Talk about having your wish shattered. Your B-word of a partner won't let your child play football? Just because a lot of sissy baby parents out there saying football is dangerous or football has been linked to numerous cases of brain disorders or football might have a negative impact on education within developing minds? Fact: Football is the greatest sport on earth. Another fact: There goes your dream of having his in-state college tuition waived, his number sewn on replica jerseys being sold at buku bucks for school/NCAA profit, and even his likeness emulated in popular EA Sports videogames!

But it's not too late! Here are some fun activities to bring the long-lasting effects of football home!

Power Rams
Essence of Focus: POWER
Area of Focus: SKULL

Nothing emulates the thrill of playing football more than practicing Power Rams against the utility shed. Teach him that a helmet turns his little head into a wrecking ball. That it is the first and only weapon a Man needs. Then let him go at it. Tell him you're proud as he spends the morning diving headfirst into that aluminum siding over and again until there's a dent big enough for a opossum nest. At first he might be hesitant, he might feel like he might get hurt, but after a few rounds, he won't don't feel much of anything. Perfect. That's right where you want him. Rule #1 of playing football: Don't Think. Just like the Pros. If there is weakness sensed, encourage him severely. No juice boxes for Dizzy Brain! Forgetting your name is cool and everyone is doing it! You got to see stars before you can be one! Unwavering Masculinity, Hooah!

Neck Blasts
Essence of Focus: INTENSITY
Area of Focus: NECK

Hitting is important, but learning how to take a hit is even bigger. How's a kid supposed to be a professional if he rolls over defeated every time a crunch reverberates up his windpipe? Throw him a few orange slices before whacking him in the neck with a chain wrapped with wet rags. If he cries, hit him again. If he doesn't, hit him again. You're pretty much going to keep hitting him for awhile. It's a football tradition to have a few wobbly vertebrae, so who are you to change anything about the glorious sport? If he gets licked hard and it looks like his pasty little spine is loose, get on in there and remind him that the team needs him, that his pain is selfish, that there are a lot of people to disappoint. Then ask him if he wants to sit out for a bit. More than likely he'll make the right choice!


Thumb Lifts
Essence of Focus: DETERMINATION
Area of Focus: TEMPORAL LOBE

No one is ever going to clap for your kid, so you might as well simulate the biggest crowd pleaser of them all. No, it isn't a touchdown or a sack. The event that gets the whole stadium on their feet screaming is that moment when a player strapped to a stretcher manages to fight off paralysis long enough to give a thumbs up that says, "I'm a-okay even if my spinal column ain't." Build yourself a stretcher, identical to the big league version in every way aside from the adorable size, and then buckle your kid in. His head should be immobile, his legs locked, and his wrists pinned to his side. Then, as you imaginarily haul him to the ER, tell him to flick his thumb. The crowd goes crazy.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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