One such contradiction can be found out on the soccer fields of youth sports. It is an unfortunately reality that activities that are mean to teach children how to be a part of a team are sometimes marred by parental involvement. The very people that are supposed to be role models can be the example of what not to be or what not to do.
We learned earlier this season to our chagrin and dismay that one team this season had not one or two but four or five parents who are unclear on the concept. We watched as a father blatantly cheated so that his son's team would gain an advantage and listened to a mother talk trash about nine and ten year old boys. It wasn't just embarrassing but infuriating as well. When I made eye contact they looked back at me defiantly and I found myself almost convulsing in laughter.
It was so silly and such a ridiculous waste of time and energy. If you are one of the 17 long time readers you know that I am a fan of the ridiculous and silly. It would not be unusual for me to go engage them conversation that could go any number of directions. I might pretend to be serious and argue some ridiculous point or maybe I'd be self righteous- just don't know what I'll do until I am in it.
If winning is the only thing that counts you might have to give them credit because for most of the season they were undefeated. And then they played our boys again and were handed the bitter taste of defeat. The players took it well. They weren't pleased but they were gracious- unfortunately the parents were not. It was a very telling moment about their character and a reminder that some people cannot help but stay classy.
Weeks have passed by and the rancor that they generated remains floating in the air. This weekend four teams are going to play in the semi-finals and championship games. Both of our teams are in the mix so there is a very good chance that we are going to face each other. At practice this week one of the other fathers and I laughed about it and said that perhaps we should screen some movies to get the boys hyped. Perhaps Highlander might be a good choice, "there can be only one."
Or maybe we'll play Eye of the Tiger and Gonna Fly Now.The boys may not get it but you can guarantee that a bunch of older guys will start shadow boxing and running around the field encouraging the boys to get up and move but it will be fun. F....U....N... Fun is the reason why they are playing. I won't lie and say that I don't want them to win because I do. I want them to feel the charge that goes through you when you win it all, I want them to see that working together provides a giant payoff.
But if they don't it is ok with me. All I ask is that they give it their best effort. And should we play those other guys, well there might be a guy who looks and sounds like me cheering for our team from the wrong side. I know, it is juvenile and were I hanging out with the degenerates in Boston or Philadelphia not something I would do.
However I am not in either of those cities so I am not worried about any static. After all it is a kids game played by kids- should be fun.