Last Friday night an Atlanta high school football player passed away after making a tackle in a high school football game. “16-year-old Deantre Turman was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta at just after 10:30 p.m. Friday”. Deantre was an 11th grader at Creekside High School and was already receiving division 1 scholarships, most notably from the South Eastern conference(SEC), in which the University of Kentucky had offered. The Doctors released a statement notifying the community that Turman died of blunt force head and neck trauma. The staff also noted that the 16 year old suffered a fractured vertebra in his upper spinal cord.
Turman was playing defensive back, when the tight end flashed across the field to catch a pass. After the ball was caught Deantre reacted quickly and made what looked to be a normal tackle. It wasn’t so normal to everyone watching, because the young athlete never got up. The Creekside High School football player was carted off the field on a stretcher and rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Turman’s family say he “always strived for excellence” on and off the football field. “I miss his will to want to be the best”. This story brings so much attention to my eyes because I’m similar to Deantre in several ways. The most significant is that we both play and love the game of football. This young man suffered an injury every football player, parent, coach and the whole world fears. An injury that takes the life away from a High School teenager who had dreams to be the best he can be. My prayers and best wishes go out to his family, friends and team. Something like this always puts life in perspective. Never take anything for granted, you never know when that next tackle in life will be your last.
I acquired sports literacy when I exited the womb, literally. I’ve been told stories about how I always would stop crying when my parents flipped on something sports related on TV and cried when they turned it off. I think I acquired sports literacy from my parents, because they groomed me to be an athlete. Ever since I could crawl, I’ve had some type of ball or bat in my hand. My parents taught me everything I know about sports, and I think that is why my life has always revolved around it. If my family wasn’t such big sports fans, I don’t know what type of guy I would be today. Sports literacy became attractive to me as I began to understand more and more about each game. From books to websites to newspapers, you could always find me in the sports section wanting to expand my knowledge that much more.
Sports literature became attractive to me as a fan once I started to figure out who my Dad’s favorite teams were. I didn’t know a lot about them, so I always wanted to read about them in the newspapers to learn. Of course, when I was little my parents dressed me in my blue and white with my UK toboggan, but I didn’t have a clue what it was. Several years down the road I thank my parents for raising me a wildcat! The one moment as a fan that strikes my attention is the University of Kentucky basketball game in Rupp Arena against the hated Florida Gators who just happened to be ranked number 1 in the nation at the time. Of course my ‘Cats won but I fell in love with the atmosphere. There’s no greater feeling than not having a clue who’s sitting right beside you, but knowing your there for one common goal, to see your team win.
I acquired sports literature as a player once I started playing in more competitive leagues. Especially during football season being able to read and comprehend sports literature is really important to me. Before each game we are given a scouting report on our opponent. It is my job as quarterback to study it and figure out what weaknesses the other team has and to communicate to my teammate’s ways we can attack those weak spots. Another example is at the beginning of each season we are given a playbook we are expected to memorize. It’s my job to retain all the information I study. Now with all of the online advancements I can pull up the internet and know exactly how my opponent plays and even find out if people think we can beat them or not. Being able to understand and comprehend sports literature is a huge asset to me as a player.
Now that my senior project has begun, I have taken on the task of becoming a football coach. I’m reading sports literature daily now. From learning my teams’ playbook to reading practice plans, I find myself even reading in the middle of practice. The past couple of weeks after I found out I would be coaching, I have been reading a lot on how to be the best coach I can be and how to make my players the best they can be. It may be new to me, but sports literature is already making an impact on my coaching career.
Sports literature has made tremendous impacts on being a fan, athlete, and even coach and it all sums up to make me who I am today. If I couldn’t read sports literature about my favorite teams, who knows who I would be screaming my lungs out for. If I couldn’t understand my scouting reports and playbooks I wouldn’t be the player I am today and if I couldn’t read sports literature about coaching, I wouldn’t be making the strides in my coaching career that I am today. Sports literature has made such an impact on my life that I want to pursue it on in to college and major in sports journalism. I fell in love with sports literature at an early age, and still have that passion for it to this day!
According to todays society I am “lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow”. I recently read an article “Why Millennials Will Save Us All” by Joel Stein, and found this quote. It caught my eye, but in no way was I shocked. The older generations have looked down on us since we were toddlers, doubting us, judging us. Now I’m aware that the older generations are trying to prove that their one-sided, single storied opinions are true.
Early in the article Stein makes the points that we are spoiled and stubborn. He writes “Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance”. They believe that our generation could “bring about the end of civilization as we know it” but it has been instilled in us from a young age. The older generations are simply judging us because we followed the example that was set for us. We are “Fame-Obsessed” due to the fact that we were praised for simply just participating, not being the best we can possibly be.
As the article went on I noticed Stein also talked about the good side of our generation, not just the bad. One quote that stuck out to me was “They’re not a new species; they’ve just mutated to adapt to their environment.” He is saying that we are adapting to a World that is so constantly changing. We are trying to make our own footprint on the Earth while we can, before we turn into the generation society is making us out to be.
In Stein’s closing paragraph he states ” A generation’s greatness isn’t determined by data; it’s determined by how they react to the challenges that befall them.” To heck with all of the stats, facts, and data it’s up to us to prove the older generations wrong. Let them believe what they want, but when its our time to shine, I say we shine. The ball is in our hands, It’s up the us to be the best generation we can be.