A few hours after the final edits on yesterday’s post, I came across a perfect real-life illustration of our culture’s lack of remorse:
Last Saturday, University of Florida’s Chas Henry was just about to kick a game-winning field goal in overtime when Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham clutched his throat in a motion to the young kicker. A grown 44-year old man giving the choke sign to a 21-year old college kid.
It’s not, however, the above occurrence that bothers me. It was foolish and immature, to be sure. But we’re talking about a game in which guys wear helmets and bulky pads so they can hit each other really hard. The sport is a glorified version of “Kill the Man With the Ball” (and I love it). This was a choke sign — not a death threat or a punch to the throat. It’s an issue, but not a huge issue.
But the following bit is.
Grantham had this to say in response to questions about his actions: “As a competitor, sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment. I wish the situation hadn’t happened. It was a tough, hard-fought game. They won it, and I’m ready to move forward and finish out the year strong.”
That’s not so bad. I wish this hadn’t happened; let’s put it behind us.
But when pushed to offer an apology to the college kicker, the defensive coordinator only offered, “I’ve kind of basically said what I’m going to say.”
There is a HUGE difference between “I wish the situation hadn’t happened” and “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.” This might not have been so noticeable if the first quote was able to stand alone. But when specifically questioned about an apology, we don’t find one. Instead we find pride, a lack of remorse, and the back side of a 44-year old man who is paid to lead, motivate, and teach young men how to act on a football field.
It was the heat of the moment, and I’m a competitor.
Translated: It wasn’t my fault, but I can make this sound polite and gentlemanly.
Allow me to end with a limerick:
The coach put a hand to his throat
suggesting the kicker would choke.
He felt no regret,
hoped all would forget.
I’m sure later he’ll claim he misspoke.