When describing his team’s 42-14 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley said his team looked like a “middle school offense.” Well, some middle school offenses are pretty good. Check out this 6th grade squad called the Northport Wildcats in the video below.
Granted, this video is five years old, but you get the idea. Northport looks like they have their stuff together on offense. I’m sure Gurley is a nice guy, however, he fell into the same trap many of us do when talking about a poor performance; we project it onto another group viewed as weaker or lesser to make the point.
Women and children are most often used in this respect. A man who can’t throw a ball as hard or as far is said to “throw like a girl.” Coaches who want to get their male team’s attention without using profanity, start by calling the boys “ladies.” And grown men who get embarrassed in a professinal football game by other grown men, resort to calling their team a “middle school offense.”
Kids have nothing to do with the outcome of any NFL game. This is not political correctness run amok. This is about taking personal responsibility. By saying they played like a woman or a child, men push the onus away from themselves.
It’s clear Gurley is not a kid and the Rams are not a middle school team. Putting down other groups is easier than saying what really happened. Gurley should’ve said, “Vic Beasley and the Atlanta defense were too much for us. They pushed us around all day and did what they wanted. They were the better men this week.”
It takes a lot of maturity and self-evaluation to be able to say something like that, but it would be closer to the truth than some throw-away put-down involving kids.