With college football Saturday coming to an end and the NFL Playoffs only giving us a few games a weekend now, I now have way more time to spend my hungover afternoons getting insulted by the amount of times Netflix asks me if I’m “still watching.” And yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet that has yet to dedicate 48 hours of binge time to “Making A Murderer,” but it’s only because I’ve discovered the digital heroin that is “Friday Night Tykes.”
Now, full disclosure: I’m a football geek. If you offer me the choice between an hour-long instructional video that will guarantee that I can wife Blake Lively or a replay of the 2006 Rose Bowl, I’m probably taking Vince Young and the boys. So it only seems natural that I decide to start watching the show dedicated to the most dysfunctional form of football there is: pee-wee football.
The only thing that I really knew about this “who’s who in sociopathic parents of 9-year-old boys” before watching it was that it was about Texas youth football. And I get that the Texas/football marriage is pretty much second to only Guy Fieri/carbs in terms of pure passion, but HOOOOOO BOY this was some next level shit. If I wasn’t a Twitter nobody I would definitely live tweet my viewing experience; because I can’t be alone with the feelings that this show brought out of me.
So this show covers a handful of teams in the San Antonio Division of the Texas Youth Football Association, shortened to TYFA (I know there’s a BOFA-ish joke in here somewhere, just give me time). Its primary focus is on the coaches, so we get a hearty helping of some Grade-A, grass-fed, 100% organic insanity. I’m about three-quarters of the way into first season, and this is just a little highlight reel.
One of the coaches is a former Marine. My initial reaction to that was: “oh, okay.” This guy has probably seen some shit that keeps the whole “pee-wee football coach” thing is perspective. Then the dude went full native on his team during pregame warm ups because none of them were “pissed off like he used to be before games.” TOO MUCH SMILING, TIMMY! I DON’T GIVE A SHIT IF JACK JUST INVITED YOU TO HIS BIRTHDAY PARTY THAT’S GOING TO HAVE A BOUNCY HOUSE! LOCK IT THE FUCK IN AND LET’S GO TO WAR!
This guy’s finest hour was definitely after the game, though. His team, the Jr. Broncos, lost a 6-0 heartbreaker to the Jr. Rockets (don’t even get me started on teams putting the “Jr.” in front of their nicknames), and he cried for the camera because, direct quote coming, “This was the biggest day of my life.” Honestly, I gotta respect the consistency of this move. If you’re gonna be the coach that screams at his team for being too happy during warm-ups, you absolutely HAVE to be the coach that cries when they lose. Sure, the kids probably forgot they lost once they cashed out the $2 in concession stand money that Team Mom of the Week gave them, but the tough losses really stick with the coaches.
My favorite character on the entire show is the mom of one of the players for the Outlaws. She has the best trash talk game in Texas simply because everyone is fair game. She got kicked out of practice for chirping the kid that her son tackled and hurt in a one-on-one tackling drill. I would put more emphasis on that, but it’s not even the best part. When the coach asked her to leave, she felt the need to explain why she HAD to Josh Norman this eight-year-old kid. “I had to let him know that there’s no place for weakness on this team.” If you’re gonna wear the “Trash Talk Mom” badge, you gotta wear it 24/7. If you get caught being supportive of anyone that’s not your kid, you’re soft. Weak. A fraud. She said it herself. There’s no room for weakness on this Outlaws team. All it takes is one compliment and she ends up as the “Halftime Orange Slices Mom.”
The “I need someone to hold me while I cry” moment came at the Northeast Colts’ first practice of the year. J-Boog, the Colts’ stout little 3-technique, missed the team’s weeklong preseason conditioning workouts because he was visiting his family in Indiana. And I don’t know a lot about coaching youngsters, but I do know that the last thing you want as a coach is your starting defensive tackle showing up overweight and out of shape. That’s some bullshit, J-Boog. So naturally, he ran. All practice. What other choice did the coach have? Winning teams aren’t built on foundations of players that are taught to spend time with their families. There’s wood to be chopped, J-Boog. Every day that you aren’t grinding, one of those O-linemen you’re supposed to eat for breakfast is getting a little better than you are. How great do you wanna be?
There’s a budding rivalry between the Colts and Outlaws, so that’s the leading storyline going into my Sunday Scaries viewing (like I wasn’t giving you a shoutout, Will)..
Image via YouTube