In a letter to the editor, a West New York youth football coach says he will not be returning next season since he doesn’t feel Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo and the recreation department put the safety of the athletes first.
Over the winter of 2014 and the spring of 2015, Chris Costello and I put in countless hours, sacrificed family time, made countless phone calls, purchased items to better the program from our own pockets, and were given the okay at that time to dismantle what passed for the football program in this town and create something good.
Through all that time Chris and I had been working with Tiffany Marcano and she was fully on board and was willing to help us get what we wanted and more importantly make the changes these kids needed.
It was completely refreshing to have a genuine caring partner in town hall. We had productive meetings with Pop Warner and they were willing to welcome us in to the fold. Everything that Pop Warner offers is what this town desperately needs. There is accountability and structure in that league, top to bottom.
Things we desperately need here. We were all set to go into the league and we couldn’t have been more excited. Then Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo came on board and put the whammy on all our plans. We were furious to say the least. To further complicate things we couldn’t get answers from him.
I wrote emails to Commissioner Cirillo that he never bothered to respond to. I confronted him at a town hall meeting seeking answers to his decision for keeping us in the Hudson County Youth Football League (HCFYL) but all he could manage was the same thing he continues to say to this day:
That he didn’t feel comfortable making the decision to move us to Pop Warner without all the facts. I told him that I felt that he was being disingenuous because Chris Costello, Tiffany Marcano, Luis Baez and I had done all the legwork for him. ALL of it.
We got the commissioner everything he could possibly need to make a very informed decision. He chose not to move us, and that is a decision that baffles me to this day.
I’ve been in meetings with Jorge Gomez and the commissioner where they said things like, “Well, if it’s good enough for every other town in the league it’s good enough for us” “We have rivalries with towns in our league like North Bergen and Union City, we don’t have any history with any of the towns in Pop Warner.”
I don’t understand how a silly rivalry with a neighboring town is a valid enough reason for keeping your children in this league. Is a child in a wheelchair or worse a valid reason? I think not.
For those of you that like to say, “My god why does he have to go to extremes and worst case scenarios?!” Because I’m a parent, I care about my child and I could give a rats behind about idiotic things like town rivalries and if everybody jumps off the bridge I’ll do it too logic.
I had a meeting with Mike Ascolese in Tiffany Marcano’s office this past spring where he proceeded to tell me that, “If the kids can’t take the banging maybe they should play soccer or something like that.” Mike Ascolese runs the HCYFL along with Bill White. What a heartless and uninformed thing to say in my opinion.
That comment and the ones made by the commissioner and Jorge Gomez do not sound at all like the opinions of men I would entrust with the safety of your children. I don’t apologize if I sound angry because I am.
I’m furious. I am a big fan of logic and I lose it when grown men or women refuse to use it. Dear parents, if you take anything away from this letter I hope it is this.
This sport that I coach and we let our children participate in is a combat sport. In this sport you use your body for all intents and purposes as a missile to “kill the guy with the ball”. In all combat sports in this country, and around the world for that matter weight classes have been implemented when it comes to combat sports.
Why? Let’s take boxing as an example: in boxing you use a closed fist to strike your opponent over and over on his body and preferably the head to render him unable to continue, effectively the aim is to knock your opponent out.
Back in 1909 the powers that be in boxing realized that you cannot have a participant outweigh the other by a ridiculous margin, it’s not only competitively unfair to the smaller man but it is potentially lethal.
Logic dictates that the bigger man has the potential to land a much heavier and substantial blow simply because of his body size, and he only needs to land one to do significantly more damage than his smaller opponent, so they instituted weight classes.
Another example is MMA, mixed martial arts: I’m a huge fan of MMA since day one. Back in the day, MMA was called “human cockfighting” and it was outlawed for many years in most states across the country.
MMA too eventually came to the realization that if they wanted to be recognized as a true sport, they had to implement weight classes. They did so and by doing so automatically made it a safer sport.
It makes me seriously wonder why Commissioner Cirillo and Jorge Gomez cannot and will not provide legitimate reasons for keeping your children in this league. The thought is abhorrent and their reasoning deeply flawed. Commissioner Cirillo says on the WNYREC.org site:
” … I am committed to continuing the expansion of our programs and providing our children with the best experience possible. Together we can work to form a robust department that will engage and serve all the residents of the Town of West New York.”
And he goes on to further say, “Please know my door is always open for questions, comments or ideas. Together we can work to form a robust department that will engage and serve all the residents of the Town of West New York.”
“As the people of this town, your input is valuable to me as I work to expand the vision of the department.”
Parents, do you find this statement to be true in any way when it comes to the children in WNY Recreation football?
Educate yourself and those around you just a tiny bit with the links at the end of this rant Mr. commissioner. So it is with a heavy heart that I’m letting you know that I will not be returning to coach football in this town any time soon.