Character & Mental Toughness- Behind Enemy Lines





“The outrage over bounties is nothing more than false sanctimony from those unwilling to concede that a principal reason for their love of the NFL is the relentless physical brutality.  As a people, we like unrestrained force. Cringe all you wish, but we’re bred to take what we want through whatever means necessary rather than wait for someone to give us something.”– Drew Sharp.

I read this today in the Boston Herald.

It did not sound very New Englandy.

“Relentless Physical Brutality?”

“Unrestrained force?”

“Bred to take what we want?”

The writer was from the Detroit Free Press.  That explained a lot.  New Englanders don’t talk like this;  at least if they want to stay in good standing in polite social social circles, much less employed in education.

Reading this reminded me of what I have often told friends and fellow coaches from outside of New England…”I coach behind enemy lines.”  Coaching football in a very liberal area is like trying to teach Shakespeare in an MMA Octagon.  It’s ridiculously difficult.

Football is a violent game, but most of the kids I coach have literally never been in a fight in their lives.  I coach kids who have been rewarded for being docile and ostracized for aggression in tone and manner, much less action.

I don’t think too many of them have ever been encouraged to practice “relentless physical brutality,” or “unrestrained force.”   I don’t see many parents  breeding their kids to “take what they want.” Not that they should be.

Sure I want my players to be gentlemen off the field.; gentle men.  I even want this on the field between plays.  But I also want them to be warriors unafraid to assert themselves, undaunted when confronted with the aggression of others.

Heck, I would want those same things for my daughter. In fact, those traits are considered admirable in young women, but they get frowned upon when exhibited by boys in our area.

It saddens me to see boys debilitated, and to be afraid to call it what it is when I see it.  Detroit Free Press; it must be nice.

Maybe that’s why New England lags far behind the country in producing professional football players.  While some may make a snide comment saying that is a good thing, I don’t think it is.  Many a great man has played football. Many a lawyer, doctor, businessman, counselor, law enforcement officer, fire fighter and serviceman.  Obama played football for a little while.  The Kennedy’s played in college. Reagan and Ford were football players as well. Johnson and Eisenhower coached the game. Football needn’t be so political. When taught properly it produces diligent men of courage and kindness.

I think it possible to be both the lion and the lamb. We don’t need rabid pit bulls, but a team full of happy, pleasant, eager for love Golden Retrievers isn’t going to be very successful in football and it seems to me the world has more than enough of those types.

What I’d like to see are a few more hunting dogs; lively and relentless in the chase, fearless when cornered and a loyal friend to all when not on the hunt.

I don’t see anything wrong with trying to produce a man for all seasons including the Autumn.

About coachbillmoore

Educator/Author/Speaker/HS & NCAA Coach Character Coach Read Coach Moore’s book “On Character and Mental Toughness” Paperback available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. "The measure of your character and mental toughness is the space between what you are doing and what you could be doing." -Coach Bill Moore
This entry was posted in character and mental toughness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Character & Mental Toughness- Behind Enemy Lines

  1. adambpritchard says:

    I really enjoy your posts. In defense of my home, you might reconsider the connection between one writers thoughts and an entire regions (New Englands) football development.

  2. living4bliss says:

    What disturbed me most about the quote is “wait for someone to give us something.” You will wait for a long time and only get leftovers.

    If you want something in life you must go get it. Not necessarily take it from others, but you can’t sit around waiting until someone who has worked for theirs gives you something for nothing.

    I’m from Pittsburgh so football is our unofficial language. I bleed black and gold. Wonder if the writer has actually SEEN a football game?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s