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Bullying: American Football


In high school I was very athletic. Bullies as we all know look for weaknesses in their victims, and the more they can exploit the better.

Highschool was hell for me. It didn’t help not being part of the in-crowd or smoking dope in the forrest with all the cool cats (maybe I should tell the school…nah they don’t care). Our story begins with the American sport football.

My Experience with Football

After our sad excuse for stretches were over, the coaches had us do tackling drills. I wasn’t very tall and my lack of confidence was a buffet for the jocks. I was un-prepared to go against a 6ft. 7′ quarterback turned defensive lineman, with only general football equipment and a flimsy pad for protection.

The whistle blows.

We’ll call him Big Brute. Big Brute pushes me 50 yards in about a minute and finishes me off with a not so gentle shove onto the dirt track. He didn’t offer me an appology or explanation of why he did that to me. I could hear everyone cheering and clapping as I was brushing the dust off me trying to fight back tears and anger. Looking back I should’ve slugged Big Brute but thats not who I am, I’m no bully. From that point on resorted to my few friends I had, but that all changed when I spoke. See up untill this point no one knew I stuttered.

Playing Quarterback with a Stutter

I was pretty good at throwing the football so I started practicing with the quarterbacks. Everything went great until I had to give the plays to the offensive line-men. I rememeber getting down to play 16 and stuttering on the I in formation. Everyone laughed, and at that moment I wanted to quit. I pushed on through.

I’ve learned from this experience that I should do things that make me happy, not what makes other people happy.

As my mom always says, “Don’t let the past stop you from reaching your dreams, be who you want to be. At the end of the day the majority of those popular kids will be working for you anyway”.

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13 thoughts on “Bullying: American Football

  1. As someone much older than you and have been dealing with this pretty much since I started talking, there will come a day, through family and friends, that it will just click in that the people who are laughing at your stutter, are the last people on Earth you want as friends. But it’s tough, James. Really tough. I might blog about my worst ever day in school because of my stutter.
    Cheers,
    Ger

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    1. Thanks Geraint really appreciate it. I came up with the idea of this blog to not only help spread awareness on stuttering, but also to provide a community that will last in the modern world. So far its working! Thats true somedays I’ll right about my crappy days at school, other days I’ll reflect on past experiences.

      Cheers,
      James

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    2. I know it might be too much to ask but would you consider becoming an author for our blog? Our main goal for the future is to get this blog into elementary and secondary schools. My speech therapist last year actually came up with the idea so we talked about it and decided it would prove to be a great outlet for children and teens who don’t want to discuss their struggles or frustrations with a teacher or their parents. Instead they have the opportunity to see others around their age all dealing with the same thing. In short, it’s a lot like a online support group, but it’s not just about the support it’s about showing others that even though we may have a speech impediment, we aren’t going to throw away our hopes and dreams because of it.

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      1. Hello James,
        I think what your speech therapist and you have decided to do is a great thing. Didn’t have that kind of access when I was your age. Bravo to you.
        What exactly would this author gig entail? If you follow my blog long enough you’ll soon learn I have a terrible habit with procrastination. But the idea does sound good.
        Cheers,
        Ger

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        1. Typically all of us choose two days a week to write something either regarding stuttering, and what we’re up to in our lives at that moment or what we hope to accomplish in the near future. That’s about it in a nutshell.

          Regards,
          James

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                  1. As far as how and when you should post that’s preferably up to you, I’m not one of those guys that’s all, “Why haven’t you posted today!!” I find those individuals repulsive and idiotic. The goal is 2 per week but it’s not set in stone.

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