Humor by Greg Schwem

There is football on my TV, the greens of my backyard leaves are slowly giving way to fiery reds and my kids have resumed both school and youth sports programs.

As long as Nevin Shapiro stays in jail, it's going to be a great fall.

Shapiro is the Miami "businessman" currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $930 million Ponzi scheme. But it was his dealings with University of Miami football players that really put him on the map. Shapiro admitted to a Yahoo sports reporter that he lavished cash and gifts on Miami players and recruits, threw outrageous parties featuring strippers and hookers, paid players for vicious hits and did it all over an eight-year period while nobody thought to question him, including Miami coaches who allegedly also benefitted from Shapiro's largesse.

Unless O.J. Simpson gets transferred to the same correctional facility, Shapiro is now far away from sports figures. This is a good thing because, had Shapiro's misdeeds continued to go unnoticed, he may have tired of his hard-partying bachelor ways, gotten married, had children and settled into a life of suburbia. Like me, maybe he would have a daughter. Like me, maybe his daughter would play soccer. What if our kids ended up on the same team? Any adult who has ever experienced youth soccer knows that some parents can be overly vocal at best and downright nuts at worst. The last thing my daughter's team needs is a guy rolling up to the field in a tricked out minivan.

"Hey, Ned, who's the guy wearing the extra large Strawberry Shortcake team jersey?"

"Greg, that's Nevin Shapiro. His daughter's the starting midfielder. Of course, what did you expect? He threw that all-night party at Chuck E. Cheese last weekend."

"Is that the guy the other kids call, 'The dad with the tokens?'"

"That's him. And he's got more than tokens. Have you seen his house?"

"Is it the one with the 100-foot inflatable jumper in the backyard? My daughter was there for eight hours yesterday. OOOOH, did you see that? One of our kids just kneed another player in the stomach. Poor kid. She's crying. They're going to have to take her out of the game. Looks like our player is going to get a red card."

"And a Dairy Queen coupon."

"A what?"

"Haven't you heard? Shapiro gives free ice cream to any kid who incapacitates an opposing player. Sure, our player's done for the day, but in an hour she's going to be eating a Peanut Buster Parfait."

"No wonder my daughter wants to take kick boxing lessons. By the way, Ned, are we home or away next weekend?"

"We're home. Eleven a.m. at Shapiro Field."

"Excuse me?"

"Didn't you get the email? They named our field after this guy. In return he's buying new warm-up jackets for all the girls. The coaches made the decision last night at Buffalo Wild Wings."

"Let me guess. Shapiro paid."

"You got it."

"Hey, Ned, do you recognize the three 7-year-olds on the sideline? Are they from around here?"

"No, Greg. They're from Mexico. Potential recruits."

"Recruits? From Mexico?"

"Shapiro flew them up here. Thinks they'll be great additions to the team."

"Don't you have to live in our town to play youth soccer for this team?"

"Hey, I don't ask questions. Apparently these kids have some serious moves."

So, let me get this straight: We're using illegal recruits, encouraging our kids to hurt opposing players, bribing them with pizza parties and fancy clothes and nobody thinks this is wrong?"

"Greg, we're 7-0. Zip it."

"How much time is left in this game, anyway?"

"That was the whistle. Looks like we're 8-0 now."

"Here comes my daughter. Nice game honey!"

"Thanks, Dad."

"Hey, since your grandparents drove all the way here to watch you, how about we all go to McDonald's and celebrate?"

"Maybe another time. Mr. Shapiro is taking the whole team to the Apple Store."

"Oh. Uh, do you need any money?"

"Very funny, Daddy."

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

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