Do You Want Your Team Thrown Out of the League?

July 20th, 2023

As the Summer 2023 season enters the final week of regular-season play, a couple disturbing cracks have appeared. I know that I love to tout the League's safety record and there is probably no other league ever that could match our safety record, but it's not perfect and I want it to be. Last week, we were cruising along with everybody having a good time. Then, during the last games of the night, within minutes of each other, we had a couple incidents that caused two games to be stopped. I didn't see either one of the incidents myself and neither thing could be characterized as a fight (apparently, there was some pushing and shoving and way too many words), but the behavior was unacceptable and people were asked to leave the building. One guy will never be back.

I talked to two of the guys who had squared off. Both were terribly sorry and apologetic, but both said the same thing, "Tom, you don't understand." And no, I don't. I played five sports in high school, four in college, and some minor-league baseball and I never came within a mile of fighting. Why?! It's just a game. Oh sure, I got bumped and pushed and cussed at, but all that meant was that I was getting under their skin, which made me more likely to win the game...which is the point, right?

One guy said that he had to defend his manhood. I'm sorry, that's not manhood. That's boyhood. And if anybody wants to question my manhood, I'll show you a picture of my wife and you're likely to conclude that I'm doing just fine in that department, thank you very much. 

I sincerely believe that a lot of guys these days didn't learn how to play the game the right way. In my day (and Rob's day), you didn't play on club teams or travel teams. You went to the park and played against the Old Men. You played hard and clean and quietly. You didn't complain, you didn't call fouls (if they fouled you, they would call it), and you didn't talk shit. If you did, they'd beat your ass. There are a handful of guys in the League right now that I would love to transport back in time to The Park and watch them try to get away with stuff. I'm not a fan of violence, but these guys would be wetting their pants.

There are other peripheral reasons for things getting uglier. One is that we simply have more teams. The chances of something bad happening goes up exponentially with the addition of new teams. I honestly would include the rise of Trumpism with its vile lack of respect for societal norms. (I have to remind the girls that I coach that those are your opponents, not your enemies.) And the Pandemic did more damage than we'll ever know. But there remains no excuse for fighting or even threatening to fight.

Next season, we will be installing some new rules and guidelines. Rob has come up with a list of items, some of which are absolutely draconian.

In the meantime, if you would like to get your team (or yourself) kicked out of the League, here's a list of possible ways to get that done.

--Show up smelling of alcohol and/or marijuana. Yeah, that shows that you're serious about being a baller.

--Have somebody on your team who didn't pay. Seriously, people who pay to play are far less likely to get kicked out. That knucklehead who didn't pay has nothing to lose by acting like a jerk.

--Bring that guy you met at L.A. Fitness. That's always a good idea. 

--When you show up to play, make sure you try to get a week's worth of frustration out in one hour.

And please know that because we have so many players and teams in the League, if somebody causes trouble, we'll just kick out the entire team. It's just easier that way. If you have a knucklehead on your team, handle it! 

I already have a list of teams that will not be playing the the Fall League because we simply can't stand their obnoxious behavior. The list is short, but it can grow. Let's finish this season strong and have a great playoff run.