Archived Story

Parents, fans, players out of hand with criticism

Published 6:00am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sports have been a large part of my life since I was five years old. Whether I was watching NCAA football or MLB on TV, playing little league baseball and toybowl football or just out in the yard pretending, sports have always been something I enjoyed.

Fast forward 20 years and I find myself writing about sports for a living, which doesn’t seem much of a stretch considering my childhood fascination with many different games.

I attend sporting events on a regular basis, as it is part of my job. I have noticed an increase in the level of participation as far as parents are concerned.

I see many moms and dads take there kids to as many games as possible all throughout the year in an attempt to get their kid as much experience as possible.

There is nothing wrong with this, so long as the sport is something the child enjoys.

Sports teach you a lot of things that are important life lessons, but at the end of the day they are still meant to be played for love of the game.

Every year I see stories and YouTube videos of parents going out of control over games.

It may be a “bad” call by a game official or something between coaches or players.

Search YouTube videos for controversial calls and parent reactions, and just see how many hits turn up.

Many games I visit have parents, fans or coaches that are very vocal with their opinions.

This is all part of the game, but only to a certain degree.

I have seen and heard many people, even locally, take it way too far.

After all, everyone involved is only human, and the last time I checked, no human being is infallible.

Imagine being an umpire at a sporting event and having to put up with an angry crowd.

Most people have a boss they report to at work, and things must be done correctly and on time no matter what the profession.

But imagine if you will having a large group of people constantly surrounding you and criticizing every move you make they do not like, whether it was the right call or not.

I have seen my fair share of calls I considered bad, but rarely has a umpire or referee heard me openly criticize them.

I did it to myself where only my teammates could here me, and that was during my high school football years.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO recently had an episode that featured the stories of three men, all game officials.

Two were high school football refs, and one was a youth soccer official.

The two referees both had an event go south where they were attacked. Attacked. Because of a game played by kids.

Worse is the story of the soccer official. He was punched in the head by a disgruntled kid at a game, and the man later died of the injury.

Died. Because some kid at a game didn’t like the call. Seems like a legitimate reason to end a man’s life right there.

Parents, fans and coaches all need to remember it’s just a game played for fun.

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