Reports from Lawrenceville, Ga., state that head coach Brooke Burdett and the U-8 Black Knights were up 32-0 in what was surely an extremely torturous game to watch. Elijah Burdett, a player on the Knights and son of head coach Brooke, then performed one of the toughest feats in football: he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. In front of his friends and parents (particularly his coaching father), Elijah scored his first ever touchdown in his first year of organized football, which I’m sure will be unforgettable for his family and him.
It wouldn’t be much of a story if the kid had the chance to celebrate with his teammates and create a well-deserved, lasting memory. No, this story takes a strange twist when you add in the fact that Elijah’s pick-six resulted in a $500 dollar fine and a week-long suspension for his father.
It was because of the fucking mercy rule. If you’re not familiar with the mercy rule, good. You shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be. This concept is up there as one of the most un-American ideas that we still continue to perpetuate with no shame. The mercy rule is pretty simple: one team is allowed to beat another, but not by too much. If you exceed this differential, the game ends. You aren’t allowed to win by too many points. If you were coached to compete, then obviously, the rule makes no fucking sense.
The Lawrenceville league in which the Black Knights “compete” has a 33-point mercy rule. How it came to the conclusion that 33 was just too damn much and not 32 or even 35, I have no clue. I don’t even want to know, because I’m sure the explanation will just piss me off more, rather than provide any sort of valuable explanation.
Parents of the Black Knights have offered to help pay the league fine; however, Coach Burdett will most certainly still be suspended for the week due to league rules.
Obviously, the issue has nothing to do with the fucking money, seeing as $500 can be evenly distributed between the parents. Coach Burdett is most likely still allowed to watch the upcoming game from the parents’ section, so his suspension also isn’t too significant moving forward.
The reason why this story is significant is because of the detriment that the mercy rule has caused these kids. Look, I understand rules like this are theoretically set in place to create the competitive spirit. Even with this intention, it’s not working. It’s working against the fundamental values that America has been built upon. If we are taught, at the impressionable age of eight, that we must work hard, study, prepare, and execute in everything we do, and if we don’t do these things, we will suffer the consequences, what are we actually going to learn with roadblocks such as the mercy rule in our way? It’s simply a gracious regulation that keep us from truly understanding the lessons of life.
The “Pussification of America” is real, folks. It’s a disgusting epidemic far worse than anything we are facing today. We are creating a society that promotes mediocrity, a society of idealists who feel entitled to anything they want because it’s always been given to them, a society with an overall sense that the playing field is level when it really isn’t..
[via CBS Sports]
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