I suppose this is one way to gather attention for Eastern Michigan football. Or at the very least notify the media that the team does exist. Okay, see The Big House? Great. Now look slightly eastward. Yeah, it's that quaint little green-colored stadium in Ypsi. Another FBS team in the same county? How bizarre!
EMU head coach Ron English, whose team went oh-and-a-dozen in his first year, spoke at the MAC media press conference in the hopes to promote the fact that the Eagles are, indeed, fielding a football team this year. They have a schedule and everything!
But what seems to have been scrutinized was this contextless quote about his recruiting psyche:
We wanted guys that had a father in their background. A guy that's raised by his mom all the time, and please don't take me wrong, but the reality is that you've got to teach that guy how to be taught by a man.
Detroit Free Press columnist Mick McCabe read it in the competing paper Detroit News, then herded up some outraged -- OUTRAGED! -- people who disproved the theory that only upstanding humans come from double-parental upbringings. (Omitted examples: Bart Simpson, Oedipus, Charlie Sheen.)
Well, that column was enough of a backlash for English to apologize to anyone who needed an apology. He said he "made a mistake" by slighting single families like that. Although AnnArbor.com was gentle enough to point out that (a) EMU has a football team, and (b) English didn't grow up with two parents either:
His mother, who was divorced from his father at the time of English's birth, died when her son was 18 months old. A legal battle followed and English was raised by his grandmother without his grandfather being present until the age of 13.
Raised by his grandmother. Just like Happy Gilmore.
But seriously. Whoa, English's background was harder than most of us can fathom. Neither biological parent for his formative years? He oughta know what's up. He was talking about "father figures," obviously, and not to get too deep into the societal discussion, but every guy out there needs some paternal authority figure, be it a father, teacher, coach, superhero, community leader, priest, or kindly-hearted candy store owner. And was McCabe raised by his great-aunt and a pack of sea monkeys? Because that would explain his outrage.
So, I guess English has to appease the outraged single parents, wherever they are. No reason to alienate the already small talent pool that's interested in becoming an Eagles football player. Start winning some games -- or, a game, singular -- and then you can start being picky. Such as, "no players raised by writers." We do tend to whine a lot.