Glenn not exactly known as having a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sports, but when it comes to parenting he certainly has a lot of experience (and sometimes questionable advice). Today, Glenn turned his attention to organized youth sports - claiming that they have instilled in kids an unearned sense of "specialness". Did anyone else agree with Glenn? Nope, and the ensuing debate may leave Glenn hiding from parents across the country.
"So I go to (Raphe's) soccer game... I'm sitting there with my life, you know, really kind of clear in my head and I hear these two parents, two separate dads. And one of them is like, Get in there! Get in there! And I'm like, 'Dude. She's 6 and the team is called the Blue Bonnets.' And the other dad was like, All right! Good job! Good job, Tiffany Carroll Ann! Good job! You keep it up! Yeah, get in there! Go! Yeah! And I'm like, what the hell are we doing?"
"It's great to be positive and supportive and I was supporting Raphe and I was there, but we were there with the whole family, we all got in the car and we all drove out to the field and we all brought out a blanket which was sopping wet because it was ‑‑ anyway, we're there for two hours on a Saturday and I'm sitting here and I'm thinking, what are we doing as a society? We are sitting there watching 6‑year‑olds in organized sports. You know what ‑‑ you know what? Go outside and play. Go outside and play. Why do you need to spend all the money? Why do we have to drag everybody out to see you guys play?"
"My dad, my dad would come to our organized games when we were in school and we were playing. But he did not come out to our little baseball games that we were playing down the street or the kick ball. Or, let's go play Frisbee or whatever. He didn't go there. We didn't drag grandma and grandpa out so they could watch the game, which was organized that everybody had a uniform for and we could all cheer."
But what is Glenn's point? Is this just a symptom of his well-documented lack of sports knowledge and enthusiasm - or is it something more?
"There's nothing wrong with organized sports. There's nothing wrong with our kids going out and playing. There's nothing wrong with cheerleading our kids. But out of all of the things that are happening in the world, we are spending so much damn time and money," Glenn explained.
Glenn explained that too much money is being spent on sports for kids, noting an elaborate 80 million dollar complex in Texas, and that they are treated like rock stars and made to feel special over what amounts to very little. He also said that kids are being taught to play instead of going out and doing something with their lives - and he pointed out George Washington as an example for going out and surveying land at thirteen years old.
"Our kids are finding themselves until they're 25 and, of course, they're still kids when they're 25. What do you say we don't treat our 12‑year‑olds like they're 6? What do you say we don't treat our 6‑year‑olds like they're soccer stars? We treat our 12‑year‑olds like 12‑year‑olds should be treated. It is in this progressive era for the last hundred years that all of a sudden children are all morons, children are all incapable, children could never work. I don't want my kids working in a sweatshop. I don't want my kids having to work day in and day out in a sweatshop. I don't want that. That's bad. But my kid can't work? All of a sudden my kid can't have an after‑school job? My kid can't work on the farm? What the hell is wrong with us? We're going to build them an $80 million stadium, but God forbid they get a job. Gotta make sure I haul their ass everywhere around town just so they can ‑‑ so they what? Win a worthless trophy that everybody gets? But God forbid I treat my child like an adult. And I don't mean at the movie theater and at the game store. I mean I expect certain things of them," Glenn said.
Wow, pretty intense criticism there, right? Thankfully Pat and Stu were there to instill some sanity.
"Organized sports is great because you learn leadership, you learn camaraderie. Teamwork, discipline. Structure. You want somebody there to guide all of that too. How to work together to achieve a common goal? I mean, there's all kinds of things," Pat said.
Stu and Pat also pushed back on the idea of just sending the kids out into the backyard or the street, saying the coach is there to teach the game to the kids.
Ultimately, Glenn said he wasn't criticizing organized sports as much as he was lamenting the way we treat our kids and don't challenge them to rise up and take on real responsibility. "Every other generation except this one ‑‑ and it's because of the progressive movement ‑‑ every other generation has talked to their 12‑year‑olds as if they were really capable of understanding what was coming in the world. We don't. We protect them. And we coddle them and we cheer them, but we don't tell them anything. We don't teach them anything, and we certainly don't let them work or hold them responsible for anything," he said.
Ultimately, Jeffy may have made the best case for organized sports. His son, Elvis Fisher, was playing for the New England Patriots until August of this year.
"Well, that may be their life because I just wanted to go on record as saying that was my life at one point and it worked. To the National Football League," Jeffy said.