They have spent most of their brief lives training hard to appease the grueling demands of their coaches. They hit hard and sweat profusely. Their reward is a job well done and those juice boxes mommy brought.
SportsGrid's Jake O'Donnell spotted a trailer that will force you to contemplate: There is no way this is real. It features a bunch of pint-sized football players being taken to task in a documentary series profiling peewee football.
UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 2 at 11:25 p.m. ET
Esquire Network wants you good and pumped for the show, so they have released more footage of coaches yelling at kids. Good times.
End of Update---
The show is Friday Night Tykes and it premieres Jan. 14 on Esquire Network.
And you thought Little League parents were intense.
Now, we have to say Esquire certainly did its job in providing captivating television. Still, the subject matter might be hard to watch at points. OK, it's actually scary, and that's putting it mildly.
For comparison's sake, we'll jog that memory of yours about a far more hilarious look at peewee football.
Back in October, Funny or Die presented the following parody featuring coaches chiding little kids as if they were grown men, all in the name of a funny hypothetical: What if Hard Knocks, the popular HBO show offering an inside look at NFL training camp, were to feature child athletes instead?
Parks and Recreation's Jim O'Heir plays the part of the loud-mouthed coach who wants a win at all costs. His assistants are more than happy to bark expletives and quips only an audience watching from the other side of the computer screen could appreciate.
Little did we know how close to reality parody can be.
Back to Friday Night Tykes, the clip starts with a voiceover that wouldn't be out of place in some Adam Sandler comedy: "In Texas, there's nothing peewee about youth football."
That's about the time we get to see a coach scream at one of his young players.
It's only a minute long, but highly quotable gems abound. "I don't care how much pain you're in; you don't quit."
A personal favorite is one coach suggesting, "There should be no reason why y'all don't make other teams cry." That's when this nameless coach screams, "I could care less if they cry." We assume they cut away before he bit the head off a teddy bear.
You see, football, to a group of peewee parents and coaches, is war.
These are mere snippets and some are no doubt playing to the camera, but it certainly seems like kids hoping to wrap their heads around a wonderful sport are pushed to their limits like hardened veterans, coaxed to hit with all their might because harming their enemy means ultimate victory.
But they aren't hardened veterans; they are impressionable kids. Ah, but whatever because this is football.
People love their pigskin and adore their reality-TV melodrama, so we wouldn't be shocked if this were a hit for the network.
It's rather terrifying to see football presented with a "life or death" sentiment so early in life, though. Perhaps the rule should be if the kid has a bedtime, they learn to love the game by playing the right way.
Maybe we wait to prod them to tear the heads off opponents until high school.
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