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Conversations between parents and football players

September 20, 2010

I fully understand I look at utopia when discussing high school athletics.

But, so what?

The things I hear at high school football venues on Friday night are disgusting.

I know it's not every comment, but it's far too many to count.

Booing at a high school football game?


Be serious.

And that booing is not being directed at officials.

It is being directed at coaches.

But, it might as well be directed at the kids.

No one steps on the field under the lights or a Saturday afternoon game with full intentions of playing badly and losing.

Not one coach.

Not one player.

Everyone goes out to win a football game.

But, that doesn't always happen.

It's sports.

Someone wins.

Someone loses.

Do you think coaches and players like being 1-3 or 0-4?


So, here's a few scenarios for you to understand what's going on throughout the Valley.

These are all football related, but you can put any athlete in any position in any sport and it would be basically the same.

No. 1

Dad: Nice game son.

Son: We lost.

Dad: Yeah, but you played really well.

Son: Dad, I stunk.

Dad: No, you played really well, your teammates were terrible. They can't catch your passes and they sure can't tackle. It's not your fault.

Son: Dad, it is my fault. I'm the quarterback. I'm the leader of the team. I need to play better. We need to play better. We need to get a win. We just need to work harder and do what the coaches tell us.

Dad: Your coaches are the problem. They don't know what they're doing.

Son: Dad, that's enough. I'm going out to meet some of my friends, you know those guys who you say are terrible.

No. 2

Mom: I can't believe they only threw the ball to you two times tonight.

Son: We won. I don't care.

Mom: Yeah, but those two passes aren't enough. You're better than they other receivers on the team.

Son: Mom, I don't care. We won and that's all that matters.

Mom: Yeah, but you could have won by more if they would have thrown you the ball more than twice.

Son: Mom, listen to me, I do not care. It's not fun if I catch 10 passes and we lose. I want to win. The team wants to win. The coaches want to win. And, if that means I get the ball twice, I get the ball twice.

Mom: Yeah, but, it sure would be nice to see that those coaches would notice you're the best receiver on the team and they're hurting your chances for a college scholarship.

No. 3

Dad: How was film session?

Son: Terrible. Even though we won, we did a lot of things wrong and the coaches told us we have to do better or we're going to get beat.

Dad: But, how did you look on film?

Son: I made too many mistakes, like the rest of the team. I have to get better. We have to get better.

Dad: I didn't see you make any mistakes. I thought you played a great game.

Son: Dad, I missed two downfield blocks, jumped offsides once and missed an interception that was right in my hands. How in the world is that a great game?

Dad: So, did you win any awards this week?

Son: For what, missing downfield blocks?

Dad: I figured it was your turn to get some of those skull-and-crossbone things. Everyone else has them and it's not like those guys have played well enough to get them. So, did you get any?

No. 4

Mom: Do you guys do anything at practice all week?

Son: Yeah, a lot, why?

Mom: It just seems like every week you guys can't do anything?

Son: What do you mean?

Mom: You guys can't run, can't throw the ball, the quarterback is always running for his life and it just seems like the coaches aren't doing anything to make you better.

Son: We work our butts off each week. We work really hard. We just have to get better. We play really well at times. We just have to do a better job of playing better more consistently.

Mom: But you haven't won a game and it seems like you won't win a game, so why play?

Son: I play because I want to. We want to win as much as anybody else. Other teams are just better than us right now. That's not the end of the world, we just have to keep our heads up and get better.

Mom: I want you to quit before you really get hurt.

Son: Not a chance.

Mom: But, why do you want to play when you guys won't win a game?

Son: Because I want to play. Because I want to be a part of a football team. I want to be with my buddies. I don't want to be part of the problem mom and quitting is a part of the problem. I don't want to be one of those guys walking through the halls at school who should be playing but quit.

Mom: Well, I think you should quit.

No. 5

Dad: Did you coach teach you that?

Son: What?

Dad: How to get a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty?

Son: No. Why?

Dad: Because your team was moving the ball. You guys got down to the 35 and it was first-and-10. Then you go and hit someone late and you cost your team 15 yards and now it's second-and-25.

Son: Coach let me have it for that and I know I'll get it Monday at practice.

Dad: You should. Your coach should have chewed you more and I hope you run until you puke at practice. It's what you deserve for being selfish.

Son: But, dad you don't understand.

Dad: Yep and I don't have to understand. I understand kids make a mistake. That wasn't a mistake. That was a choice and your choice cost your team.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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