Well, that’s one way to approach it

From Harper’s Magazine:

[Editor’s Note:] From a March email by Michael Kinahan, coach of a soccer team for girls aged seven and under in Scituate, Massachusetts, to the children’s parents. After parents complained to league officials, Kinahan resigned, saying in his resignation letter that the email was meant to be “a satire of those who take youth sports too seriously for the wrong reasons.” The email was obtained by the Patriot Ledger.

Congratulations on being selected for Team 7 (forest-green shirts) of the Scituate Soccer Club! My name is Michael, and I have been fortunate enough to be selected to coach what I know will be a wonderful group of young ladies.

Okay, here’s the real deal: Team 7 will be called Green Death. We will only acknowledge “Team 7” for scheduling and disciplinary purposes. Green Death is not a team but a family (some say cult) that you belong to forever. We play fair at all times, but we play tough and physical soccer. We have some returning players who know the deal; for the others, I only expect 110 percent at every game and practice. We do not cater to superstars but prefer the gritty determination of journeymen who bring their lunch pail to work every week, chase every ball, and dig in corners like a Michael Vick pit bull.

Some say soccer at this age is about fun, and I completely agree. I believe, however, that winning is fun and losing is for losers. Ergo, we will strive for the W in each game. Although we may not win every game (excuse me, I just got a little nauseous), I expect us to fight for every loose ball and play every shift as if it were the finals of the World Cup. As I spent a good Saturday morning listening to the legal-liability BS, which included a thirty-minute dissertation on how we need to baby the kids and especially the refs, I was disgusted. The kids will run, they will fall, get bumps and bruises, even bleed a little. Big deal; it’s good for them (but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding). If the refs can’t handle a little criticism, then they should turn in their whistles. My heckling of the refs actually helps them develop as people. The political-correctness police are not welcome on my sidelines. America’s youth are becoming fat, lazy, and noncompetitive because competition is viewed as “bad.” I argue that competition is crucial to the evolution of our species and our survival in what has become an increasingly competitive global economy and dangerous world. Second-place trophies are nothing to be proud of. They serve only as a reminder that you missed your goal; their only purpose is as an inspiration to do that next set of reps. Don’t animals eat what they kill? (And yes, someone actually kills the meat we eat—it isn’t grown in plastic wrap.) And speaking of meat, I expect that the ladies be put on a diet of fish, undercooked red meat, and lots of veggies. No junk food. Protein shakes are encouraged, and while blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy. And at the risk of stating the obvious, blue slushies are for winners.

These are my views and not necessarily the views of the league (but they should be). I recognize that my school of thought may be an ideological shift from conventional norms. But it is imperative that we all fight the good fight, get involved now, and resist the urge to become sweatxedo-wearing yuppies who sit on the sidelines in L.L. Bean chairs sipping mocha-latte-half-caf-accinos while discussing reality TV and home decorating with other feeble-minded folks. I want to hear cheering, I want to hear encouragement, I want to get the team pumped up and know they are playing for something.

We are all cognizant of the soft bigotry that expects women, and especially little girls, to be dainty and submissive; I wholeheartedly reject such drivel. My overarching goal is to develop ladies who are confident and fearless, who will stand up for their beliefs and challenge the status quo. Girls who will kick ass and take names on the field, off the field, and throughout their lives. I want these girls to be winners in the game of life. Who’s with me?

Go Green Death!

  • jdub

    ok, on the one hand, pure awesome.
    on the other hand, did he really think he’d keep his job?
    what was he thinking?

  • Dave

    I laughed. If you’re going to go down, go down in flames.

  • iggy

    All I have to say is I would let that coach coahc my daughter. Thats exactly the message I want her to have. (most of it anyway)

  • (Chess) Coach Mike

    People don’t have a sense of humor anymore.

  • BC

    Is it really that hard to convey sarcasm in prose? Maybe going over the top further would have done it? Hilarious!

  • Luke

    Pure win. Dude is a G.

  • Homyrrh

    Hell. Yes.

    I had a LL coach (read: we were in third grade) who used to run up the scores in all our games to the point of insult. We’d beat teams like 36-7, 28-3, etc.

  • Dave

    This would definitely be the coach that I’d want for my daughter.
    It’s too bad that someone decided to complain about the coach, rather than just transferring their precious snowflake to another team. There could have been some excellent opportunities for the rest of the girls.

  • Oblivion

    About time someone had the stones to say what needed to be said. I admire this guy. Maybe America might get back to greatness with more people like him around. This political correctness crapola needs to be erased. And he’s right, competition is what makes winners and losers. You open a business and you’re not assured that you’re going to win, that’s real life. Kids need to be prepared for real life, which is not fair.

  • Moss Morris

    The people who found this offensive are complete and utter morons! How could anyone take what this guy says in the e-mail as serious. People need to grow up and stop being so self-righteous!

  • Montana Dave

    The people that got all offended by this deserve EXACTLY the kinds of kids that they’re going to end up with. The only shame is that the kids are handicapped by having parents that don’t (didn’t) see the humor of this.

    Go Green Death!

  • Joe Demalue

    I think this guy is insane. There is no way I’d let my daughter near him, he needs to watch his mouth and just go with the flow. Ohhhh he’s a rebel and a tough guy, if I wanted that I’d let my daughter sign up for a real team and not a rec league. In a group that hands out trophies to everyone this is crazy

  • FSA0033

    I agree with Montana Dave, these parents are only hurting their little precious snowflakes in the end. Glad those people aren’t around me. I’m sure someone will pick him up as a coach. These parents are the sole reason the kids of today are the way they are.

  • Ok commenters. The guy doesn’t actually believe any of the stuff he wrote. It was a joke. And to the folks that seem to think he honestly meant this stuff and you want him to coach your team. Did you read the part where he implied it would be okay to use HGH and blood doping on the little girls in order to win games?

    In a world where winning is everything and cheating is winning and the biggest liars and thieves are the most admired. I guess this is to be expected.

    And yes I like the coach and his joke, but he should have included a simple one line P.S., “This was a joke folks!”.

  • Ian

    Why are people so stupid? Oh yeah, this is America.

  • chesty gardner

    What this world needs is more teachers, coaches and parents with this guys views. Its no wonder that we have play station kids that don’t know whats at the end of there street let alone how to play or win. My kids know how to win and also how to accept defeat by going out and winning the next time. To the parents that felt there offspring would some how suffer in the hands of this gentleman. I would suggest that they step out onto main street anytown USA and just count how many teen lard arses there are, and contemplate on the route they have selected for there offspring.

  • Jess

    Wow, is this guy single? Seriously. At most I want to love and cherish him, at least I want to do him on what I’m sure is a really cool car.

  • Twisted Uterus

    Funny as hell. Too bad he felt he had to give up his job. Parents are morons sometimes…

  • Red Cool-aid

    This was GREAT I think he should coach everyones panzy kids! It would shurely get the next generation on the right track. This planet needs some people with balls like mine and his.

    Don’t spare the rod and don’t let them whine, if they are crying in thier crib let them cry, when they stop then go in. (This all depends on the type of cry of course) If they ride there bike, skateboard, rollerblades, etc. over to a friends house they ride them back.

    Let them play video games, but also kick them out of the house after an hour or two, basically be an F’N parent!


  • Eltesoro

    I did not see this as a joke. There is nothing funny about what this guy is trying to fight. I would support him 110%. Maybe more.

  • Vinzago

    Somebody find this guy another job!

  • Rick_VT

    ” resist the urge to become sweatxedo-wearing [sic] yuppies who sit on the sidelines in L.L. Bean chairs sipping mocha-latte-half-caf-accinos while discussing reality TV and home decorating with other feeble-minded folks.” — that was his downfall right there… he bit them right in their self-important, self-indulgent, tender-due-to-recent-liposuction bottoms. Sometimes it stops being funny when it lands too close to the bathroom redecoration plans.

  • help I’m surrounded by morons

    I’m not sure what’s worse. the fact that the parents of the kids couldn’t see this as an obvious joke or the fact that the morons here take it seriously. Reading comprehension must be almost non-existent here. Did you idiots who think this is serious fail to notice that the article started with this…

    Kinahan resigned, saying in his resignation letter that the email was meant to be “a satire of those who take youth sports too seriously for the wrong reasons.”

    it’s a joke. The people who think the guy is crazy are morons. The people who want this guy to coach their kids are even more stupid. The guy advocates steroid use for 7 year old girls. Get a grip people.

  • Nate

    Obviously a joke, of course, but I’m still not surprised he had to resign. You have to take your audience into account when you write an email like that, and the parents of seven-year-old girls can be pretty protective.

  • AL

    If any of those parents would have bothered to show up to any of the practices they would have know this was a joke. I mean he even says they have returning players, those parents should have some clue about the coaches sense of humor and stopped this ridiculousness.

  • help i’m surrounded by morons…Despite your handle, yours is the stupidest post here so far. No one is advocating steroids for 7 yr olds, you imbecile. The people who want this guy to coach their kids are reacting to the tone of the letter, which despite going humorously over the top, shows a negative reaction to all the generic, sissified PC drivel we’re all fed about how to raise our children today.
    Yes, it’s satire, but like all good humor, it’s funny because it’s mostly true.

  • marcus m

    Hilariously well written, Great satire, but at some point before hitting the send button, any average self-respecting individual would realize such talk (even tongue in check) will most likely land him in hot water. I respect his humor, not his ability to make good decisions.

  • The parents who complained will someday be surprised when their kids grow up and realize Mom and Dad are idiots.

  • Brian V

    I would sign my kid up for his team in a heart beat. It’s not only funny but there is a line of truth running through it.

  • RB

    Ummmm… this isn’t recent news. This made headlines almost 5 months ago…

  • HunterJ

    They should make Kinahan league Commish!

  • GedVetch

    I wish I could make a letter that is half as insulting as that gem. I bet most of the parents couldn’t even read a quarter of it without their heads blowing up.

  • Matt

    He is the kind of coach I had through the years of my sport. And now I’m competing at the international level. That guy is NEEDED as a coach!

  • Dawg

    Resigned??? Hell He should be promoted!!! Great job, Coach!

  • doctor know is a moron

    oh really doctor know. so the people who think the character this guy is playing is a fine upstanding merikun only disagree with the part where he says he’d turn a blind eye to steroid use. everything else he says is fine. that’s interesting since not a single one of his “supporters” actually said that. good try though.

  • Not surrounded by morons

    @ help I’m surrounded by morons: Although the letter was written tongue-in-cheek, are you familiar with the phrase, “There’s truth in jest”? Obviously no one wants their kids on performance enhancement drugs. You FAIL for not recognizing that truth. It’s the sentiment expressed in this well-crafted joke which requires a touch of critical thinking to unveil which has won this fellow the praise he deserves from these commentaries. Not only does this fella snap the parents to attention, he’s doing so in a clever and humorous way! I applaud this man as a hero, and I wish more people of this ilk existed and would express the stuff of which they’re made.

    You, “help I’m surrounded by morons”, are the actual idiot in the bunch and are probably one of the type of douche-berry that would spew their moco-lotta-farktard drink in a panty-twisted rage after reading anything that would challenge your sensibilities into thinking higher, longer, and more in-depth about anything beyond the superficial drivel that has become so valued in our society.

  • Me

    He forgot to use the Sarcasm font…

    Awesome email, tho..

  • Soccer Dad

    Ok, seriously, this is the guy I’d love to have coaching my 12 year old daughter (who snears at the grass divers and delivers justice on the field).

    His team would’ve had fun and so would the parents, if only they’d have removed their craniums from their butts long enough to actually understand what the guy (brilliantly) wrote and what he meant.

    But now their precious snowflakes will be robbed of the experience of playing for a guy who obviously gets it and probably actually knows the game. Hope their crotchfruits forgive them their ignorance someday.

  • surrounded by mormons

    @not surrounded by morons: You are totally missing the point. He is railing against all those who think 7 year old girls soccer should be an ultra-competititive bloodbath. He wants the kids to play to win , but first and foremost have some fun! Some kids wanna practice super-hard at 7 but most kids want to ‘play’. As in ‘play soccer’. The coach is reacting to super aggressive parents who berate coaches for playing every kid in the game even if it costs them the game, and other coaches who yell at refs for a call in a pee-wee soccer game.

    If a 7 year old girl joins a pee-wee soccer league, shouldn’t she be able to play? How else will she get better? Isn’t 7 years old a little young to write someone off because they’re not good enough?

  • surrounded by mormons

    also how pathetic are you as a parent if you live vicariously through the win-loss column of your 7 year old girls team? Just let ’em play!

  • Soccer Dad

    My 14 year old has been playing soccer since 5, I’ve lived vicariously through the win-loss column of her team, but I must say I’ve never agreed with the “everyone is a winner” policy in the younger leagues.
    This was a great letter and I would have been happy to have this guy coaching my kid.
    The truth is there are winners and losers in everything and learning that early along with good sportsmanship is critical to raising kids that take responsiblity and don’t expect things to be handed to them.

  • James

    Awesome!!! Where can I get a “Green Death” t shirt? (and one for my 19 month old daughter)

  • MSRep

    I think this guy has a good plan getting the fatties in shape and away from starbucks. He should just start a rugby team.

  • surrounded…you wouldn’t get the point if you impaled yourself on it. Everyone is in agreement. You are a fool. Now go away.

  • Reba

    doctor know, you are an idiot and a tool. Not everyone is in agreement and you sir, should go away, Quickly.

  • ebryan

    Hello All,

    Generally I do not post on “news” articles, but after reading this discussion, I thought I’d put my two cents in. It hurts when we realize that discourse in this country is so sanitized that an obviously satirical and admittedly funny writing can cause someone to lose their job. Satire is a form that fewer and fewer people can recognize and appreciate these days. No publisher these days would take on an Ambrose Bierce. Sarcasm panders to the lowest common denominator and is go to humor on mainstream sitcoms. This is a generation of children being raised by a generation of children. These are the same parents teaching creationism and banning the Catcher in the Rye. Please people, I ask not for myself or for my child’s sake that we all aspire to more, but for the sake of the collective unconscious. (read Jung if you haven’t on the subject) Demonizing someone for this writing is absurd.

    ebryan J.D.

  • bt

    What is disturbing is that it looks like around 30% of the commenters here don’t realize the letter is satirical.

    Maybe there is truth to that recent study that conservatives just don’t understand satire: http://digg.com/politics/Colbert_Study_Conservatives_Don_t_Know_He_s_Joking

  • Joe

    Great BT……it all has to be reduced to party affiliation and philosophy. Way to go.

  • danielpauldavis

    The poor guy forgot communication rule #1: Never what you say; What do others hear? He should have put a bit more wet satire in with his dry wit to let the parents know this was a gag. It’s funny as is, but it’s funnier knowing it’s a joke. The parents didn’t.

  • Chad

    I have a daughter, and I WISH there were more people around like this. The amount of apathy, and PC correct thinking is ruining everything for us. I understand there needs to be some sensitivity, but we have come around to the point where its completely destroying people. Everyone worries more about whether someone is going to be hurt by what we say, rather than getting the job done.

    Also yes…competitiveness in a team environment builds character. The best highs and lows in my life came from the shared suffering, and determination to succeed as a group. Life isn’t about being huggy feely, the only people who succeed are ones that want it, and will work for it.

    There has to be motivation, and a shared goal. Being out there for “fun” teaches nothing except unrealistic ideas. The kids know better too, and make fun of groups, and people that push for that type of gameplay. I cant say I blame them…At that age I would have laughed at anyone that said something as silly as not worrying about the score. Thats the objective of the game!!!!