Let the kids play: Basketball hoop, hockey net ban would be ‘wicked stupid’

22 May

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

When we were young, not that long ago, the streets of Peabody this time of year were filled with kids playing street hockey, games of “twenty-one” on a basketball hoop hanging from a telephone pole, or killer games of “cell block” and “hide-and-go-seek.”

hoopParents actually encouraged kids to go outside, and “blow the stink off ya,” and you were happy to oblige once winter shuffled off its mortal coil, and the air on these late spring nights filled with the scent of lilacs and fresh-cut grass. The thrill of that grass, which you would roll around in while wrestling with friends, before setting up a killer three-on-three game under that street lights until being called home for some homework.

Other than the sound of early evening lawnmowers, today the streets are pretty much quiet. Void of laughter. Void of kids debating whether their line drive off the shed was fair or foul.

Despite our still very safe Peabody neighborhoods, kids, for the most part, stay indoors now.

What’s changed?

Well, certainly high-tech fun is winning out over the low-tech fun of our youth. Video games have replaced games of HORSE, and water balloon fights in the backyard.

But that’s not the only reason.

You can also blame it on the adults.

First we condition our kids to believe that it’s not worth playing if you don’t have a coach or a fancy uniform, or well-polished basketball court. We don’t let them experience the joy anymore of sacrificing the skin on their knees to invent new moves to the hoop on the Peabody’s well-worn asphalt streets.

And now comes even more lunacy when it comes to the adult killjoys.

In a move that would further discourage kids from playing outside, the Peabody City Council is considering creating an ordinance that would ban street-side basketball hoops and street hockey games.

Why?

Well, Councilor At-Large David Gravel brought the issue to the council after one of his grouchy neighbors on Tara Road began constantly complaining about a MAJOR “crime” in her neighborhood. That’s right, balls were inadvertently bouncing into this woman’s yard

To his credit, Gravel responded to a resident’s concern, but maybe what he should have done instead was tell her to calm down, and be a better neighbor. Of ¬†course, since this story broke, we’ve heard from other Nitwit NIMBYs, who are now citing child “safety concerns” over curbside baskets and street hockey nets. Good Lord! Why don’t we all just give up already, and have our kids live in plastic bubbles?

Gravel has done his job and responded to a resident. Now the city council should do the right thing, and not even bring a formal motion on this to the floor. It is, after all, in the words of Peabody’s kids, “wicked stupid.”

Let the kids play.

Here’s how Boston TV news station Fox25 covered the story:

 

4 Responses to “Let the kids play: Basketball hoop, hockey net ban would be ‘wicked stupid’”

  1. Kareem May 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    I agree Bob. I am also sure that councilor Gravel would have cared less about this issue if it wasn’t on his own street.

  2. anon May 23, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    What’s next Bob? Let the kids play with GUNS! Kids will be kids. It is tough being a parent. Maybe the parents should grow up. In the video I saw a nice double-width driveway that they could set-up their nets in. But NO not in their driveway! When your child or grandchild gets hit by an un-expecting motorist you will be the first to blame the motorist. Look in the mirror Bob. It will be YOUR fault! You loaded the gun!

  3. Anonymous Peabody Voter May 23, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    What is this world coming to?? Better yet, what is going on here in Peabody?? We have a major law suit going on right now which involves the Peabody F.D. and dildos! We have a sitting City Councilor publicly applying for a full-time municipal job. We are becoming the billboard capital of the United States. We have a future tax increase coming to the tune of @ $500.00 per household due to the building of the new Essex Vocational school.

    And Dave Gravel wants to take away lil Johnny’s basketball hoop? That news was sooo big that FOX 25 came running to cover the story?

    What am I missing here?

  4. anon May 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Hey! I just heard from an irate grandfather that is was more important to protect his new pickup truck and grandma’s car by keeping them (the cars) off the street than it was keeping his grandson and his friends off the street playing basketball. Go figure. To quote the grandfather: ” Hit my grandson and I’ll own your house!” Who is the sane one here?

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