How to pwn a friend.
September 2, 2011 8:54 PM   Subscribe

My friend agreed for me to full on tackle him... We are in the 10th grade, I outweigh him by probably 80lbs, and he said he would let me do it... Questions: can we get in trouble or suspended? Im will only be a few feet away, and he will have pillows, a helmet, and will land on some grass, can he (or I) get hurt? And finally, if one of us DOES get hurt, what will the injurys be?
posted by sizzil34 to Grab Bag (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can't predict what the injuries might be. You could fuck him up pretty bad though. Don't do it, it's a terrible idea.
posted by facetious at 8:58 PM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

If anything don't do it on school grounds or during school hours.

As StrikeTheViol said, grass is not soft, consider using a proper thick cushioned mat such as those found in gym or gymnastics classes.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 9:12 PM on September 2, 2011

Best answer: Can you get hurt? Yes.
Will you get hurt? Probably not; he'll probably get the wind knocked out of him.
What could his injuries be? Anything from a broken bone to a concussion to a torn ligament to nothing whatsoever.

Can you get in trouble for this? Obviously.
Can you get suspended? Sure you can.
(You already knew the answers to these, right?)

When you are 25 years old and looking back on this moment, will you think this was an extremely stupid idea? Of course.
Will you be glad you did it? Yeah, probably.
Should you full-on-tackle your much-smaller friend from a few feet away while he has pillows stuffed down his pants? The Internet cannot make your life choices for you; it can only raise its eyebrows in bemusement and be secretly delighted by the reminder that 10th-graders will always have stupid, fun, painful ideas.
posted by foursentences at 9:15 PM on September 2, 2011 [33 favorites]

This is like a linebacker laying out a wide receiver. This results in (at minimum) concussions even under the most controlled circumstances. This is stupid and dumb.

I'm pretty sure you don't play football, since you are asking this question. So you don't know how to tackle properly. You could spear and break your neck, paralyzing yourself. You could dislocate your shoulder. You could break a collarbone. Get a stinger and pinch nerves. Any number of things. Your target could easily get a concussion, broken ribs, forearms, internal bleeding, all that.

These are actual injuries actual football players suffer all the time.

Don't be stupid.
posted by sanka at 9:30 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm both glad your scary migraine scare turned out to be non-fatal, and kind of appalled you're considering potentially giving your friend the same kind of problem. If you were roughly the same size, it wouldn't be as big a deal, but 80 extra pounds is a lot to throw at a kid (in addition to his own body weight). This happens all the time in high school football, but that also involves proper padding (protip: a pillow is not proper padding) and *still* leads to a lot of whiplashes and concussions every year.

I wouldn't do it.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:32 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this is not a good idea. When I see weight mismatches like this even between two pro football players with adequate pads, I cringe.

If you must, try to get someone who knows about football to teach you how to do a proper tackle. You DO NOT need to run at him in order to knock him over.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:33 PM on September 2, 2011

Response by poster: I know how to tackle... Properly...
posted by sizzil34 at 9:39 PM on September 2, 2011

On school grounds you open yourself up for no tolerance violence policies which could mean getting expelled, even if your friend is okay with it. If he gets hurt and his parents aren't okay with it they can push to have you punished.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:46 PM on September 2, 2011

Okay, so, I must ask the question: WHY DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS? You say that you know how to tackle properly, so surely you've done it before. Your friend will have a helmet and pillows, which means he's concerned for his safety. So my advice will depend on why you want to do this.

1: You want to tackle him.

I cannot imagine the motivation, but if you've talked him into "letting you" tackle him, then you have a target that is likely inexperienced and very likely to get injured regardless of the protective equipment (pillows? really?) Inexperienced means he doesn't know how to fall, he doesn't know what it is really going to feel like, and nobody knows how his body is going to react. He might come out fine, he might get severely injured. Hell, he could try to bolt at the last second, and your perfect textbook tackle might lead to whiplash. Too unpredictable, too many unknowns, don't do it.

2: He wants you to tackle him.

I can only imagine two motivations here: he gets a sexual thrill from it, or he just wants to know what its like.

If the former, you should really consider that men your age are prone to doing stupid, dangerous and foolish things for a sexual thrill, so I'm sure he's underplaying his own potential for being injured. Being in denial makes injury much more likely (see #1 above.) Don't do it.

On the other hand, if he just wants to know what its like, go get another member of the football team -- someone his weight -- to do it, and to pull the tackle. Odds are he's going to do something stupid and unpredictable like try to bolt and twist at the wrong moment, so your lighter friend can pull the tackle and he'll still feel the impact of it...and if he jumps up and says "no big deal", he can do it again and pull it less. And for goodness' sake, don't use pillows. Make it hurt MORE so the tackler can get away will pulling the tackle more.

3. You're doing some kind of stunt for video cameras.

Don't do it, for the simple reason that if you do injure the kid, there will be a video record of it, which his parents can use to sue your parents (or you directly, if you're over 18.)

That's the best way to answer your question that I have, and I hope you appreciate that I'm spelling it all out instead of just saying "don't do it." But seriously, don't do it. And if you do it and nobody gets hurt, and you think "haw haw those people told me it would be bad but it was fine"...just remember how many times some people have successfully dived into a pool before diving in and paralyzing themselves.
posted by davejay at 9:49 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

(Also, I was asked to tackle friends before when I was younger and more muscular. Instead of tackling them onto the ground, I tackled them onto a bed and I didn't get a running start at it as much as I picked them up. I had about 40 pounds on them and there was no way I would knock them over for real. They got a kick out of it and no one got hurt, but it wasn't the most brilliant thing ever.)
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:50 PM on September 2, 2011

Oh yeah, and the best way to decide what to do, and how to do it, is to go to your school authorities -- presumably your gym teacher or your coach -- and ask them if it is a good idea, and whether you'll be suspended. This will be much more useful information than asking random people on the internet.
posted by davejay at 9:51 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Teenage boys have been doing stupid crap like this since time immemorial. Teenage boys have also been occasionally dying or killing their friends or getting seriously injured because of the stupid crap they do since time immemorial.
posted by yarly at 9:56 PM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]

Even a clean tackle will mess a guy up if you've got 80 pounds on them and he's just standing there. I have no idea why your friend would agree to this, but it sounds like a very bad idea.
posted by Gilbert at 10:14 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

School Board member here. If you do this on school grounds, and your rules are anything like ours, you will get suspended. Physical violence (unpremeditated, like slapping someone in the heat of the moment) will get you three days. This sort of thing I'd expect probably 5-8. (10 is the max, usually you have to be full-on brawling.)

The fact that your friend gives permission is immaterial -- I actually had a suspension where two boys agreed to take turns punching each other with escalating hardness to see what happened. What happened was bloody noses and suspensions.

Incidentally, minors can't consent to being physically hurt anyway. If you were to permanently injure him, God forbid, you wouldn't be able to say "he agreed to it" if you got sued (or prosecuted). Minors can't agree to get hit, the way (say) an adult could agree to go up against a pro boxer to try to win some money at a carnival. (Which was the law school case, IIRC, or something close to that.)

This is a weirdly dumb idea, though I have certainly seen (and suspended) weirder. Why not just go out for football?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:45 PM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]

A friend of mine asked me to punch him in the face. I punched him in the face. He stopped being my friend.

Don't be stupid like I was and risk loosing a friend just because they make a stupid request and being too stupid to say no.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:56 PM on September 2, 2011

I was tackled once by a guy who outweighed me by a lot. (I did not agree to it, he was angry and drunk.) I cracked a collar bone and had my arm in a sling for four months.
posted by RobotHero at 11:30 PM on September 2, 2011

Allow me to share an important bit of life wisdom that applies to many situations: just because you CAN do something, it doesn't mean that you should do it.
posted by gnutron at 11:45 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Go to Devour and search for the word "FAIL."

Take this one for example: Classic Fails (SLD). They're all doing stuff of the level of smartness you're proposing.

"Oooh, shit" seems to be the most popular phrase in the English language, if we were only to judge from these video collections. None of these geniuses thought they were doing anything that could get them hurt and now they're enshrined for all time in video compilations for our amusement.

Don't do it. Your friend is young and will live with his injuries for a long time.

Unless, that is, you're trying to make the blooper reel...
posted by phoebus at 12:55 AM on September 3, 2011

Reading the comments here makes me wonder how I survived being forced to play rugby at my high school (small kids tackled by very big kids, no armour, very hard ground, teacher who yelled "OH! CRUNCHING TACKLE!" with obvious pleasure and approval whenever a child was sent flying).

But on second thoughts, as someone who avoided being tackled by deliberately dropping or throwing the ball away as soon as it got to me, I have to agree with those who think this might be a silly thing to do.
posted by BinaryApe at 1:05 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

What does your mom say to all of this?
posted by kinetic at 3:31 AM on September 3, 2011

Well, the only thing I can share is my experience, and you can make a decision from there.

In high school, I played hockey. One day before practice started, my teammate and I decided to full on check each other at center ice - but start skating at opposite ends and hit each other full speed.

We collided - and I outweighed him by a good 40-70 lbs - and my stick went flying into the boards, my left shoulder pad (made of impossibly hard plastic) dented and I lost the ability to breathe for a few startling seconds.

It was awesome.

So, the decision is yours, but that is my experience.
posted by glaucon at 4:44 AM on September 3, 2011

It's a bad idea, but you'll probably be fine. Don't do it on school grounds.
posted by mhoye at 4:48 AM on September 3, 2011

A few feet away? Go for it, you won't even be able to get up to speed in a few feet. Now is the time to do it,while you are young. People have probably been playing full contact sports since dawn of time.

That being said, I broke my wrist playing tackle football.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:07 AM on September 3, 2011

I know how to tackle... Properly...

Just eight weeks ago you were a "football virgin" who had "never played organized sports" and were six weeks from your first ever practice. That doesn't reconcile well with your assertion that you know how to tackle today.

Your question is unanswerable, a thousand things could happen, and no one here has any real way to advise you about what injuries you or your friend will sustain.
posted by donnagirl at 10:21 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

My mother broke her hip after being tackled. She's young and has healthy bones. Depending on how your friend falls, this could go really badly. Please don't do it.
posted by duien at 10:32 AM on September 3, 2011

I'd say, see if you can find someone of equal weight and ability before youeven consider this. I can understand your wanting to do it, and I thing it's great that you're anticipating the consequences. Seriously... high school kids screw up a lot because forethought is on the back burner during teenhood, which is a cruel trick of biology.
Another cruel trick is that it's natural for you to be really enthusiastic about things, and to have a huge amount of energy and desire to go all out.

Try asking it this way: I really want to full on tackle somebody. Is there a way to make sure nobody gets hurt, nobody gets in trouble? Don't be asking, "I want to tackle this smaller guy, how should I go about it?"

A way to make sure there are no serious injuries or punishments, is do it at football practice, with the coach looking on, and with another team member who can tackle you in return. If you were in 12th grade, doing equal tackles (no supervision) with another player, you might get away with it if nobody gets hurt. That's a big if, though. And you sound like someone who would feel appropriately bad if you broke one of your buddy's limbs.

By the way, I used to be a high school teacher. Please don't underestimate the anger of school officials and the other kid's parent if there should be an injury -- and their wanting to impose harsh penalties and remove many privileges. They can go overboard. Even if they don't, your parents will be involved, and the whole thing will add so much more to the regret you already feel.
posted by wryly at 12:27 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you have health insurance? Will your parents have to pay a large deductible? In the US, a trip to the ER is a few hundred dollars. If your parents haven't met the deductible yet, they'll pay out of pocket. How about your friend? Can your parents pay your friend's health costs?
posted by vitabellosi at 5:11 AM on September 4, 2011

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