Thursday, August 17, 2006

Football Jock Justice

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or incidents is not entirely coincidental.

Hey, judge, heard about the sentence you gave those two teenagers for their role in a prank gone terribly awry. Community service and two months in juvie for causing an accident that left two other teens with lasting injuries. But then you postponed the sentence until after the completion of football season. Um, I think we need to talk.

I’m totally with you, judge, when you say, ‘Participating in high school football is a positive experience.’ I, too, think that high school sports participation can foster discipline and dedication. Hell, I’m not sure my own kid would have made it through high school if sports eligibility wasn’t contingent on maintaining a passing GPA. Come to think of it, though, it was pretty tough to keep that GPA up. Judge, see what you can do about loosening that GPA requirement, OK? Wouldn’t want to keep any kids from the benefits of football.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, judge. Although the parents of the victims most certainly will, I’m not questioning the light sentence you imposed. I understand it was all part of the plea agreement. Bet that one kid didn’t have to think too long about the plea deal, huh? Since he already had a few juvenile convictions on his record, and all. He was probably thinking, uh-oh, three strikes and I’m out. Oh, no wait, that’s baseball, not football.

And, judge, I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking. That it just as easily could have been our kids who went and did something stupid. Doing without considering the consequences is just typical teenage behavior, right? Can’t necessarily expect responsible, adult thinking to develop until later. May happen, say, after losing something meaningful just because of a foolish act. Hmm, check this out, though, judge. If teens can do stuff without thinking and then be cushioned from the oh-so-undesirable consequences, they may keep acting without thinking forever.

But I figure you’re wise to all that, judge, seeing as how many of the people who end up in your courtroom probably acted without thinking. That’s why you’re making those kids write one-page essays on ‘the importance of engaging the brain before doing dumb shit,’ no? The essay will be a valuable learning experience, I’m sure. No doubt far more memorable than not playing football this year would have been. But, the guys are gonna be a little busy for the next few months, what with practices and games and all. So you might want to make sure to extend the essay deadline until after football season, OK?

Just one more thing, judge. Usually if you feel the need to preface your actions with, ‘I probably shouldn’t be doing this,’ then, guess what? You probably shouldn’t be doing it. And that’s what you said right before you postponed the teens’ sentences until after football season. If you catch my drift.


John H said...

damn, he really did say that.."I shouldn't be doing this".

Sadly, this outcome is not surprising considering many consider football our national civil religion.

Good post, P!

Vive42 said...

well, all i can say is it's a good think judges go really really hard on poor kids, especially poor black kids. they get sentenced as adults and even given them the death penalty- that way idiot judges can be free to coddle the rich white kids without seeming soft on crime. everybody wins!

meloncutter said...

One thing I learned during the 20 years I wore the uniform of a police officer, Kids who are let off have no fear of the court and kids who aren't let off have no respect for the court because of the kids who are let off. Both become future problems for law enforcement.

I still believe the best law enforcement for kids starts in the home with the parents. Most of the kids I dealt with, The parents either visciously defended the kids with no expense spared because no one was going to mess with their children, whether their children were guilty or not, or their parents took no interest in the situation at all.

Kids will be kids and do stupid stuff. Parents need to be involved in the raising of their children but let the kids take a few knocks if they screw up.

The main reason I retired was I was afraid that since the children of the modern world have no fear or respect for the criminal justice system, I would be forced into a situation that I did not want to be in.

The court system and the parents created this hot bed, I guess we all have to sleep in it.

Later Yall....


I would have loved to see what would have happened if one of the kids on trial was a star athlete and the other a star math-lete.