The Triplets Tackle Flag FootballJohn Cave Osborne
I’m not gonna lie. This one was a real thinker for my wife and me. The triplets wanted to play flag football, and we weren’t sure what to do.
Yes, we’re well aware of all the perils that football presents. And yes, I’ve kept abreast of the various studies as they pertain to head injuries and the sport of football.
But I’m also an avid football fan; it’s my favorite spectator sport. And, what’s more, my most recent freelance opportunity has me covering that sport — as well as the team I’ve rooted for since birth, the Tennessee Volunteers — like never before. And through this gig, I’ve become tight with a few young men who play at UT. The triplets have met these guys, too, and they absolutely adore them — look up to them, even, as well they should. These guys play their sport at an extremely high level and are fantastic human beings.
Take all of that and combine it with the fact that the triplets attend many of the Tennessee football games with me, and their desire to play the sport is most certainly understandable.
… which is why we let them. (I’m actually one of the coaches for their team.) Plus, they’re six. It’s not like their league is riddled with head injuries. The only thing their league is riddled with is laughter … at all the comical mishaps that occur on virtually every play.
But you know what else happens on virtually every play? Little athletes learn more about themselves, their innate athleticism, and what it means to compete. Couple that with the sportsmanship that we’re teaching them to possess, and, I’m sorry all you football haters, but this thing’s a touchdown all day long.
We’ve had such a great time this year, which is why I decided that their experience was a story that needed to be told: