Coach, it’s National Teachers Appreciation Week. Any teachers you’d like to recognize?
One of my biggest complaints about the youth football league in which I coach is that they’ve grossly overstepped their bounds. Although run by the Parks and Recreation Department, the league requires that kids maintain a “C average” in school to be eligible to play and present their report card each semester for inspection. It’s a disgusting abuse of power, but one I have to live with for the time being.
As a result, it is important for any burgeoning youth football coaching legend to have ties to the local school system (as well as the local sheriff’s department, but that’s an issue for another day). As you can probably imagine, I am not without enemies at the local elementary school. I ask my players to stop doing homework during the fall so that they can focus on football, and I encourage their parents to hold them out of school on game days. This offends a lot of teachers.
But as with any organization, there are diamonds in the rough. And in this instance, I’d be remiss not to recognize the vice principal at the elementary school my players attend. He’s in his late 30’s, has a pretty impressive mustache, usually wears a short sleeve button up shirt with a tie, keeps a stack of Hustler magazines in his desk at school, and is fidgety and has a not-so-well-hidden cocaine problem, but you didn’t hear that from me. Recently, we had a couple of players who had major disciplinary problems or were on the verge of academic ineligibility, so we were looking for some help.
Thankfully, my DC knows the Vice Principal because they both hang out at the bowling alley a lot. After learning the Vice Principal is a self-professed “big fan of Hooters,” I set up a dinner meeting with him there to see if he could help us out. We also had my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys work his connections to the local gentleman’s club to get the Vice Principal free access to the VIP room after dinner. We capped off the night with shots of Fireball in the parking lot at Kmart and entered into an agreement under which the Vice Principal agreed to turn a blind eye to disciplinary problems and to “adjust” grades when necessary. In return, twice a month, we will buy him all the wings and beer he can consume at Hooters, and he gets four free VIP passes to the gentleman’s club every quarter.
This man may not fit within society’s pre-conceived notion of a “passionate” educator, but he’s done more to positively influence the lives of students than 99% of teachers out there. And it’s all because he understands that these players learn far more on a football field than they ever will listening to some teacher yap about the War of 1812.