue to ASUCD, the sumo suits trivialized Japanese culture and the history of Japanese rikishi or sumo wrestlers.

Once the issue was brought to ASUCD’s attention, ASUCD’s Executive Office, consisting of President Mariah Kala Watson, Vice President Gareth Smythe and Controller Francisco Lara, immediately issued an apology for the incident and commended the students that brought the issue to light.

“We’d like to apologize for any harm the ‘Sumo Suit’ may have caused you all. This lapse in judgment is completely ASUCD’s fault and responsibility alone,” said ASUCD’s Executive Office in a Facebook post. “We are thankful to the student who courageously brought this issue to our attention. This was an egregious oversight and it will hopefully not happen in the future.”

Oh, for the love of God. Can somebody explain to me how this is offensive to Asians or how it trivializes Asian culture? And how it’s offensive to sumo wrestlers because it’s “fat shaming”? Uh, I hate to break it to the folks out at the Associated Students of the University of California-Davis, but, well, sumo wrestlers are fat. They know they’re fat. They’re supposed to be fat. They’re OK with it. It would be like dressing up like Shaquille O’Neal. You’d have to use stilts, otherwise it wouldn’t work. Hence the fat suits when dressing like a sumo wrestler. Der.

Oh, and I love how ASUCD’s Executive Office thanked the nerd who complained and called his/her actions “courageous.” Courageous my ass. Dude’s a namby-pamby of the highest order.

Wake up America!

PS- Man, the Irish are really gonna be pissed tomorrow.

So below is a letter that a South Carolina student sent to the local paper. The letter speaks for itself. My comments follow.

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Sigh. And so it continues. We can’t boo, we can’t chant anything negative, we can’t insult our opponent in any way. We don’t want any hurt feelings, now do we? Good grief. People fail in sports and get called on it. That’s part of the deal. If athletes don’t realize that fans are going to get on them and it hurts their feelings I recommend they, you know, do something else. And I have a suggestion for Paige Pierce. Enjoy college. Go out and have a beer with your friends. Perhaps a wine spritzer. Oh, and give your ticket to a real fan.

So somebody sent me a photo of this ninny eating wings at Hooter’s. What you see is not an illusion. He’s wearing rubber gloves. I have a couple of observations here other than the obvious one, which is that this guy is a wimp of the highest order. First off, I don’t care if the guy is a businessman, doctor or whoever and doesn’t want to make a mess, this is unacceptable behavior for any real American Male. That’s what napkins are for, dumbass. And tell me, does Hooter’s supply these gloves? Either way it’s an awful move but if this guy brings his own gloves it 100-times worse.

Sigh. More proof that the Wussification of America is alive and well.

Note: Had I been sitting near this assclown I’d have been compelled to call him on it. Behavior such as this cannot pass unscathed.

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Put those newspapers away! Disrespectful!

From the Associated Press: The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has banned high school students from chanting certain words and phrases at basketball games, and none of them seem close to being hurtful or inappropriate.

In an email sent out to students in December the WIAA banned “chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to disrespect.”

The following words were reportedly included as examples:

  • “We can’t hear you”
  • “Airball”
  • “You can’t do that”
  • “Scoreboard”
  • “Season’s over” (during tournament play)

Oh boy. I guess it was just a matter of time, huh? We can’t be hurting anybody’s feelings, now can we? Little Johnny might get upset! We can’t be yelling “airball” at a kid after he shoots one! His fragile psyche could be damaged forever, man!

Good God. Make it stop, America!

 

Because of course he did.

SEATTLE — A federal jury in Seattle awarded $21.5 million in damages to an Illinois man who was injured by an automatic sliding-glass door on a cruise ship in 2011.

The verdict included $16.5 million in punitive damages. James Hausman’s attorneys argued during a nine-day trial that dozens of other passengers have been injured by the doors on Holland America Line cruises because of problems with their sensors, The Seattle Times reported Tuesday.

The company has denied that claim and asked the court to reduce the judgment. It says it will appeal.

 Surveillance video shows Hausman, 61, of Springfield, Illinois, walking through an automatic door when it shut on Nov. 26, 2011, as the M/S Amsterdam approached Hawaii. Hausman, who was traveling with his wife and daughter on the beginning leg of a cruise around the world, got hit in the face and side of the head.

Holland America said in court documents that Hausman walked into the closing doors.

This article provides a good illustration of the differences between 1955 and 2015:

1955: “Damn it! I ran right into that door. I’m such an idiot. I really have to be more careful.”

2015: “Damn it! That stupid door ran right into me! This cruise line is awful. They’re not being careful enough!

Oh, and this bozo will also get rich because of his clumsiness. It’s a great time to be an American, huh?

Sigh.

Note: I might add that although James Hausman went to a doctor and was diagnosed with a minor concussion, he only did so after finishing his vacation. Musta been in terrible pain, huh?

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I’ve written before about how we’ve all become soft, how we’ve become a nation of wimps. We’ve become “wussified” if you will. Well, after some exhaustive research by the crack staff here at Shoe: Untied we’ve unearthed some ads that actually prove we were a more hardened breed back then. To wit . . .

 Below we find some awesome playground equipment from back in the day. Trust me, if any of this stuff still exists it won’t for long. Look at all the metal and sharp edges and stuff! A kid could impale himself on that! Outrageous! Then again, wasn’t that sort of the point?

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Here we have an advertisement extolling the virtues of the Volkswagen’s new sun roof. Look, you can sit your 3-year old on the roof! Woot! Good times. Seatbelts Schmeatbelts.

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Everybody remembers Jarts! Sharp metal darts that weighed about 3-pounds each. What could possibly go wrong? But hey, if you got hit once you learned to get the hell out of the way, amirite?

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That’s right damn it! We ate lard! And we liked it!

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Below is a great example of how we were tougher back in my day. Look, even the doctors were recommending that we fire up a heater and inhale deeply. And most of them smoked Camels!

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Look! back in my day we had darling pet monkeys, and of course one of America’s favorite pets, the adorable baby raccoon! Rabies shots sold separately.

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And kids, in my day even Santa had no fear of silly diseases like cancer and heart disease! He recommended cigarettes and tobacco as Christmas gifts! We laughed at the threat of an early death!

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So there you go. Irrefutable proof that we were not only tougher in my day, we were infinitely smarter.

So there.

CINCINNATI – Parents are mad that a Catholic school suspended their 6-suspyear-old son for pretending to shoot an imaginary bow and arrow at recess.

Matthew Miele said his son served the second day of his three-day punishment Monday at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Westwood.  He wants the school to drop the issue.

Miele said his son was playing outside when a teacher saw what he was doing and brought it to the principal’s attention. That’s when Matthew’s son was called to the principals office. 

The school has a zero tolerance policy toward threatening gestures.

Yep, the wussification just keeps rolling along. Kids aren’t allowed to pretend anymore. Hey, when I was a kid we pretended to throw hand grenades and shoot machine guns at recess. Hell, I remember our 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Ritchie, acting as judge when we did backflips off the monkey bars:

“Ooh, Dave landed on his head. I have to give him a 3.5.”

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times. We’re raising a nation of soft little weenies who are going to to afraid of their own shadow.

Sigh.

 

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. (KCPQ) — Kids at the Mercer Island School Districtbrother sister chase game medium are now banned from playing the popular childhood game of tag on the playground.

Parents KCPQ News they had no idea about the ban until their kids told them. Now, moms and dads are asking why they weren’t part of the decision-making process.

“Good grief, our kids need some unstructured playtime,” said mom Kelsey Joyce.

It’s a game that practically everyone has played – but if you go to public school on Mercer Island, keep your hands to yourself.

The signs outside one elementary school encourage kids to join league sports teams – but playing tag on the playground is no longer allowed during recess.

Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained the district’s decision via email:

“The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety. This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.

And so it continues.

Nice job, Mercer Island School District. You must be really proud of yourself. You’ve banned the game of Tag, quite possibly the second greatest game known to children (after Dodgeball of course).

Let’s see. So now we’ve banned Tag, Dodgeball, War, Monkey Bars, Father’s and Mother’s Day cards (out of respect for students without a mom or dad!), Flaming Hot Cheetos, and heaven help us all, HUGS.

What do we ban next, smiles?

Hell, one school even banned the dictionary because kids were looking up inappropriate words. Good God, people.

True story. About 6-7 years ago I was teaching Phys Ed when one of our douchestick administrators walked by. As he did, a little kindergartner happened to be giving me a hug. Later I saw the same assclown guy in the hallway and the following conversation took place:

“You know Dave, you really need to be careful letting kids hug you.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because it could be misinterpreted.”

“Misinterpreted as what?”

“Well, you know.”

“No, I don’t know. In addition, the day I’m not allowed to let kids hug me is the day I leave education.”

At that point he just stared blankly at me. But then I swear he said this:

“And there’s also the lice thing.”

Then I just turned and walked away. Why? Because I was talking to a moron.

Alright, I’m going to get right to the point. I’ve finally been pushed over the edge. For the third time in the past month I’ve heard the following words uttered in one context or another from one of my students. Although different sports were involved, in each incident the conversation went something like this:

“Hey Mr. Shoe! Did you hear about our soccer tournament last weekend? We won third place!”

Wait. What? You WON third place? What is this, some psychobabble nonsense somebody came up with in order to save our kids from damage to their self-esteem?

Good Lord.

You know, I think I first heard this senseless phrase one summer when some Euro Trash announcer proclaimed that a biker in the Tour De France had “won second place” in some stage of the race or something. At the time I attributed it to the fact that the announcer was French and well, the French are usually gutless wussies fairly sensitive folk.

But, I guess I was wrong.

It’s a phenomenon that’s caught on right here in my own neighborhood. May God, and Bobby Knight, have mercy on our souls.

Oh by the way, I really feel better now knowing that we won 2nd place in that ’72 Olympic basketball game against the Russians. And to think that for all these years I thought we lost. Whew. That’s a relief.

Additional thought: Can you win 12th place? Serious question.

So here’s where we stand, America. We have kids who are “winning” third place, Junior High games where we don’t keep score, coaches who aren’t allowed to cut players, teams in which every kid is guaranteed to get playing time, teachers who aren’t allowed to give grades, parents who are suing little league coaches who don’t play their kids, gym classes where competition is discouraged, and soccer teams with 12 captains.

Sigh.

Listen, I know our kids need us at times and my son knew I was there for him if he had a serious problem. But doesn’t anybody realize that by protecting our kids from every type of adversity they may face, we are preventing them from learning how to deal with said adversity? That only by letting our kids face and conquer their problems on their own will they learn to handle them in the future? Is it that so hard to understand?

Apparently so.

Because the wussification continues . . .

You guys know how I feel about the Wussification of America. If not, just type it in the search box on the left and read what pops up. Good news, though. Some people feel just like I do. I’m not even going to comment any more on this other than to say thank you, James Harrison. Thank you very much.

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First read the comments on Marcy’s Diner Facebook page. My observations are below.

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Hey Tara Carson, maybe you’ll think twice before going to Marcy’s Diner and ordering 3 full size pancakes for your screaming kid again, huh? Because Marcy’s Diner won’t stand for it. Not only will you be put in your place, you’ll be called out on Facebook as well. Newsflash Tara Carson: Nobody likes a screaming kid while they’re trying to enjoy their Crumbled Bacon, Swiss Cheese and Tomato Omelette with a side order of Jalapenos. Do it again and Marcy will put a boot up your ass. Why? Because she’s a true American hero. Marcy! Marcy! Marcy!

PS: Your kid’s not traumatized. Chillax, future helicopter mom.

PSS: Honestly, take your kid outside if he’s screaming, for cryin’ out loud. Good Lord.