Monday, October 17, 2005


While attending my grandsons football game a few weeks ago a spectator in the stands was yelling at the team mates that the ball carrier needed some blockers. First of all, I'm sure that they were unable to hear him and secondly I wondered how many games he had played in, if any. How easy it is to sit in the stands and criticize the players and how difficult it must be to keep trying your best only to be beaten in most games!

It reminded me of several years ago when my children were young and played baseball/softball for the summer recreation league in our small town. There at every game was one father who had a child on the same team as one of my children. I had three children at the time so it was inevitable that this man's child would play opposite one of mine.

He was a rather loud and boisterous kind of guy. And the impression I got was that he was always right and his child was better at "everything" than anyone else's child. He would sit in the bleachers and yell at the other kids on his son's team if they would make a mistake. Mind you, he wasn't the coach or the assistant or I'm sure he would have been out on the playing field with the team. Just a loudmouth know-it-all! The things he yelled were rude and totally without thinking. And they were directed at children!

Excuse me! When did Little League become the world series? When did the game start to be more than a game for these kids? I thought I had signed them up to learn sportsmanship and the basics of the game. As it turned out they were learning offensive language and rudeness! All of a sudden this didn't seem like a game anymore and it was no longer fun!

Adults really need to remember that whether they are boys and girls playing little league baseball or highschool students playing on the football team, they are still youth and still learning. They need guidance and acceptance, not ridicule for their efforts.

And with that, I will get off my "soapbox" as my hubby calls it and say....."good night".

Looking through a magazine this morning I found this poem written by Bob Fox and thought it belonged with my most recent post:

"Just A Little Boy"

He stands at the plate with heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded; the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him, he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment would send the team home.
The ball meets the plate; he swings and he misses.
There's a groan from the crowd, with some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries "Strike out the bum."
Tears fill his eyes; the game's no longer fun.
So open your heart and give him a break.
For it's moments like this, a man you can make.
Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.
He's just a little boy and not a man yet.


clew said...

I totally agree! A terrible example of sportsmanship and playing together as a team, which is what the whole idea is anyway.

I feel sorry for kids who have to bear this kind of badgering. If it were me I probably would have told the guy, from one big mouth to another, to shut the h-e-double-hockey-sticks up ;).

naive-no-more said...

I couldn't agree more. I hate loud mouth fans, parents or no.

Do they really think yelling from the bleachers is going to be productive? Come on!

Lori said...

I agree 100%!! Whatever happened to, "It's not whether or not you win, it's how you play the game"? I absolutely cannot STAND parents who scream at their kids and their teammates. What kind of example is that?

Encouragement and enthusiasm is one thing, but this is completely different. It's nice to see that there are others out there who feel as I do!

Anonymous said...

You just described a poor girl who was on my softball team as a kid. We all said nothing and felt sorry for her.