There's a pox on sports television and -- wait, let me start again. One of the poxes on sports television rears its ugly, sniveling heads toward the ends of close, big games, when directors, looking for their sports money shot, want to encapsulate the hurt and pain of the losing team in one frame and invariably do so by cutting to shots of losing fans, fans that more than likely include crying children. It's a move that has its merits, because it's "cute" sad while not being "depressing" sad like it is when a grown woman is doing the same.
But lost in that happy medium is the fact that these kids don't deserve the exploitation, to be ridiculed nationally, turned into GIFs by the seedier side of the sports Internet and being served up on a platter as the object of recess ridicule for the next four days, until Sophia M. becomes said object after running off the stage in the talent show when she forgets the words to her Meghan Trainor song. Take THAT Sophia M. They'll have forgotten all about me weeping over the result of a Georgia Tech football game like that!
It's not just the exploitation, though. A child crying as a game ends might not even accurately demonstrate that child's hurt. Who knows why he or she is crying? Maybe he's upset that he couldn't get a snow cone. Maybe she's mad that her brother gets to choose the music for the ride home. Kids - they cry for nothing! My daughter cried for an hour yesterday when we tried to pick a movie to watch while, simultaneously on a different TV, Gael Monfils was losing in the Miami Open. Does that mean she was crying for Monfils? MAYBE. Or maybe she was trying to ask for Goldfish and somebody was ignoring her to watch a tennis match. It's impossible to know, really.
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Kids should be shown on TV only when they're happy, when Cam Newton is handing them a football, when they've acquired a foul ball, when some jerk has stolen a foul ball from them or when they are Antonio Cromartie's. I guess it's okay to show Roger Federer's four kids when he's playing - he and his wife know that they become "on limits" when they bring them to the players' box - but I'm not even comfortable with that. It's like a paparazzo selling pictures of a celebrity's child. Unless said celebrity has chosen to use that kid as a media prop, off limits. (This goes for parents who upload pictures of their kids to YouTube. Nice job, mom and dad!)
I should mention I'm not talking total totalitarianism here: If you're 13 years old or above, you're game. If you're old enough to read the Torah portion, then you're old enough to be made into a meme. I think that's in the Old Testament. Somewhere in the middle.
But kids in grade school and below? Off limits. Surely there are better ways to convey sports sadness than by exploitatively feeding off the unfathomable tears of sadness streaming down the cheeks of little Timmy. Show a grown man dejectedly staring off into space with his mouth open, which we in the biz call "The Affleck." Put on a guy just chugging his beer, trying to make the memories go away. Always, always, always show facepainters from the losing side because the thought of them having to drive home like that after losing on a buzzer-beater is like a guilty pleasure, without the guilt. It's all pleasure, baby.
So that's our plea. No more sad kids. An while we're here, stop showing the Cameron Crazies too. We get it: There's nothing better to do in Durham.