Wednesday, March 26, 2014


lego maniaCBS Evening News ran a piece the other day on how the NFL ran a football camp for high school football players to teach them how to tackle properly. They included "the only person the kids might listen to," the kids' mothers.

The images of mothers flopping through football drills was disturbing in itself, of course. If one of those had been my mother I would have decided to play, I don't know, tennis maybe, or cribbage. Yikes.

But, what has happened to our social structure that "the only person they will listen to" is their mothers? They are not saying that these are kids from broken homes or are underprivileged. They don't hint in any way that fathers are not in the picture, or that if they are not that there's anything remarkable about that. They just imply that it is perfectly natural for mothers to be the most potent image in a young man's life, and I find that disturbing.

That is a trend that has been becoming greater and greater. Football and basketball players have increasingly spoken of their mothers as their support figure. Sometimes that has clearly been due to an absent father, and I get that, but I've seen quite a few where the father has clearly been present but has been in the background as the player speaks about his mother and the role she has played in his life.

I have to tread a bit lightly here, because I did not have a good relationship with my mother, in fact nobody had a good relationship with her, but the person I looked to as a role model and was my teacher and guide was my father, and that would have been the case regardless of how I felt about my mother. That was how boys grew up in my day. In fact any boy whose role model was his mother was destined to lead a pretty miserable life. Today that seems to be the norm, and I'm not sure whether that serves us well or not. I'm inclined to think it does not.


  1. bruce9:35 AM

    Yes I listened to my mother (and my father) and I don't remember her being more influential than him other except for proximity. But mothers are revered more than fathers, just look at stats for Mothers Day vs Fathers Day.

    What is equally disturbing to me is the mothers being there in the first place. Helicopter parenting strikes again. And that is a big issue too - what is teaching the kids to be independent? The think for themselves? and work things out between peers?

    Ok, that often resulted in fights, and we just can't have that anymore, can we?

  2. bruce9:52 AM

    I watched the post at the link and it seemed that it was as much educating the mothers about football and the dangers thereof than "this is the only person they listen to". And it sounded like from the above post that the mother were at the camp with the sons because they were the only ones they would listen to AT The Camp...

    Ok, maybe the kids might be more likely to listen to mothers than coaches, etc, but how many kids listen closely to their parents at that age anyway?