Save the children? Not like this.
The athletic league that these teams play in has a new "score management policy" this year, stipulating a one-game suspension for any coach whose football team wins by 50 points or more. Presumably this rule is intended to keep a team from running up the score unnecessarily and embarassing their opponents.
Well, it didn't work. Here's your game summary: Coach Dave Cadelina's Bridgeport team runs the opening kick back for a TD. They force Bassick to punt, then run that back for a TD. After another punt, their first offensive play from scrimmage is a long pass for a TD. Bing, Bang, Boom! 21-0. Backup tailback Ramon Mignot runs for two touchdowns. Pow! 35-0. It's still the first quarter.
Cadelina and the refs agree to keep the clock running constantly for the rest of the game, and the coach benches all his starters and some of his second-stringers. By halftime it's 49-0. In the third quarter, the third-string running back hit pay dirt from 24 yards out for the game's final score.
What would the board have had Cadelina do differently? Certainly he shouldn't tell his kids to ease it up; nevermind the horrible implications with regard to sportsmanship, people can get hurt in football games if they play half-speed.
To take it a step further, who gains anything from this rule? Is it any less embarassing to lose 49-0 to third-stringers who deliberately avoid scoring than 70-0 to a team that uses its best players and gives their all? I would think not.
I find it absurd that this rule was ever put in place. Since when do we need to protect kids from losing? Certainly I understand wanting to discipline coaches for deliberately embarrassing opposing squads, but is the problem so bad that a rule needed to be put into place?
If so, I would argue that Connecticut should go to work on their conference alignment and configure a schedule that isn’t filled with completely lopsided matchups. I have always been under the impression that there is a classification system for high school athletics designed to group teams with similar talent levels, and I would think this system should keep ridiculous blowouts to a minimum.
We go too far to protect our children in cases like this. A blowout loss can be a learning experience, or at the very least a character-building one. There’s no need to shield kids from the emotional pain of losing big – yes, it’s difficult, but that’s life.