Usually, fun would be made at the expense of Daron Bryden’s parents. The Brydens seem to have just discovered the “Internet,” and made a kitschy little blog touting their young son as the next great thing in football. It’s like a public scrapbook, filled with abrasive color schemes and pictures of him autographing footballs. This would be so embarrassing for Daron — if he wasn’t actually quite good, for a 10-year-old.
Daron’s parents’ passion for their son’s success is equaled only by Daron’s actual skill. This site is filled with highlights, schedules, stats and even quotes from people like ex-NFL QB Kordell Stewart, who says that Daron is “the man fa real. [sic]” Well, jeez — if Kordell Stewart likes him, then maybe we should check him out.
That’s actually a pretty impressive video. He stands in the pocket and delivers like Brady; fits throws through tight windows like Rodgers; takes off down the field like Vick; takes hits and keeps the play alive like Roethlisberger; wears Eli Manning’s number. What’s not to like?
But websites/videos like these bring up questions of how much Daron himself enjoys doing this. I once played baseball with a kid we’ll call Peter, whose father made him do push-ups and laps around the field every time he struck out. Peter now plays for Northeastern. But what of his soul? The same could be asked of this child — what part of him just wants to hang out on the playground, and what part wants him to fulfill Kordell Stewart’s prophecy of being “fa real [sic]”? There’s a fine line between supporting your kids and their passions, and pushing them past the point of what should be expected of someone who hasn’t started junior high yet. Signing autographs, for example, is a bit much.
Here’s to hoping that this is just the most supremely gifted prepubescent athlete in sports, rather than another Peter.