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Dear Football Mom: Should I tell on the coach?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

My husband’s work takes him out of town most weeks. This summer, he was in another city eating dinner in the hotel restaurant when he saw our son’s position coach. The coach was with a woman, not his wife. My husband saw this coach from a distance, however, and I thought he could be mistaken. Now, we are hearing rumors. Our son plays college ball, so this was a college coach. I want to call the athletic director, but my husband said, “No way.” What should I do? I’m disappointed in this coach and outraged, to put it mildly. Aren’t these college coaches supposed to set good examples on and off the field? If I could just get a hold of him, I’d give him an earful.

Dear Reader,

As much as you’d like to take this coach dude behind a woodshed and pound some moral decency into his brain — don’t. Listen to your husband on this one. I hate to tell you, but trying to beat some morality in him would only hurt your son. And hey, honestly, it wouldn’t take anyhow. Here is where cool heads prevail over heated fussing-outs. 

What if, for instance, it was someone who looked like the coach and was actually a case of mistaken identity. It could have been someone else. Even though rumors fly quicker than a 747 jet, you never know for sure. Perhaps a sister or cousin? I’m giving this guy all the benefit of the doubt I can. I know, that’s rare for me, but here is why.

College coaches are continually on the trail looking to field their teams with talent for the next upcoming year. Especially true for the assistants, meaning the position coaches are almost always traveling somewhere every Friday night during season. When Friday lights dim, they are visiting high school spring practices, coach’s offices or players homes. The road takes them away from their own home and hearth for extended periods of time. I’m not excusing cheating on wives whatsoever, but with all the travel they do, it’s a wonder the divorce count for college coaches isn’t higher. They’d have to be purdy grounded to stay true, and we know it’s not always in their DNA to be truthful and above the fray.

I think the best thing you can do for coach dude is pray for him, his family, his players, his team. You don’t know the circumstances and even if you think you do, you really don’t. 

So, with that I say make sure your son keeps his character intact by his own parents’ example of showing grace and not caving in to the latest gossip. You never know when the cleat could be on the other foot.

Dear Football Mom,

Our son has a mild form of autism, but is highly functional, and is going to be in middle school next year. He loves football and has played the last two years on a county league’s football team. He’s done quite well, played defense and his teammates have been great to him. He wants to play on the school league next year. I’ve checked with the school board, county administrators, the principal of the school and the coach. They have all approved his/our request, but just got a letter from the school board stating that they will have to rescind our request. What can we do to fight this? 

Dear Reader,

First, I’d like to congratulate your son for being such a great football player and taking a chance on being part of his peewee county team the last two years. I’d also like to applaud him for wanting to play in middle school next year. If only some of the kids who do play had your child’s heart for the game.

Second, sounds to me like someone on the school board got cold feet. They may have consulted a lawyer and now don’t want to chance the risk of injury to your son or take on the liability.  

Third, I would research some other cases of children who have played the game with some sort of special qualities. (Not fond of other words used to describe children with gifts beyond our imaginations!) Geeish. Then, you may have to hire a lawyer yourselves to approach the board and reopen your son’s case with fresh eyes.

There have been a couple of high school players who’ve played blind. Other kids with different special gifts, and some without certain body parts, have all played football. It’s quite amazing. 

What an awesome son you have. We are pulling for you and now, so will those who read this column.  

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