Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When recreation becomes competitive IN THE STANDS. Say what?

I'd like to take this opportunity to break from all of the NCAA and bracket talk to bring you a big, fat load of craziness.  Yes, you know.  I am going to talk to you about Youth Sports again.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about when recreation becomes competitive among youth sports?  Well, I have a really fun follow up to that story.

So, basically in my last post about my son's (The Ace) rec arena soccer, I wrote about how good his team was.  How some of these boys would dance around the opposing team and score goal after goal.  Well, this past Saturday was the last game of the season and the team we were playing was also really good. 

Silly, little, naive, ol' me thought it was a really good game.  All the boys were playing their hearts out and the score was always within one goal.  There was sprinting, there was sweat, there was contact and there were some pretty goals scored on both sides of the ball.

Throughout the first half of the game, I noticed the other side of the stands was really loud with cheering and yelling to the players.  I didn't think much of it, as I just assumed they were a fun bunch of parents on the opposing team.  Probably a bunch of fun drunks.

Second half with roughly 5 minutes left in the game.  We are up by one and the score is 4-3.  The Ace is in on defense when him and another kid collide and hit the ground.  The kid on the orange team angrily hops up and The Ace (on the green team, by the way) is a little slower to get up, which of course catches my attention and my eyes remain glued on my son's every move. 

Let me preface this next part by telling you this has taken place down to the left and in front of the other team's parents.  The parents all sit on the same side and in the same bleachers, they were just on the left side and we were on the right.

So, when The Ace stands back up, the other section is yelling at the kids.  I could hear things like "PLAY HARDER" and "NO MORE DIRTY PLAYING."  I see my son look up at the stands which is odd for him because the guy is usually so dialed in on his game.  He is clearly distracted by these other parents yelling to/at them.

The game is still going and the ball flies at The Ace which stuns and snaps him back into the game.  One of the orange players is now running up to him since this is where the ball is.  The Ace, never one to miss a beat, challenges the player and tries to move forward while keeping the ball away, both of them making contact with one another. 

Great soccer, right?  What happens next is mind boggling.

The boy from team orange loses his shit, puts both hands on The Ace and tries to push him down.  The ref blows the whistle, The Ace looks baffled and shakes the kid off of him.  Ref tells the pushing child that he is out.  The kid runs back to his bench where his coach HIGH FIVES HIM.

Ref sees this and stops the game right then and there.

The parents on our team are beyond confused and quiet.  Well, minus me shrieking, "Oh HELL NO.  That kid is OUTTA there. Trying to push my son down, I DON'T THINK SO!"

The parents on the other side are beside themselves screaming that our team are a bunch of dirty players and this isn't fair and why can't we play fair?

Uh. I saw your kid push my kid but it's my kid's team that's full of dirty players? Ok.  And by the way, what the hell is going on here?

The parents all make their way out of the stands.  Our parents kind of laughing with confusion, befuddled with what's happening, their parents clearly very angry and distressed.

As we walk over to get The Ace, we pass a few people discussing the events leading up to the ref calling the game.  One very heated and rather old man was leading the conversation and at the end this is what I hear....

"....So basically, that referee only calls the foul on 'Bobby' because he finally pushed that snotty little brat from the green team, but nothing is called against him when it was his fault..."

Insert loud SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECHING halt to my step. I'm pretty sure this old man just called my son a snotty little brat.

Ok, so you can ask anyone who knows me about this expression I throw out on special occasions.  It's basically a small smile with a largely pathetic look on my face that clearly tells you that I think you are sofa king stupid that I need to look at and talk to you as if you were a 2 year old that had no knowledge on anything they were saying.  Like I said, this one is only used on a select few.

In a quiet, knowing voice and my 'I think you have an IQ of 39' expression I say, "No, you're wrong."

This over 6' tall man who had to be mid 60's or more starts charging at me yelling, "Oh no I'm not!!  I was right there and saw how dirty that snotty kid was playing all game AND YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A VIDEO."  (<----What kind of argument is that? Maybe his IQ IS 39?)

Insert my eat shit expression followed with a condescending laugh as I walk away.  See, I put up a good tough front, but I think I actually pissed my pants because a grown man was charging at me over a 10 year old's soccer game. Who knows what would have happened had I not turned my back on him and walked over to get my snotty brat of a child.

Let me harbor a guess.  The kid who lost his crap and pushed my kid was his grandson?  Anger management, folks?  Good grief.    Talk about when recreation turns competitive in the stands. 

My advice to all of you parents with young budding athletes:  Bring your friggin masks and boxing gloves because people are full of the crazy out there.  Shit.

Back to your regularly scheduled NCAA blog posts.


  1. IN-SANE! I don't get parents that are like this, OR grandparents. Everyone cares about their kid but clearly he's not getting the rules of the game and thinks his child is an angel. Guess he never heard of the roles of offense and defense. There's nothing wrong with Ace pushing through - helloo he's using his feet not his hands!

    You handled it well girl - no sense in getting on the 10 o'clock news because of some douche bag... {that is unless you want to be the next round table discussion on Chelsea} ;)

  2. OH NO HE DID NOT!!!!! My blood was literally BOILING reading this! The ref made the right call ending the game, wow, what a shitty coach! And that old man....oh lordy you handled it MUCH better than I would have....WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?

  3. This is the 3rd time this week I've read about an extreme reaction, completely out of proportion to the situation, from AN ADULT! I really don't understand what is wrong with people and where they get off thinking this is appropriate.

  4. This is INSANE. I understand that parents are protective of their children and, in general, tend to think that their kids' shit does not even smell a little bit foul...BUT when another child reacts violently to a situation, it's usually because violence is learned at home. Obviously, that kid has learned that the best way to solve a situation is through shoving and then it was freaking reinforced by his COACH!! I have to give a lot of credit to the refs, though, for seeing that and stopping everything right away. Something similar happened during one of the UK tourney games last week and the refs put an immediate halt to it. I think violence in sports is becoming less and less tolerated and I hope that parents start to learn that there are consequences for their kids' actions on the field.

    And y'know...soccer isn't really a full-contact sport. I can only imagine how bad it is with football, where the kids are actually expected to tackle and some tackles can be misconstrued as excessive. Maybe we'll get junior into tennis...or chess.