For the 10th consecutive year, the Jaguars Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida will run its "Teens and Sex...The Real Truth," a television forum between middle school and high school students and their parents.
Special teams standout Joe Zelenka will be involved with the program, and Jaguars co-owner Delores Barr Weaver will make an appearance.
According to jaguars.com, "The program addresses issues that middle school and high school students face today, such as peer pressure and the consequences of teen sex, which include teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS.
"The purpose of the program is to promote thoughtful discussion, improve parent/child communication, and encourage responsible behavior."
Since I've lived in the Jacksonville area, I've really been impressed with the efforts the Jaguars have made to reach out to the youth and try to make a difference.
For example, in the last two years, the Jags, in conjunction with Baker Sporting Goods, have held a high school football media day. Players and coaches from all over the area come to the touchdown club and are interviewed by various media outlets. I've been fortunate enough to attend the event, and it's really an awesome experience for the kids.
The most important aspect of this special day is the speaker during lunch. Two years ago, Tony Boselli and, local sportscaster Sam Kouvaris, addressed the players in attendance. Last year, Paul Spicer talked to the kids. All of them had worthwhile messages for the players, who are still at an impressionable age.
I'm glad to see the team take part in these types of programs, including the sex-ed forum. It's definitely something that's needed, especially considering what I saw at the grocery store yesterday.
My wife and I are bopping along at the Super Wal-Mart in St. Augustine. Generally, I HATE going to the grocery store, and yesterday was especially bad.
It seemed like every crying kid in St. Augustine was at the store yesterday, and some scum-ridden SOB left chicken bones on the shelf next to the juice I was picking up.
But the worst part had to be the two tennie boppers I saw walking around. They couldn't have been older than 14.
The girls had their shirts rolled up to expose their midsection, and had temporary tattoos of their names on their lower backs.
Now I'm sure that everyone (especially every guy) knows the stereotype about the tattoo on the lower back of a woman. Without getting all judgmental, the nickname for it is "tramp stamp." I'm sure everyone can figure that out without any explanation.
Listen, if you're a woman 18 or older and reading this thinking, "Where does this such-and-such get off talking about my tat?" stop for one second.
If you're of legal age and you want to get a tattoo there, go for it. Send up the flare, or smoke signal, or whatever. You're an adult. I've got no problem. Honestly, on WOMEN, I find the body art very appealing.
But to see two girls who probably just graduated from middle school walking around Wal-Mart like that (WHERE WERE THE PARENTS ????) just made me sad. I even came up with an impromptu song that goes a little something like this:
"I weep for the youth of America, America, America; I weep for the youth of America, America, my home." (It was set to the tune of "I wish I was in Peoria").
Now by no means do I consider myself old (just turned 27 recently, and don't ask me how I know the tune of a song that's at least 50 years old), but it seems like the older I get, the more crazy kids get. Maybe it's just perception, I don't know.
When I saw the (for lack of a better term) two tramps in training, I recalled a song by Nas entitled "I Can." (That's after I was done singing my little ditty, out loud in the store, mind you.)
Say what you want about hip-hop, but the song had several of great messages for young people. The part that I hope these two girls listen to goes a little something like this:
"Be, B-boys and girls, listen again; This is for grown looking girls who's only 10; The ones who watch and do what they see; As cute as can be, up in the club with fake ID; Careful, 'fore you meet a man with HIV; You could host the TV like Oprah Winfrey; Whatever you decide, be careful, some men be; Rapists, so act your age, don't pretend to be; Older than you are, give yourself time to grow, You're thinking he can give you wealth but so..."
I know I'm starting to ramble. The point is that this program is very important, and I'm glad to see the Jaguars championing the cause.
I just hope that it doesn't fall on deaf ears.