By staff writer JD Rebello
September 6, 2006
There are so few people in this world that make you shout out “Fuck yeah!” Jim on The Office when he finally manned up and kissed Pam. The guy who invented YouTube. Whoever kicks that Zuckerbag twat in the face for all this crap he keeps adding to Facebook (we're one step away from cramming GPS signals up people's arses).
And then there was Cory Petero.
For those who don't know the name, check out his story here, and please, watch the adjoining video.
For those who are lazy and/or don't understand how hyperlinks work, I'll explain. Petero was the assistant coach of his son's football team. When his son was knocked to the turf by some punk on the other team, Petero took action. He darted across the field and reamed the offender in question. Many were outraged, like Chicago sports columnist Jay Mariotti, or as Ozzie Guillen knows him, “Fag.” Fag discussed it on Around the Horn, and Jayson Whitlock, who looks like a fat guy wearing an Al Roker costume, brought it up again on PTI, demanding Petero go to jail for a few months for child abuse.
“There is a bond between fathers and sons that goes beyond rules that say it's wrong for a grown man to beat up a little kid.”
And then there was me. I don't participate on ESPN talk shows (it has something to do with a functioning cerebrum), and I don't write for a major newspaper (not anymore, thanks to bullshit unions and policies), but I do have the 1,320th most-read column for websites starting with the letter “P” on the internet. And I'm sorry, but what Cory Petero did was heroic.
Listen, I'm not saying it's cool to hit kids. On the contrary, kids are annoying and ugly and smell awful and act like little punks pretty much their entire lives. And that's fine. But as Chris Rock, so eloquently put, “Nobody is above an ass-whooping.”
Take women for example. It's wrong to hit a woman. Society has deemed that if you hit a woman, something is wrong with you. And I agree. Women are tactless and rude and have small brains. But none of them deserve to get hit.
If a woman microwaved my dog or scratched my Madden disc, I would feel compelled to slug her in the jaw. If a woman TiVo-ed over It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in favor of The View, now featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Wayne Brady might have to choke a bitch. “Society” says that's wrong. But “Justin” thinks “society” is flawed.
Back to Petero. Some little shit took a cheap shot at his son. It's a father's duty to protect his son. (I can't be the only one who's seen Jingle all the Way.) So Petero eschewed society in favor of his own belief system. That, and he might have been drunk. But whatever.
Why am I volunteering to defend Cory Petero in court? Let me count the ways.
1. The nature of the game.
Petero didn't punch the kid. Didn't kick him in the nads. Didn't ball his mom in front of him. Nothing traumatic. He tackled him, during a football game. So let me get this straight, this little punkass kid can give a late-hit, but when he gets a late-hit, it becomes the front page of CNN? I don't care if he hit a kid then got hit by a grown man. Who cares? A hit's a hit. What do they teach you in college? Whether you bone a beautiful blonde or a greasy fat chick, a nut is a nut is a nut. Football is a physical game, whether it's Pop Warner or the New York Jets (even though there are a lot of similarities in talent between the two—fuck you New Yorkers!).
2. Petero was an assistant coach.
Let's say you were watching a Red Sox game… actually, fuck it, let's pick a good baseball team for this. Say you were watching the Tigers. Let's say Jim Thome and his big bag of roid rage bullshit decided to charge the mound and beat Justin Verlander with a bat. Jim Leyland decides “not on my watch” and spears Thome with one of those gay moves wrestling fags always wanted to do on me. (God I hate wrestling fags. They were always like, “Let me try this move on you, I'm going to dig my face into your crotch and hold your legs in the air.” Huh? And this is supposed to be alpha-male?) Anyway, Leyland takes down Thome. What happens? Leyland's a national hero for defending his player.
So why doesn't this apply to Petero? Because it's kids? Umm, this is kid’s football in America. Since when is that not at least semi-pro? So what if it didn't happen in Texas or Alabama… every single American kid that gets pushed into football is part of a track to the NFL. I got pushed into baseball and soccer. Baseball because I liked baseball, soccer because it requires no athletic ability whatsoever. (A monkey with its legs chopped off could play youth soccer.) But I didn't play football, because I could never play in the NFL. Christ, if you asked me to punt, I'd probably start crying. My dad knew I couldn't play in the NFL. And I knew I couldn't play in the NFL. Although I can't possibly have a worse arm than Chad Pennington. (That's two! God, I love pissing off Jets fans. I'd say I hope they're reading this, but Jets fans can't fucking read. Three!)
3. Now the kid won't be a punk.
Let's say the kid won't play for the NFL (and judging from his inability to take a hit from a 200-pound guy, he won't). Are there any bigger douchebags than football has-beens? Especially the ones who were amazing in high school, then were stunned to learn that the odds of making the pros are like 1 in 200,000 and those math and science classes might have been a more rational route to self-fulfillment. The problem is, too much elation gets heaped onto high school football players from the ripe asshole age of 14-18. The newspaper I used to write for devoted several extra pages to high school football, but cut out the education section for budget reasons. What kind of message is that?
Last week, I ran into a kid from high school who was a football player. Now he's bagging groceries. Granted, I did the college thing and don't have a fucking job to show for it, but bear with me…. And please don't interpret this as me being all bitter because football players were popular and I wasn't. I had friends on the football team, but they were cool and friendly. But there were always one or two who thought they were fucking amazing for playing football even though they a) sucked and b) sucked and were stupid. Pardon me if I root against ignorance.
The solution is to give kids options. There are only 700 people playing in the NFL. That's 700 out of 250 million kids. I have better odds of getting a handjob from Rachel Bilson. It's the same in college. How many collegiate football players get drafted? 200 or so? Those are hideous odds. They should major in journalism. *Tries to repress laughter*
My suggestion is to let these kids major in football. Play football. Learn about football. Learn how to teach others football. That way when you leave college you can become a gym teacher or a football coach or some other pathetic member of society. That has to be at least more rational than a 300-pound Southern lineman majoring in accounting. Listen, if I go to hire an accountant and hanging behind him is his picture with the rest of Ole Miss' defensive line, I'm running out of there like it's on fire.
4. People need to calm the fuck down.
One thing I hate about child abuse or feminism or any such sensitive issue is how everyone in the media thinks it's all black and white. Issues get complicated. If a man says, “That's why women need to get back in the kitchen,” that's not necessarily sexist. Maybe his wife came out of the kitchen and cut his junk off. Two sides to every issue.
In the case of Petero, it wasn't child abuse. First off, shouldn't it be your child for it to be abuse? If I'm in line at McDonald’s and some kid who can barely read is trying to place an order because mommy thinks it's cute if her invalid son does it, but poor Justin who just wants a fucking McNugget is stuck behind a kid who can't pronounce Big Mac, I should be allowed to dead-leg the little bastard. That's not abuse, that's efficiency. And hunger.
Besides, it wasn't like that deranged hockey dad who killed his son's coach because his kid didn't get enough playing time. He was defending his son. If they made a movie about this, Tom Hanks could play Petero, and Gary Coleman could be the little punk. There is a bond between fathers and sons that goes beyond rules that say it's wrong for a grown man to beat up a little kid.
Petero was just defending his child, something any one of us would have done. Forget about picking on someone your own size—if that were true the US wouldn't be invading a country the size of Delaware so we can lower gas prices. We should all be a little more like Cory Petero and a little less like the Crocodile Hunter.
Because he's dead.
I mean, who gets killed by a stingray? Crikey.