1st place || 2022
3rd through 4th grade
THE HYPOCRITICAL DAD
by Timothy Lourdeau
I am a super exited 13-year-old whose name is DaVantay Llions, and I love football. I live in Daytona Beach, Florida. I play on a team in a new football league called JFL: Junior Football League. My team is the Daytona Spartans, and my position is quarterback. My dad, Jonathan Llions, is the offensive coordinator, so that means I’m taking orders from him. I’m going to tell you one problem that happened this season.
It was the first game of the season. We were playing the Holly Hill Bengals and we were pumped. Dad reminded us before the game to be good sports and also told us not to challenge the referee’s calls because the calls are final.
At the end of the first quarter, we were down 7-0. It was my fault, but the offense and defense said it wasn’t. I had thrown an interception at their ten-yard line, putting way too much air under the ball, trusting my arm too much.
When I got to the sideline after a ten-yard return, Dad came over and said, “It’s okay, literally everyone does that sometimes.”
“No, it’s not okay!” I retorted, with some spice in my voice. “I should’ve made that pass to Jake.”
Jake is our wide receiver and my best friend.
During the second quarter the trouble happened. I took a bad snap from Jean de Luke, our center, juggled it around, and got dinged from a kid on the Bengals, who was a burly linebacker. I dropped the ball, and the kid scooped it up and ran sixty yards for a touchdown. When I got over to the sideline, I saw Dad yelling at the ref.
“What about unnecessary roughness?” he screamed. “Are you a ref or not?”
Then he turned around and, in a serious tone, said, “Boys, remember to never criticize the ref. Someday you could get in trouble if you do that, if you challenge someone who is in authority.”
We all nodded hesitantly but then he turned around and started yelling at the referee again for a bad call.
The Bengals made the extra point, and it was 14-0 at the half. Dad put an arm around me and tried to comfort me, but it wasn’t working. I was still mad at myself for missing the pass to Jake and mad at Dad for being a hypocrite.
During the third quarter of the game, we got a defensive touchdown, and it was amazing! The pass, which was a very bad pass, was underthrown. Our safety ran up, jumped, and ran twenty yards for a touchdown. When he got to the sideline, we were jumping on and hugging him. The offence and I came on the field, and it was 14-7.
In the fourth quarter, we got a touchdown at the last second. Me and the offense stayed on the sideline, and the special team came on the field. The holder took the snap, the kicker whammed it in-between the goal posts and it was good! 14-15 Spartans win!
When Dad and I were in the car on the way home, we talked about the game.
“Dad, why were you being a hypocrite today in the second quarter when you told us to not argue with the referee?”
“Well, the coach has the right to talk to the ref, and—”
“But why did you scream at the referee?” I asked politely. “You can’t scream at him, can you?”
“You can’t, but—”
“Then you were a hypocrite” I said. “You were the one who told me that the ref’s calls are final. You are the one who got mad at me when I questioned the umpire’s call last year in baseball!”
While I was intent on knowing why, I didn’t want to be rude.
“DaVantay,” Dad said in a calm voice. “I’m sorry for being hypocritical, but I was trying to keep you out of trouble. If you argue with authority, it could get you in trouble, and being hypocritical, like I was, could make you lose trust from others. I want to keep you out of trouble.”
“Yeah. The only thing that I care about is you being a good example to my friends and team. They not only look up to me, but to you.”
He became quiet for a while and later said in a calm, repentant voice, “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
I saw that he was very sad.
“No, I’m sorry,” I said, “for calling you a hypocrite.”
“I love you DaVantay.”
“Love you too, Dad.”
At practice that Tuesday, Dad apologized to the team. They understood and said that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but when you do, it’s good to say sorry and repent. Everything’s okay again, and my and Dad’s relationship is back to the regular old normal.
Timothy is a 10-year-old boy who loves God, his family, his friends, sports, and books.