Monday, June 2, 2014

Parents of High School Athletes: An Analysis

Friday night I attended a regional championship game for high school boys lacrosse. Some that read this will be able to pinpoint which high schools were competing, but to be fair, I am not going to reveal the teams. I am about to bash the parents and don't want to upset anyone, should they find themselves reading this blog (even though my page views are pretty weak and I doubt they will mosey on here).

Now, a few disclaimers - I am not a parent and don't know what that's like. I do not spend a small fortune on anything so I don't have any idea what it's like to send your kid to private school to participate in athletics. All I can say is that I have some idea of what is appropriate to say out loud, and what is not. And I can never imagine being so competitive as a parent that I yell hurtful things at teenagers. However, I am extremely competitive and yell at TVs all the time and will drop an occasional "fuck" when I am playing sports for fun. Ok, 100 "fucks."

Is high school lacrosse really the end all be all? These kids try, I witnessed it. But I also witnessed idiotic parents yelling nonsense for 2 hours. It was laughable, harmful, unbelievable; and I loved every minute. At one point we were down 5-2, and that's when I started taking notes...

"Who the hell is coaching?!" I am related to a coach, so this was an utterance I wanted to get worse so I could engage with a dad. It got better (un)fortunately.

"What the hell is wrong with them?!" This was one of my favorite lines because I would venture to guess that bad parenting is what is "wrong" with them.

"It's like they don't care!" We are in a regional final. And it's the first quarter. Call me when you're down by 10 in the 4th. Then we can talk about who cares.

"He pushed him! That's a penalty!" Thanks for the great reffing. But there happen to be 3 refs on the field. And your kid has to follow the rules. If you aren't allowed to go in the crease, don't.

"Where is everyone?!" This was a parent noticing that there were no open teammates for the kid with the ball to pass to. Maybe if no one is there he should just do something about it. So he did. And then we were winning.

Suddenly, a kid takes a dive to get the ball. "Trip!!!!!" You wish. People were literally losing their voices they were yelling so much. All I can say is poor Jack, whoever he is. Everyone kept wanting Jack to do more. "What are you doing, Jack?!" they would say. I saw it a few games back, too. Jack will never be good enough. Unless they win of course.

Whenever the team missed a shot, a collective "ehhhhh" or "ughhhh" or "ahhhhh" was let out. So disappointed.

"Is anybody helping him?!?!" Someone was unfamiliar with the fact that if you have the ball you WILL be attacked. And no one was there, I will give them that. Although there were 4 seconds left in the half and a calmer mother was quick to point this out to the psycho dad.

"Get open get open! Put it in! Go hard!" You hear it....

"Yeah baaaaabbbbby! That's the way to do it!" Jesus. Relax.

10-5. We used to be down 5-2. Sooooo... SETTLE DOWN. Freaks.

A woman coughs as if choking. Dying from the yelling.

"Don't force it!" REALLY? Now you want to take it easy? You were dying twenty minutes ago for goals. So now we are up 11-5 and the ref calls a penalty on us. "Oh I see you wanna keep em in the game, huh ref?!" Yes, a conspiracy in high school athletics. Serious business. Nothing else in the world to worry about.

"Behind you!!! Look for this guy!!!!" Sir, who are you talking to? You are 100 feet away and they are unable to see the pointing. Then, it get's worse. The most rhythmically challenged people EVER start a "DE-FENSE" chant. It's hard to describe, but it was all wrong. This ex-cheerleader was embarrassed.

A perfect goal is scored and I died inside when I realized I wasn't getting video of the dad in front of me. There was thrashing and insane reaction. Like this was the best fucking thing that he had ever seen. A spin move even. It was like he was trying to escape a shark attack. That's the only way to give you the mental image.

Another "baby" uttered. What is this, 1994?

Definitely less crap yelled when you're up 14-6. At the loss I witnessed a few weeks back there was a homophobic "panty hoes" reference towards the refs. Something about them wearing them.

It's 15-7. "How 'bout the slash!!!!!" Shut up.

"Turn around, Justin!!!" God dammit Justin DO WHAT YOU WANT.

The ref calls a penalty on us. Good parent says "Be careful!" Bad parent yells "COME ON!" as if the kid wasn't being a douche. Another penalty. The other team scores. "Nice going, ref!" This is textbook whiney parents of athletes. The body language when the kids lose the ball is incredible. It's like the shark attack again. And now we have a parent explaining a rule to the ref "in case [he was] wondering." No, I am sure he was not wondering, you dick.

Five minutes to go. 16-9. Us. Oh, a one-off convo between parents. "Here's the thing..." Blah blah blah something about refs sucking. I don't see these dads out there running around. Maybe when you make a super fantastic living you are too good for that kind of thing and you're new purpose is making others feel bad (please remember this is my anger talking).

They hate scoring now. "HOLD IT! SETTLE IT!" Have to run the clock. It's 17-9 and a comeback is pretty much impossible. Oh they hate scoring so much. SO MUCH YELLING. Longest 3 and a half minutes of my life.

"WAY TO GO, COLIN!" They love their generic-named kids again. Happiness and smiles. 18-11 final.

And now everyone is so grateful to be alive, and they wave to Father down on the field, since it's a Catholic school and of course it's all about being good Christians (and shaming their kids). Face off kid is the star, and another parent turns to his parents and says "whatever you fed him tonight, keep feeding it to him." Face off kid's dad replies "I got him a car." OF COURSE YOU DID. #whitepeopleproblems. No word on what make or model yet. I am betting it's somewhere between a Jeep Liberty and a C-Class.

So what have we learned from all of this? A. Parents are annoying. B. Being a good Christian means nothing while the ball is in play. C. If you pay enough you can demand 100% excellence all day, every day. D. If you are in the lacrosse regional championships you can get a new car. E. My kids will be so good at sports I won't have to yell and it's baseball season so screw lacrosse.