Spadea — A collective ‘suck it up, snowflake’ is in order
Unfortunately, I feel like it's a slight diss on actual snowflakes to compare today's whining, wimpy generation to the unique natural winter precipitation that I look forward to every year. So my apologies to "Old Man Winter."
But the point remains, no matter how you want to label the generation of whining, complaining, entitled, brats currently making their way toward adulthood, they can't cope with life's adversity. Dealing with adversity is a key element of growing up. Making good decisions despite having the odds against you. Toughing out difficult and sometimes painful events, both physical and emotional, are critical to anyone who is going to not only survive in the world, but succeed.
Verona High School Football Coach Lou Racioppe was suspended by the Board of Education pending an investigation into allegations that he pushed the student athletes too far. Making them go through practice to the point of exhaustion and reprimanding them for leaving the field for experiencing pain.
I was able to catch up with his attorney, Greg Mascera, on the New Jersey 101.5 morning show and on Chasing News for a dynamic discussion about what the coach is going to do next and the state of arguably the most coddled generation in American history.
It's no wonder this is happening though. Look at our current governor. He ushered in the era of the "anti-bullying" laws which essentially has taken school yard behavior that would have otherwise taught kids coping skills and how to stand-up for themselves and made it effectively illegal. So the lesson? School administrators will fight the kids battles for them. No need to learn strength and self preservation.
Similar thing happening with the out-of-control opioid epidemic. It's the fault of the pharma companies, the docs and the pharmacists. Really? My thought is modern medicine is a great thing for most people, but the state of New Jersey has decided to attack the companies that provide us with so many life saving and life-expediting drugs by suing them and vilifying them. Perhaps we need to start to recognize that we've empowered a generation of young people to go out in the world unprepared to cope with adversity.
Seems everything is someone else's fault. When this happens, the small percentage of people that are truly victims of prescription abuse and life threatening bullying get lost in the shuffle. If everything is under the same label, the real victims fall through the cracks. Same thing with the Verona coach. When tough talk and tough practice becomes something that you may lose your job over, no one is going to step up in the public square to truly provide the tough leadership that our kids need, want and deserve.
The bottom line is that if America and Americans are going to compete in the world and achieve any level of success at home, we had better toughen up. No more participation trophies. Enough of the allowance for complaints on and off the field. How about we push back with a collective "suck it up, snowflake" and start to expect more from young people. They'll be adults soon enough and they will be ill prepared for adversity of life if we don't act.
We can't outlaw bullying. We need to raise tough kids to fight back. We can't and shouldn't outlaw physically demanding sports. Instead, we need to embrace the reality of the need for physical conditioning. And then we need to address the very real difference between pain and injury.
Perhaps the worst part of this story is the BOE pushing the responsibility off to the kids and asking their input. Ridiculous. The coach is doing what he's been doing successfully for decades. Helping kids on the football field develop into tough, respectable young men. That's the goal and it requires a little yelling and physical trials. Period. Reinstate the coach and dismiss every member of the Board of Education that contributed to this outrageous and misguided decision.
This battle is bigger than high school football. It's about the deterioration of the tough American spirit. It's about losing kids to drugs and bad decisions because we've set them up to fail. Time to regroup and toughen up.
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