In my twenty-odd years on this earth I've been called a lot of things. "Athlete" is not one of them, mostly because the most demanding physical activity I find myself in involves running to the fridge to get a ham sandwich before commercials are over. "Good Parent" is another one, seeing as most women view me as more of a giant ball of hair and curse words than as a possible parent.

Physical flaws aside, however, I pride myself on being a pretty bright guy. In fact, if some poor woman does decide to bear my young, I guarantee you here and now I will be a millionaire by the time I'm 45. Using a system perfected by Tiger Woods' father, not to mention every professional tennis coach ever, my kid will be a superstar athlete before he gets his driver's license.

Since genetics also deprived me of a working knowledge of most sports (around the turn of last century it was replaced with a lust for drinking and drinking while doing other things), I have decided to make a list of options and pick which works best for the kid.

Football

If I was doing the training, he wouldn't need to be holding the ball to get an ass-kicking.Football is, of course, the hardest American sport to understand and with good reason. The game has hardly changed since it was conceived by a group of men with gigantic hands and nothing to cheer at in the 1800’s. Even most of the terminology has stayed the same.

Since I don’t have the time, patience, or attention span to learn the many intricacies of what I’m sure is a wonderful sport played by hormone testing accidents and serial rapists, I will train my child to be one of the two positions I understand, quarterback or wide receiver.

  • If the child displays natural running tendencies, I will use a variety of training methods to make him into a solid wide receiver. The most effective one, I believe, will be to starve him for days and then tape a candy bar to a football. I will drag him into the yard and tell him that I am going to throw the ball. If he catches the ball in the air, he will be allowed to eat the candy bar. If he misses, I will penalize him by forcing him to do pushups over a hole full of rusty nails and pit vipers. If he falls into the hole and attempts to eat one of the vipers I will whip him with a white-hot coat hanger and tell him I should have done it to him while he was in the womb.
  • If the child can throw a ball well he will be quarterback trained. It is rumored that Peyton Manning’s father, a famous NFL quarterback himself, forced both of his sons to constantly carry around a football when out of school to get them acquainted with the feel of the ball. I will one-up this idea by gluing a regulation football to my son’s hand and then lighting it on fire. I will only extinguish the flame when he flails the ball, trying to put the blaze out, in perfect passing form five times in a row. This will teach him to keep cool and calm under pressure in the pocket.

Of course, there are also a number of defensive positions within the game that I do not understand. To train him for all of them, I will simply be sure to hold a football in clear view every time I beat him. This will teach him a natural hatred for all persons holding a football, and, in time, make him into a powerhouse defensive player.

Basketball

"Daddy told me protective cups are for faggots and he cuts faggot throats for a living."Basketball is an easier sport to understand than football but can still be baffling at times, especially to the casual fan. The NBA’s recent policy of “making up rules for the sake of making up rules” has resulted in an ever-shifting, ever-changing game that makes it hard to understand if rushing the stands and kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach results in a personal foul or a technical.

Again, there are a number of positions in the game of basketball. Since they all do basically the same thing, save for one position, I am going to train my kid to be a guy who shoots the ball or a center. Here are my ideas:

  • If the kid is tall and doesn’t cry too much when I elbow him in the face for standing too close behind me at the grocery store, I will train him to become a center. Since the center in a real game of basketball is essentially the team’s pain sponge, the best way to get him into shape is to hire a group of teenage hoodlums to come by and punch him in the stomach every day. If he fights back I will blow a whistle for the foul he committed and make him jump for ten rebounds over a flaming pile of rubber.
  • If the kid ends up being black and can jump pretty high, I will put him through an intensive shot-training camp designed to make him the next Reggie Miller, minus the rat-like looks and ugly sister. Again, this will require the participation of the aforementioned teenage hoodlums, who I will pay to heckle him mercilessly and throw rancid garbage at him every time he misses a shot.
Soccer

Sometimes it's fun to throw a ball covered in blood in between the kids and yell "Hey! It's your mom's head!" They laugh. After they get done crying.A lot of Americans have problems watching soccer, and with good reason. Soccer is, of course, the most boring sport in the world. However, I am not a marketing executive. I am a man of business. While I understand the U.S. ranks soccer slightly lower than home-improvement style shows on public television, I also realize soccer is the most popular sport elsewhere in the world.

Much like the other sports listed above, I have only a vague idea of what soccer is or how it works. I do understand that there are goalies and guys who kick the ball, however, so I'll just train the kid to be one of those things.

  • Goalie training will probably be the most fun for both involved parties. I get the refreshing physical exercise of kicking a soccer ball at my son, and he will enjoy the hair-raising sensation of catching it with his face. If he hides from the ball when I launch it at him, I will cover it in glue and broken glass, and make him defend the net in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. This will teach him that teamwork is paramount.
  • Kick training would be a lot quarterback training. Basically, I would chase the kid with a belt and tell him to keep the ball in front of him at all times unless he wanted a mouth full of leather. This would improve his dribbling skills. If he lost the ball or couldn't keep up with me, we would revert to stage two of goalie training, then repeat.

I realize there are some potential caveats to this plan. Given my genetic makeup, the kid very well could be born with some sort of physical disability. This is compounded by the fact that the sort of woman who would bed me would more than likely drink a bottle of gin every day during her pregnancy.

The biggest physical setback is one anyone can be stricken with, however: The child could be born a girl. As far as I know, WNBA basketball is the only professional female sport that pays anything, but even then it gets lower ratings than soccer without the international support. In that case, we'll be moving to Taiwan, where I hear gender reassignment surgeries are cheap and plentiful. Then, after a proper recuperation time, we'll be back to the states and off with the training again.

– Evan "Pantsfish" Wade

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