Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Guys on the Gridiron

Yesterday the football watching world was treated to a brawl.   A knock down, drag out, fourth grade school yard kind of brawl.  Helmets were ripped off and punches were thrown and when the dust settled the I called my children front and center to learn an important lesson. 

It was a teachable moment in my household.  An example of how to stand up for yourself and say enough is enough.  I am certainly not an advocate for solving problems with your fists, HOWEVER, I also think that kids need to learn that it is not okay to let another person push you around.

While it was reported that the Houston Texans mild mannered wide receiver Andre Johnson was embarrassed and apologetic about his behavior, I for one was happy to see it.
You see, as I learned in a few simple Google searches, Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is a bully.  He desires to be the "NFL's Dirtiest Player." 

Andre Johnson, is anything but. 

Texan's #80 was featured November 2 in an in-depth profile on ESPN E:60.  This revealed Johnson's commitment to 10 year old Cyril Jones Jr.  Cyril Jr. is  Johnson's godson, child of the late Cyril Jones.  

Jones and Johnson were best friends, nearly brothers, teammates on the Miami Hurricanes.  After Jones became entangled in Miami's drug scene and was found shot to death in 2002 Johnson stepped up and became a father figure for then 2 year-old Cyril Jr. 

Johnson provides financially and as a father-figure for this young man.  He visits frequently and is an ever present mentor.  For his dedication to Cyril he seeks no fanfare,  he is self-less and unassuming and leads by example.

Johnson's reputation for quiet leadership dates back to his days with the Hurricanes, as co-MVP of the 2002 Rose Bowl he was known as a player who "shuts up and lets his game do the talking."  His 1,831 receiving yards is still ranked 5th on the University of Miami's all-time career list.

Among his other credits Johnson created the Andre Johnson Foundation in 2003 which supports children and teens being raised in single parent homes and raises his own daughter born in February 2010. 

To deliver the message we took some time to explain to our children what was happening before the fight broke out.  We explained to them that Cortland Finnegan is a dirty player.  We explained to them what that means. We allowed this spectacle of two grown men, two highly paid professional athletes acting like children be a lesson in standing up for yourself. 

As the mother of a oversized 6 year-old with a gentle, empathetic soul I felt it was imperative to show him sometimes you have to show the other guy who really is boss. 

As the mother of the a small, scrappy 4 year-old with a mischievous, trouble making streak I felt it was imperative to show him that sometimes the other guy will level you when he has had enough.

As the mother of a sweet and spunky 2 year-old with big brothers I felt it was imperative to show her exactly what will happen to anyone who messes with her. 

You may question my methods or debate the message.  That is your prerogative.

For my part I am just hopeful that my monkeys got it loud and clear.


  1. I agree 100%.
    We had to teach this lesson to our son, who was being picked on at daycare.
    It is 100% OK to push down the kid who is trying to fight you, so you can get him off you and go tell the appropriate authority figure.

  2. I couldn't agree more. We always told our son fighting was not the answer to anything, but if anyone EVER threw a punch, he had our permission to beat the crap out of him. Now that never happened, but if it had, he would not have been in trouble with us at all. Yes, the school probably would have punished him, but we wouldn't have.

    Nobody deserves to be picked on.

  3. Good for you for seizing an opportunity to teach an important lesson (actually, the best lesson in this is that what you see before your eyes may not be the whole story).

    Things are more complicated than they seem and everyone has a breaking point.

    We've all been there. Good one.

  4. insightful, intelligent, and interesting

  5. The bible says, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" Bullies have to answer for their actions. Finnegan got what he deserved. Good that you saw it that way and explained it to your kids.

  6. Thanks mom & dad - I love you both for commenting as different people - you are soo cute:)