Someone’s going to tear an ACL on this. Maybe not a player, maybe not a coach, but mark our words: Someone will get on a slide as an adult and forget a basic lesson of adulthood, the one you learn getting on a playground, or a bike, or swinging off a rope swing somewhere, or pulling yourself heftily around a ropes course on a corporate retreat.
You are not an eighty pound spider monkey anymore, and moving through space as a burly, underworked and overweight adult body is NOT the same experience. It frequently results in serious injury, public humiliation, and hours of delightful practice explaining to others how you managed to tear all three ligaments in your knee at a children’s birthday party. Trampolines are the devil; do not yield to their temptations, or listen to Drunk You’s imploring that just a few bounces can’t hurt.
(Slides aren’t child’s play, by the way, especially because they break legs on what seems like a weekly basis at the City Museum in St. Louis. We’re not really fond of St. Louis as a whole—it’s a baseball town—but it does have one thing that no one can take away from it, and that’s an incredibly dangerous and unregulated children’s museum. More cities need this.)
Also yes, this is part of a $55 million facility for Clemson athletics, a number that would make you think “Well, we can build slides, and pay strength coaches $600,000, and assistants $1.4 million, and coaches upwards of $6 million a year, and hmm, yes, shame it would be impossible to pay players.” That would be cheap, and we don’t like to be cheap about advocacy for simple, just things. One slide isn’t that expensive. Please don’t tell our children that, but it’s just not.
Except: there is a goddamn slide in a football facility, and a putt-putt course, and literally every other bit of giddy childlike accoutrement imaginable not just in Clemson’s facilities, but throughout college football. Clemson is advertising this, so they get to be the point of entry here, but let’s also take this opportunity to remind you that the players don’t really get paid for their talent or work, and instead get stuff that you would not accept as pay.
You can keep on building these things as long and as fabulously as you like, but two things should probably happen.
1. You should probably pay players for the work they do for the university in cash, because they are the prime movers in what can be a hugely profitable commercial enterprise.
2. This slide should be reserved for those who graduate or leave the program, including coaches who get fired from the school. The Firing Slide: it’ll be like burial at sea, but much more playful.
P.S. The slide is cool, please put down pads to prevent injury.
P.P.S. Watch Alabama fans make fun of this, and then immediately order construction of a subterranean ball pit the size of an olympic swimming pool beneath Bryant-Denny.