Monday, March 13, 2006

Report Card Comments From The Straight Talking Coach Regarding Your Son Chuck's Football Prospects

Mr. and Mrs. Garman,

Honestly, I don't think Charles is a football player (he says that you guys prefer people call him Chuck, but he likes Charles and in this case I think he's onto something). He's explained to me how adamant you both were about getting him into football, and I can appreciate your enthusiasm. Charles has indeed tried very hard, but I don't think this is his game.

I've tried putting him in any number of positions. We noticed he had a tendency to run on his tip toes, almost prancing if you will, so we tried him at wide receiver. However, he tended to bat the ball away from him rather than drawing it in like we'd want a receiver to do. When the ball did hit him in the chest it tended to take him down and sideline him for a good ten minutes.

As a blocker he tends to confuse the word 'hit' with the word 'slap' which might have worked in Rosie Grier's day, but today it's not only illegal, Charles is far from being the next Rosie. Far.

As a running back he is indeed good at eluding defenders, but he tends to run backwards in order to avoid them. Since the object is to advance the ball, this sort of defeats the purpose. When defenders do get close he often throws the ball at them in a last ditch effort to stop their charge. Again, effective, but counterproductive.

As a quarterback, he routinely engaged the huddle in lengthy and meandering discussion, often about the attitudes of boys playing defense or the way his teammates were failing to wear their uniforms properly. I'm told that he used the word 'tacky' often in these discussions.

When I've asked Charles why specifically he came out for our sport, he said that mom and dad wanted me to 'turn him into a football player'. When I asked if there was anything he personally liked about the game he said that he did enjoy the 'pageantry' but that he felt the school's colors were 'hideous'.

So this is what I have to say to you as parents. Honestly, I can teach anyone to play football, but years of experience have taught me that I can not 'make' them a football player. Charles is a great kid with lots of energy and ideas. After he was injured by a pass that hit him in the hands we made him a manager for a week and things in the locker room have never run more smoothly. He also rearranged our coaching office and I can't tell you how much easier my job has been now that I can actually find the things I need.

I've been told that I could be sued for suggesting other athletic activities like ballet, figure skating, aerobics, or possibly even tennis, that I think might be more appropriate for Charles. So I won't suggest any of those things. What I will suggest is that you have a long conversation with the boy, and yourselves, and think about just how hard to you want to try to make Charles into Chuck. In my opinion, Charles is a crap football player, but a hell of a kid. I have no idea how Chuck would turn out.


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