The media is calling this bullying and hazing. But it involves the brutal and forceful act of sodomy. This is criminal. The football season was canceled. It should have been.
I’m beginning to ponder if every football season in every school should be too-something profane for a coal regioner like me to suggest, but..it’s on my mind ..
Nonetheless, that issue aside for the moment, let’s focus on what happened in New Jersey..
Sayreville War Memorial High School had the rest of their season canceled. This after sex crimes and hazing news came to light.. administrators attempted to mitigate damages.. no word on whether coaches were involved.. or knew.. or anything. But that will surely come as more people point fingers and talk amongst themselves..
CNN is among those reporting that four older players on the team sexually harassed four younger ones up to 4 times in September. The younger players were ‘touched in a sexual manner.’ One was penetrated.
Most media asserts that this situation puts ‘hazing in focus.’ I think the opposite for me. It puts into focus the Friday night lights of worship that take place in middle class, rural, or poor communities across America. While I don’t believe the game of football is crude or rude, I am not an American prude, I do believe that in schools, more focus is put on pigskin than literature and math. I know, it’s always been that way. I get that. And yes, those Friday Night Lights are more a field a worship than one of sportmanship..
I have previously expressed myself in full concerning the way America loves its game of football in an article titled “The False Idol Crisis.” I stand by what I wrote, and now only amplify it further to say that we also put teenagers on pedestals and made them local yocal heroes. Something that a teenage mind of hormones and an acne-ridden bundle of nerves cannot handle..
Before you know it, you’re seeing washed up high school football stars in your local watering house. Reliving the past. Wearing the varsity jacket. And not seeing how fast time has moved on.
My local area had a case of hazing years ago, when I was a kid.. I wasn’t in the school that the broomstick incident took place in. And at that time, the world wasn’t equipped with Twitter and Tumblr. No Facebook.. just, at that time, a quiet reserve about what happened and a ”don’t talk about it” attitude from people who were quite happy that what happened in the coal region stayed in the coal region.
That attitude was hit by reality when football stars beat an illegal Mexican man to death in Shenandoah, PA, a few years ago.
This town in New Jersey is being hit by reality, too..
There is no hiding reality in the modern world—it’s all out there. And even when it’s not, it will be.
Football in America. Under the bright lights of Friday night.