Unfortunately, we hear on the news all the time about parents full-out losing their shit on the sidelines of their kids' sporting events. A bad call can somehow turn supposed "adults" into the biggest meatheads on the planet. It's both despicable and embarrassing. And I thought I'd seen some pretty horrific behavior during all my years on the sidelines, but, sadly, what I witnessed this past weekend at my daughter's soccer tournament took CRAZY to a whole other level.
My daughter's 3v3 soccer team was lucky enough to participate in a fabulous tournament down in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It was a pretty large three-day tourney that attracted teams from all over the country. The players ranged anywhere in age from seven to fifteen, and the spectators ranged anywhere in intensity from moderate to cuckoo.
The final day of the event was the playoffs, which apparently brought out the inner Hulk Hogan side of some of the parents and even the coaches. We were watching one particular U9 match-up where the coach and a dad from the opposing team got into it towards the end of the game. The dad was videotaping each and every play on a tripod stand (which, in and of itself, was nuts on a stick, given that these were THIRD GRADE KIDS!!!), when the other coach started yelling at him.
When his team scored a goal, this jackhole started screaming to the dad, "Did ya get THAT on tape??!!" And the dad, who evidently was raised in a barn, then began yelling, "Why don't you come on over here and SHOW me?!!" This was followed by name-calling, taunting, and a whole lot of ignorance being spewed across a field full of children. The disgusting parade of bad behavior continued throughout the remainder of the game, while we stood there in awe at these poor excuses for adults.
After the game, the dad tried to add more fuel to the fire by grabbing the hand of the coach, who grumbled, "Don't you dare touch me, you mother f***er." (Classy, huh?) The assistant coach had to step in and persuade the coach to walk away, while the parents on the sideline tried to tell the dad that he had done absolutely nothing wrong. Both sides actually believed that they were justified in their actions and had absolutely no qualms at all about the fact that their kids were watching every bit of this go down.
And we wonder why good manners and respect are like unicorns in our society! If you, as a parent, act like a complete buffoon, your kids will act like complete buffoons, too. It's just that simple. Some people REALLY need to get a hobby and quit trying to live vicariously through their offspring.