Touching Touchdown or Pitiful Patronization

This morning I saw on MSN news, a short video about a game between Milan and Rivercrest. Apparently, the coaches got together and decided to let a person suffering from cerebral palsy to score a touchdown, the defensive side making no effort to stop him, not even a fake effort.

I see things like this from time to time. Everybody always thinks how sweet it is to give a win to somebody who is disabled, or making their dream come true. Somehow these events tend to completely eclipse times when a person who is disabled slightly less actually works their way up to fulfilling their dream.

I don’t know the guy’s mental condition, but it seems like he probably is disabled in a physical way more than mental. This means, he probably felt good at the time, but later on he’s going to look back on this and he’s not going to think ‘This is the time I finally made my touchdown’ he’s going to think ‘I remember when all those guys let me have a touchdown’

There won’t be any feeling of accomplishment. I cannot imagine that if somebody handed me my dream that I’d feel like I achieved it at all. If the defense actually put up a fight; and if it wasn’t -broadcasted on the public news- so that it was more realistic to him, when he looks back on it, he might actually feel like he did something.

I suppose that our society is so used to the fierce and unforgiving competition that makes up most of life, that seeing a bit of patronization on somebody who can’t compete with us makes people feel better about themselves.

Now, I don’t think poorly of the coaches for trying to make somebody’s dream come true, but it seems like society is unfair to the middle class in all aspects of life. We LOVE to see stories like this, or stories of an underdog rising up and achieving averageness.

When was the last time you saw a movie ‘based on a true story’ about a guy who had a minor disability that caused him to be just awkward enough that nobody accepted him though he could perform just as well as everybody else, and having to do something so amazing that people finally recognized him?

When was the last time you saw a movie about a flatfooted person who fought through the condition to win a marathon? To those who don’t know; being flatfooted means the bridge of your foot is flat, which makes going long distances by foot painful, but you are otherwise perfectly normal.

Everything is always taken to the extreme with our society, the true heroes of our population are these people who have something wrong that isn’t bad enough to get any sympathy but at the same time have to work twice as hard to get the same as another person.

I’m not saying this wasn’t a nice thing, or that it didn’t have a kind thought behind it. I’m saying this shouldn’t be heralded as some sort of amazingly selfless act to be revered. It was just one touchdown, one time, in a situation where the team probably would have gotten the touchdown anyway.

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