Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mom knows best

Some things you just know. And you know 'em because Mom clued you in.

It was Mom who told you to put that down, you don't know where it's been.

It was Mom who told you, no, you were not born in a barn, so close the stinkin' door.

And it was Mom who told you always to wear clean underwear, just in case you have an accident in your car (which you drive much too fast, by the way) and wind up in the hospital.

Moms are eternal fonts of information like that, and thank God for it. Without them, we'd all be running around leaving doors open while wearing dirty underwear and handling things of unknown origin, after which we'd go off and lose our minds on national TV and wind up on all those awful sports talk shows Mom never listens to because, well, they're just silly.

The latter is what happened to first-year Florida football coach Jim McElwain last weekend, after one of his running backs, Kelvin Taylor, scored a touchdown and then lost his mind, doing that throat-slash thing even the NFL won't tolerate anymore. Bam. Fifteen-yard penalty.

Much arm waving and a choice selection of f-bombs ensued as McElwain positively went off on the kid on the sideline.

Old school football types said big deal, the kid was a knucklehead, and back in their day, Coach wouldn't have just yelled at him, he'd have grabbed the kid's facemask or hit him in the head with a brick or thrown the mascot at him. Less old-school types said, yeah, the kid had it coming, but this is modern times, when college football is a corporate enterprise and the head coach is the CEO, and it's bad for business for the CEO to lose his ... stuff.

I come down somewhere in the middle. Football coaches yell, football players are used to it, and so the kid'll get over it.

This is not the position taken by McElwain's 94-year-old mother, however.

This week McElwain said he "got an earful" from Mom for what he did, and it doesn't take much imagination to guess what that earful involved. Something about how you were raised better, and where did you learn that sort of language, and if I hear you talk like that again, young man, I'll come down there and wash your mouth out with soap.

"Now you go apologize to that poor boy," is how I imagine Mom wrapping things up.

I don't know if McElwain did that. But he did appear appropriately chastened the other day. So I wouldn't bet the farm against it. 


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