In my blog this week, I want to address sports etiquette. Proper sports etiquette–regardless of the sport–includes hand-shaking, saying good game, and attempting not to call the officials “fat bastards.” Oh, and the players should follow these rules too!
In high school, I earned summer money keeping score for Little League games. I quickly learned the backstop wasn’t erected to prevent balls from hitting the spectators. It was strategically placed to protect the umpires from
savage enthusiastic Moms.
When The Eldest began playing baseball, I will never forget the sight of nine little pairs of eyes peeking from the dugout to see whose Mom was getting thrown out of the park for yelling at the umpire. When he met me in the parking lot after the game he said, “Mom, please don’t do that again.”
While the Moms are busy yelling at the umpires, the Dads are yelling at their crumb snatchers. The Eldest has a story from his own umpping days. He recalls one particular game where a Dad constantly yelled from the stands, “Pay attention son! Get the ball son! Throw the ball son! Catch the ball son!” The Dad then moved to the right field fence and in exasperation asked, “Son, what in tarnation are you doing?”
From his position on the ground, the child gave a growl and replied, “I’m a tiger!!” Yes, it starts with Tee-ball.
Recently Chief Money Maker was initiated into the United American Men’s Right Field Club for Softball Dads—often called BUBBAS for short. I asked what they do out there, but he told me he couldn’t tell me without risk of permanently losing his man card.
I have my own suspicions about what goes on. I think they take bets on whose wife will lead the charge against the umpire. What other explanation is there for the extra cash he had in his wallet last week?
Wolfy is the goalkeeper for his soccer team. Now I know nothing about soccer except you can get flagged for offside, but I’ve yet to see a quarterback in the game.
Whereas I might be in jeopardy of getting tossed from a softball game, Chief Money Maker is thrice as embarrassing at a soccer game. Yes, you read that right…THRICE!
After years of refereeing soccer, coaching, and playing goalkeeper, I have to tether him to his chair to keep him from trying to take over all three positions at once. And believe me, the duct tape across his mouth is about as useful as dubbing Eddie Murphy’s curse words for a network showing of “Beverly Hills Cop.” It ain’t fooling anyone!
Then we’ve got G-Bear and my nephew, Lil’ Scro, teaming up as a pitch and catch duo for baseball. I spent two years keeping score for their team. Do you know how difficult it is to record the plays while holding down Chief Money Maker? I’ve insisted that he form a chapter of the United American Men’s Right Field Club for Baseball Dads—ironically also called BUBBAS—because he can’t sit by me this season.
But seriously folks, we need to keep in mind that sports activities are intended to teach our children life lessons about leadership, teamwork, organization, and lots of other stuff that–in theory–will one day be utilized in the work force. And if a parent gets a little crazy in the stands, I like to use it as a teaching moment on hypocrisy. Or more commonly taught as, “Look crumb snatchers…Do as I say, not as I do!”
© 2012 CThacker