It’s one of the worst trends in both sports and parenting, when mom or dad decides to bust out the video camera and exploit a young child’s fragile understanding of the world of sports, all for the sake of a few hundred thousand views on YouTube. Sure, we’ve laughed along as children have hysterically cried when their favorite* college or pro football teams have lost in championship games, but after a while it got old. Really, really old. And just when it seemed like parents had caught on and finally ended this lame trend, we were introduced to young Gavin, who cried his poor eyes out when he learned that his favorite football player, Steve Smith, had left the Carolina Panthers.
Professional athletes come and go these days, as is the business side of sports, but a child as innocent as Gavin doesn’t know that, so instead of explaining that to him and either introducing him to the Baltimore Ravens or a new Panthers player to like, Gavin became a YouTube star for a day in a video that will stick with him for a long time. But that wasn’t enough, and Good Morning America decided to have Gavin’s whole family on for that thing that shows do when kids do something that people talk about and you know what happened next.
The whole thing was apparently Smith’s idea, as I’m sure he’s hellbent on turning as many fans against the Panthers as he can now that his tenure there has come to an unhappy end. So it’s kind of cool that a star athlete went out of his way to make a kid’s day a little brighter.
Here’s the video of Gavin screaming and hitting his dad’s camera, in case you haven’t seen it. Sorry if I’ve come off as more cynical than usual about this, but I just don’t know how this ends up with the same outcome as the little girl who wrote the beautiful letter to Derrick Coleman. It seems like it teaches the wrong lesson, not just to children, but all of the Dina and Michael Lohans out there.
*Probably their parents’ favorite teams, but adults crying won’t get those clicks, am I right, viral video celebrities?