How can you kill a second half?
How can you stop a boy from adding six?
How can you stop a kid from scoring?
What makes a team slow down?
(Sung to the tune “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by the Bee Gees)
Football season has begun for my 10-year old. They’ve played two games so far, winning both. They won last weekend by a score of 32 – 0. However, there’s just one thing. At halftime, the score was 32 – 0.
My son’s football league has a rule that prohibits outscoring a team by more than 32 points and will fine teams that do $150. Unfortunately, a lopsided score happens sometimes. There are nearly 40 teams in the league and some are much stronger than others. When they square off, the score looks bad. The rule is in place to prevent embarrassment.
After watching last weekend, I wonder if the alternative isn’t worse. Everything went right for my son’s team early. When an interception that was run back for a touchdown put them up 32-0, the team was stuck. From there, it got interesting. The coaches told the kids not to score. They also told them to occasionally fumble, to run out of bounds despite a clear lane to the end zone, and even asked the refs to call phantom holding penalties, all in the name of sportsmanship. By the end, they’d preserved the 32 – 0 final.
However, some time during the game, I began thinking about the other team. It was obvious the kids were messing up on purpose. I wondered how this made the other team feel. One of the parents mentioned they were going to write a letter to the league. My response was that I doubted it would do any good.
How do you think the other team felt watching the second half? And what do you think about the rule?