Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Do I Tell My Kid?

While the rest of the football world busily argues whether John Elway is a genius for paying $96 million to an immobile thirty-six-year-old man with a broken neck, or a fool for trading away a younger man whose completion percentage was not up to the exacting number we demand from a random coin flip, some thoughtful American parents are concerned with more weighty subjects: namely, how the trade of Tim Tebow to the New York Jets will ruin childhood everywhere, for everybody:

“The first victim of the Tebow trade: The [f]ans (and my children). . . . But with the magic of Tebow gone from Mile [H]igh so do most of the viewers and readers [editor’s note: huh?]. . . . I see it in my children[’s] eyes (w/tears).” —Iporeh, Denver Post message boards, March 21, 2012. (Edited both to be more grammatical and very slightly more disjointed.)

“My little boy[’]s heart is broken that Tebow is gone. What do I tell him that He1 [we’re pretty sure the author is referring to Tebow here, rather than to his own son—ed.] took us to the playoffs and beat the Steelers and the front office hates him[?][Tebow, again, although we have it from a good source that the Broncos’ front office does indeed hate this guy’s kid—ed.]”—Broncosilver, Denver Post message boards, 3/21/12 

Refusing to offer parenting advice to strangers’ kids is a good rule of thumb,2 and for the most part we follow it—telling others how to raise their children is condescending at best, usually insulting, and sure to be ignored.3 However, in this particular case, they did ask, so in the interest of raising your kids better than you can, we have faithfully compiled this list of potential

Things You Could Tell Your Kid About the Tebow Trade
  • “Your favorite quarterback in the whole wide world isn’t very good.”
    • “There’s nothing in the world more important than loyalty. We’ve been Broncos fans for years and years, ever since Tebow was drafted, but John Elway didn’t show him any loyalty, and that’s very disappointing. We’re so mad at him for his lack of loyalty that we’re Jets fans now.”
    • “If you can look back at your childhood and say that this was your biggest disappointment, either you’re a very lucky kid—which is great—or you’re in for a terrible shock when your helicopter parents eject you into the real world. But don’t worry, we’ll never let that happen.”
    • “You were gonna find this out sooner or later, son: life is shitty.”4
    • “John Elway got jealous of Tebow’s popularity, so he replaced Tebow with one of the most accomplished and popular quarterbacks of the last twenty years. I know you don’t believe this, because only a child would believe something this silly, but sometimes we say dumb things that we want to believe.”
    • “We never told you this before, but football games don’t actually start in the fourth quarter. We’ve been fast-forwarding past all the unwatchable parts.”

    We sincerely hope some combination of the above phrases helps you through your child’s brief and easily forgotten time of grief.

    That said, though, we would be failing in our responsibility as your kids’ surrogate parents if we didn’t bring this up: quite frankly, we question your desire to protect your children. If you really, truly cared about shielding your beloved children from crushing disappointment,

    why on Earth did you allow them to be Broncos fans in the first place?

    1. A lesser blog might dwell for paragraph after hyperbolic paragraph on the religious significance and/or impropriety of the author’s deifying capitalization of “he” in reference to Tim Tebow. But we—being decent, kindhearted folk always willing to see the best in people—are going to take the high road here, and assume that this was just an honest mistake made by somebody stupid.
    2. The phrase “rule of thumb,” incidentally, has nothing to do with legalized wife-beating, no matter what your more gullible friends may have told you.
    3. And God help them if our advice isn’t ignored.
    4. Recommended only for shitty parents.

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