If you’re a loyal reader of the blog you’ll remember I wrote in July about the Youth Soccer Ref who was posting videos on Facebook of crazy soccer parents . My take in that blog was that while some parents are crazy at games, it represents a small but very vocal minority in the high school sports.
Well quick update…nothing has changed since I wrote that in July, in fact it may have gotten worse.
If you had the same reaction as these two there’s some oceanfront property I’d like to sell you in Kansas.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting the crazy parent epidemic to go away anytime soon, but can’t a guy dream? I went to my cousin’s soccer game last night, the first game I was able to attend in about a year. I won’t lie the game was chippy both ways, lots of pushing, grabbing, the norm for high school soccer. I happened to be sitting at the top of the bleachers behind the away team’s fans, it took about all of 5 minutes into the first half for me to realize this was going to be an interesting night.
I’m going to pause the story here to explain that this story isn’t being setup for me to tell you I went scorched earth on these parents and put them in their place, I refuse to stoop down to their level (I blog about it like any civil person would). Having been that kid on the field who had to hear all of the screaming and “funny” remarks to the refs from parents in the stands it was fucking embarrassing. Granted we only heard the loud ones as we were focused on winning the game (we went a respectable 7-5-2 my senior year no big deal). After graduation when I went from player to spectator I realized just how fucking miserable it is to sit in the stands if you’re a level headed parents or alumni.
From the usual “c’mon ref!” to taking jabs at the players on the opposing team, I’ve heard it all through my 10+ years in the soccer realm. Sometimes I can rationalize yelling at a ref if there was a blatant foul they didn’t call. But a quick piece of advice to the parents who just picked up soccer 2 years ago because little Johnny couldn’t get off JV special teams in football, NOT EVERY INSTANCE OF CONTACT IS A FOUL IN SOCCER! And another thing, if I wanted to hear some shitty rehashed jokes I’d turn on (insert your least favorite comedian here because humor is subjective).
I just don’t see what parents like that think they’re accomplishing by acting like total jackasses at high school sporting events. Does it get a few claps from your fellow crazy parents? Sure. Does it embarrass the level headed parents sitting around you and the coach on the sidelines? Abso-fucking-lutley. Does Mr. or Mrs. Doe feel like a sense of satisfaction from their actions while sitting post game at Chili’s wondering if they should get the bottomless tostada chips or southwestern eggroll? I know for a fact they probably do, but damn if that was me I’d have so much shame I would work from home for the next few days.
Okay resume story here. So, as I’m sitting there the parents from the other team are warming up the crowd with some digs at the refs, as the game progresses (and remember things are getting chippy) these parents are hounding the ref to blow the whistle on the home team. To be honest the refs did let a lot go during the game but the pushing and shoving went both ways, so these parents didn’t have much to stand on with their pissing and moaning unless they were asking for the ref to call it down the middle (trust me that wasn’t the case). The 1st half ends and while it was a tough listening to those parents I’ve heard worse.
I could bore you with an anecdote the mediocre service I dealt with at the concession stand at halftime, but it was a 10 year old (wo)manning the table so I gave it pass.
Anyways the 2nd half starts and we pick up right where we left off in the first with the chippy plays. And yup you guessed it the parents in front of me picked right back up where they’d left off. Although I’m an alumni for the home team I remain
pretty 10000% neutral and call it like I see it. If my cousin fouls someone I hope they blow the whistle, if he gets fouled I hope they blow the whistle, the other team’s parents didn’t get that memo. I can’t single out this particular group of parents and say they’re the only ones that do this, I’ve heard it for years from my former school and countless other schools. But after a year away from watching high school soccer last night was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
If you asked either side what happened on a foul in soccer you’re going to hear two vastly different stories from these parents. Well I was there I can verify that they’re both bullshit. What happened was the classic the person who retaliates gets called that I was coached constantly to avoid falling into while I played. It goes like this, player 1 in a battle for the ball grabs and pushes player 2 who in turn grabs and pushes player 1 in retaliation. Guess who gets called for the foul in this scenario 1,000,000 times out of 10? Player 2. And player 1’s parents will ignore what they did to hound player 2 for retaliating. Watching the game with those kind of blinders on must be like all sorts of miserable.
Watching a game with such bias has never been who I am. You can check the footage I’ll call out Vontaze Burfict for his boneheaded dirty hits, and after a Buckeyes loss I’m not out blaming the refs.
I guess I should finish the story and tell you that my cousin’s team lost 6-1 and the opposing parents turned into smug assholes by the 3rd goal. At the 70th minute I found myself longing for the miserable “we can’t get a call” bitching to come back, but it was too far gone at this point.
Could any one of us turn to the dark-side and end up being the asshole parents I just spent a 1000+ words complaining about? It’s possible. Maybe if the product of my balls was out there playing on the field I’d be more of an asshole, but considering the product of my balls has ended up at the tip of latex or a rag lately I guess I just can’t relate to these parents.
Welp, that’ll wrap it up folks thanks for reading!