As of this writing, 11,851,775 people have viewed that video on YouTube and I'm guessing all but one of them thoroughly enjoyed it. The lone dissenter? Longtime sportswriter Frank Deford, who on Wednesday wrote that the play in question "isn't funny and it isn't right."
Deford attempts to make the case that there's a distinction between trying to con the umpire (like, say, Derek Jeter pretending to get hit by a pitch this summer and subsequently being awarded first base) and a middle school coach embarrassing the other team.
Confused? Deford explains:
"...The Driscoll team didn't act instinctively to try to put one over on a ref. The middle schoolers didn't even come up with the ruse. Their coach dreamed up the play, and even participated in it, hollering from the sideline. The referees weren't victimized. In fact, they had to play along.The only thing missing was Deford yelling for everybody to get off his lawn.
No, it was only the other team's kids who were embarrassed and belittled by a children's coach being a wise guy, a bully of sorts. It wasn't genius at all. Sure, it was legal, but it wasn't fair. Laugh at kids being outslicked by a grown-up, and you're cruel. That isn't sport.
By the way, nobody was laughing at "kids being outslicked by a grown-up." We were marveling at the play. Whatever, I thank Deford for bringing attention to the trick play. Hopefully, those who missed it the first time will get a chance to enjoy it like the rest of us.