Monday, February 8, 2016

My friends and I used to play Kill the Man all the time

I don't consider myself a particularly violent person, but I do enjoy watching hockey fights, and I'm glad I spent a good chunk of my childhood playing a game that goes by various names, but that my friends and I simply called "Kill the Man."

The game itself was simple, if not downright stupid. One kid had a football. He would run around and around someone's backyard while every other kid  it could have been two or three other kids or a dozen other always varied  tried to tackle him.

And these were not soft tackles, mind you. The game was Kill the Man, not Gently Dispatch the Man. Once you were tackled, you either gave the football to the guy who tackled you and he would then run around and eventually get smeared, or you threw the ball into the air and the guy who caught it would become The Man.

In either case, I'm so glad I spent hours playing this game because it taught me three things:

(1) How to avoid contact when I could and absorb it when I had to

(2) How to act like I wasn't in pain when in fact it felt like my leg had just been broken

(3) How to diffuse the type of tense situation that always arises when you're playing a contact sport and tempers flare

All of these skills have proven to be valuable in life, in football and otherwise.

Do kids still play Kill the Man? I'm not sure they do. They should.

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