Rogers, Over and Out
By Tim Rogers
Everything wrong with youth sports in one show…
For the most part, reality television is bogus and one of the worst is “Friday Night Tykes.”
If you have watched it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t caught an episode or two on The Esquire Network, I suggest you do.
Then change the channel and never go back.
On Tuesdays at 9 p.m. you will learn all the wrong ways to coach young kids. Or, any kid. You will see some obviously unqualified individuals teaching youngsters things that should never be taught. And, they will do it with the same intensity as Sgt. Hartman from “Full Metal Jacket.”
Obviously, I don’t hold reality TV in very high regard. Most of it is moronic. Not a fan of the “Real Housewives” or “Dance Moms” or “16 and Pregnant” or “The Bachelor” and his female counterpart, “The Bachelorette.” In fact, I often wondered why the network zealots just didn’t get the Bachelor and the Bachelorette together to begin with and save everyone a lot of grief.
“Friday Night Tykes” features 8-and-9-year olds from the Texas Youth Football Association (TYFA) and the whackos coaching them.
Here is what Kirk Herbstreit tweeted about the show:
“This ‘Friday Night Tykes’ is UNREAL!!! Everything wrong with youth sports in one show. Parents/coaches should be embarrassed. #pathetic.”
The National Football League has described the show as “troubling to watch.”
I couldn’t agree more. The show is a disturbing macho-man display that borders on child abuse.
FNT follows five youth teams – the Judson Jr. Rockets, the Predators, Northeast Colts, Outlaws and the Junior Broncos — in San Antonio during the 2013 season. One team had rejoined the league after missing a year because it had been accused of illegally recruiting players. Don’t forget, these are 8-and-9-year olds.
During the series, which premiered on January 14, coaches can be seen riding kids as they practiced in 90-degree heat.
Producers of the show claim that it shows youngsters being taught discipline and dedication. In the name of transparency, they claim they also show kids being hounded, cursed at, injured, embarrassed and – get this – being encouraged to use his helmet to hit an opponent in the head.
Little kids can suffer concussions, too, can’t they?
Not surprisingly, two of the coaches recently were suspended by the TYFA for violating the league’s code of conduct. Stunning.
One is Charles Chavarria, who coaches the Junior Broncos. On camera, he was caught grabbing a player by the helmet, pointing near the earhole and saying, “Ya’ll can hit everybody right here. They’re going to lose one player at a time.”
In another episode he says, “You have the opportunity today to rip their freakin’ heads off and make them bleed. If I cut ‘em with a knife they will bleed red, just like you.”
For good measure, he added, “There should be no reason why ya’ll don’t make the other teams cry. I could care less if they cry.”
Need further evidence?
“You need to smash that frigging kid,” he tells one of his players. “I want him on the floor. You’ve got to smash his head.”
During one practice he is seen coming to the aid of a player who was obviously in trouble, crying and sucking air while running wind sprints under a blazing sun.
“Quit crying,” he said. “There’s no need to cry. You gonna throw up? Blow some chunks and then we’ll run again.”
So, the kid pukes and returns to running. It was a wonderful sight.
Chavarria, who is caught crying after his team loses a game, was suspended for one year.
North East Colts coach Marecus Goodloe was suspended for the six-game spring season for leading his team in a chant against an opponent that included an expletive that rhymes with “tuck.”
Did I point out that these are 8-and-9-year olds?
At one point a coach says, “I want you to put it in his helmet. I don’t care if he don’t get up.”
Of course, there are the scenes that go along with reality TV. The belligerent parents screaming at referees. On-the-field fights.
Chavarria, a mountain of a man, apologized for his actions.
He told the San Antonio Express-News, “I went from being a guy who was looked up to in the community and now I’m getting death threats.”
In an interview with San Antonio KENS5.com, he said, “I have regrets with my actions and behaviors. I have regrets with the show. I’ve lost a lot. It was also a learning curve to me as well. Maybe I need to change some things that’s gone on.”