Quit Being Such A Bad Example For Our Kids

Have you ever sat down to watch a movie and then had the itch to turn it off just for what it stood for…but then you’re like “Dang…I just spent money renting this, I’ve got to watch the whole thing and see what happens”. Then you get to the end and you still kick yourself for spending the money and wasting the time!

Last night, my wife and I sat down after the kids went to bed to look through Apple TV for a movie to watch. First on the list was “Draft Day” and anytime you throw Kevin Costner into a sports movie…I’m all over that. I think it’s just fallout from the role he played in “Field of Dreams” that keeps me coming back for more.

I timidly asked my wife, “Do you think you’d want to watch this?” fully expecting her to laugh in my face. A movie about the NFL draft? Are you kidding? But for some reason…she said she thought it would be interesting. I think she was just trying to be nice because she ended up reading a book the whole time the movie was on.

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So we rented “Draft Day”, grabbed some ceremonial movie food and hit the play button. The movie is rated PG-13 so I guess it’s ok for a 13 year old…at those oh so impressionable years. As we watched the movie…it became apparent that 13 year olds and 34 year olds alike shouldn’t be watching this. Not because we can’t handle a couple bad words…but because it was valueless…which is exactly what our society is becoming. Valueless.

13 year olds watching this kind of garbage is the direct reflection of what is wrong with our society today. Unacceptable has become more and more acceptable at a younger and younger age.

Imagine you’re a young football player, or just an overall lover of sports. It’s your dream to to be part of that NFL draft someday and so you watch this movie with excitement. But carefully placed in and around the excitement of the draft are poisonous innuendos and subtleties that are supposed to be funny…but in reality are destructive. Hollywood wraps a small capsule of mental poison into a delicious bite of cheese to make it easier for the 13 year olds to digest. And because adults have been patients of doctor Hollywood for so long…they just expect the filth to be in there and laugh it off as humor. Unless you’ve been completely desensitized, you’ve no doubt endured many of those awkward moments when you think to yourself…”did they really need to put that in the movie?”

In the opening scene of the movie, you can see blurred in the distance, a woman in the shower. There was no nudity…but the concept became clear as the movie went on. This woman (played by Jennifer Garner) was waking up from “spending the night” at her boyfriend’s house (played by Kevin Costner). She was supposed to be a secret…but when she became pregnant, they figured that it might be time to let the cat out of the bag. She was tired of being his “little secret” and tried to talk to Costner about it. He was too wrapped up in his job to “deal with the news” of the pregnancy. Classic guy right? At least that’s what Hollywood wants to teach your little teenage boy so that he can grow up to treat women the same way.

So…from the get go, the 13 year old sports fanatic that is watching this movie…gets an immediate dose of “acceptable” secret premarital sex with the classic, “I can’t deal with that right now” kind of response. It’s like the one-two punch of destroying families.

Now these main characters (Kevin and Jennifer) don’t know what to do because their “acceptable” sexual activity has burdened them with this human life (a new child) that could possibly get in the way of their careers. They can no longer operate in secret. Shucks!

The 13 year old is watching…like a sponge.

But it didn’t stop there. While there were immoral insinuations all throughout the movie…one stood out to me above the rest. The main figure on which the NFL draft revolved around was Bo Callahan (played by Josh Pence). He was supposedly portraying the typical stud quarterback. At about a mid way point in the movie, some of the guys in the front office and some assistant coaches were tasked with the assignment of researching Bo Callahan to see if he’d be the right guy for the Browns to draft first. What they ended up focusing on was a picture of him with two girls around his neck while doing the math on how many girls he had probably had sex with.

Again…there is that 13 year old, eyes and ears glued to the TV…watching…like a sponge.

And finally…the most climactic part of the entire movie…where everything came to a head and the sound jumped up and then suddenly…stopped, so that all of your attention would be on this most striking and intelligent phrase; Costner calls his arch rival a “pancake eating mother [email protected]#$…” in a kind of an “in your face” moment that was supposed to send chills down your spine. Instead…it just put the finishing touches on the destruction of a young athletes mind and character.

Sponge…

Let’s recap. If your freshman in high school just watched this movie about the most popular sport in America, here is what they learned:

  • Cool sports guys like Kevin Costner “have sleep-overs” and then try to keep them secret unless “burdened” by a child.
  • If you’re a star athlete like Bo Callahan, then you should have multiple girls hanging around your neck and have sex with a different one of them every night.
  • You should use the foulest language you can use…because hey…thats what athletes do right?

But that is just the movies right? It’s not even real life you might say. You’re right. Real life is even worse.

I turned on Sportscenter this morning while I was working out at the gym. It took exactly 10 minutes before we ever even got into any actual sports. It talked about the Oscar Pistorius case, Greg Hardy’s two counts of domestic violence, and Ray Rice dropping his fiancee with one punch to the jaw in an elevator. Johnny “Football” Manziel seems to get talked about on a daily basis with the image of his middle finger extended toward the opposing crowd etched in our kids minds forever. Danny Ferry can’t keep his racist comments about Luol Deng to himself and Jameis Winston, maybe the most prolific quarterback to set foot on college turf can’t stay on the field because he’s busy fighting rape allegations and stealing crab legs from the grocery store. The list goes on. It’s crazy to me. These guys have the dream job…making more money in a single game than most people make in a whole year…and yet they can’t see how important they are to the kids who idolize them.

How does that happen?

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I know exactly how it happens! It’s because they learn from the movies they watch growing up. Movies just like “Draft Day”! I mean seriously… put Kevin Costner in a sports movie and have a bunch of teenagers watch that movie and guess who they’ll be emulating the next day at practice. People don’t realize how powerful Hollywood is at shaping lives and predicting futures. We can see a manifestation of that in the pro athletes of our day every morning on SportsCenter.

Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I’m just a prude now or just so “self-righteous” and “judgmental” as some might say.  I’ve been on this earth for about 34 years…and maybe I’m just starting to see things for what they really are and I’m scared beyond belief for the rising generation.

It feels as if Hollywood is bent on turning the rest of the world into drones. Their strategy is to decoy the minds of teenagers and college students into thinking that “this is the way life is supposed to be lived”…but while all of this is happening, few are standing up and saying “no…this is not the way life is supposed to be lived.”

Why are so many people depressed in our day? It’s because of incessant study of unhappy people. Many of us study these people on the TV more than anything else in life whether we recognize it or not. This is especially true of our youth because of the amount of time they have on their hands. The actors and actresses in the movies look so happy while they cheat on their spouses or pull a fast one on their business associate. American youth are watching them…studying them…imitating them. Everything is a joke in the movies and rarely are the consequences shown. The age of honesty is fading away and the world is reverting to a primal animalistic society where no one cares about anyone and anything goes.

We’re being suffocated by movies, shows, music, and supposed role models that appear to be happy.  Even as adults, we think we’re viewing happiness on the big screen and thereby subconsciously strive for what we are seeing…and then one day come to grips with the reality of our misguided perceptions. That harsh reality is not something that is shown in the movies.

Mick Jaggar once told Gene Cook that “he was thankful the family, as an entity, was being destroyed”. The big media and movie industries target young people. They are the most impressionable…and the most lucrative to them. They don’t want you to raise your kids. They want to take your place as the parent so that they can liquidate your child for all that they’re worth.

Don’t let them monetize your child and destroy their character in the process.

We need athletes and actors alike to stop being such a bad example for our kids.

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