By Esme Murphy

This week one of my son’s friends quit middle school football.

Too boring is the word. Too much talk about safety, lectures on the proper way to hit. How to take a hit. How to safely tackle.

In the eyes of middle school kids football is about hitting. Hitting as glamorized by the NFL.

Now four players that the NFL suspended from the New Orleans Saints’ pay-for-pain bounty scandal have been reinstated. A three person arbitration panel ruled that the NFL Commissioner had overstepped his bounds in suspending them. The ruling allows that the suspension could still happen, but only after a more thorough investigation.

The suspensions, including the year-long ban on New Orleans head coach Sean Peyton remain in place. But the players are back, one of them, Jonathon Vilma tweeted “Victory is mine!!!!”.

Victory at all cost. Victory even if the goal is to injure your opponent.

The investigation into this case continues. In the middle school football locker rooms, so will the lectures about safety.

And more kids will no doubt think the safety stuff is dull, compared to the way the big guys play, and most importantly, are rewarded for playing football.


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