Category Archives: Sports

Please Respect Sports Officials

Though this doesn’t directly pertain to a childfree or antinatalist theme, I figured this recent entry on my main blog would fit here, mainly because I see a bunch of raging parents (and sometimes their offspring even) getting belligerent with sports officials, and it’s just uncalled for. I swear, sometimes parents act more like children at sporting events than their kids do. It makes me sick to my stomach. I feel sorry for those kids that have to deal with it. It’s embarrassing.

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I understand that in the heat of competition you might get a little irritated with a close call that doesn’t go your way. I understand you fans really want your team to win. I really do. Competition turns even the best of people into monsters just frothing out the mouth to kill someone, and understandably so. However, the lack of respect for sports officials is absolutely disgusting.

I’m a former sports official. I officiated pee-wee/middle school/high school football, middle school/high school basketball, and ASA/USSSA/high school/NAIA/NCAA softball for 6 years. It was about the best job I could have had at the time which gave me flexible hours and paid better than just about any other part-time job I could have. I didn’t much like the job, mind you, but it fit my lifestyle at the time.

Most games went by without issue. I mean yes, coaches and players would want to ask me a couple of questions, but a majority of the time they did so in a polite manner and all was well. There were however a handful of incidents every season that got crazy, all of which resulted in me removing the offending person(s) from the area. I had a reputation for a quick ejection and/or a quick technical foul. These earned me the nicknames “Mr. T” and “the ejection seat” which, I have to admit, I was proud of. I didn’t put up with any BS from anyone. The second a coach or player raised their voice to me it was an immediate technical or ejection. That was my policy and I stuck to it. I also had no issues removing problem fans and I ejected more than my fair share of them. I wasn’t about to stand around and take any verbal abuse from anyone. It’s just not necessary and it won’t change my call.

The point being is that we’re only human beings. I promise you officials don’t intentionally hose you. We are limited by the perspective we have on the field and admittedly it’s not necessarily the best view, and in many cases those in the stands and/or watching on TV at home have a better view than we do. We also don’t have the luxury of slow-motion replay (with the exception of D1 NCAA and NFL football) so we have to make snap judgments on bang-bang plays.

I challenge any of you hecklers to put on the stripes, the blue, or whatever and do a better job. You think you can do a better job than us, so why not come down here and prove to us you can do a better job? What, afraid you’re going to make yourself look silly? Yeah, that’s what I thought, smartasses.

Like I said, I understand that tempers can fly in competition. That said, bitching at us over what you think may be a bad call isn’t going to win you any brownie points and if anything will do nothing but hurt your cause. I’m speaking from experience on the other side of the coin too. I played men’s fastpitch softball for about 10 years. I have been ejected my fair share of times and every time I was ejected I fucking deserved it and I knew it before I even opened my mouth to jaw at the umpires. I have no hard feelings toward any of the umpires who gave me the heave-ho and had I been in their position I’d have done the same thing. It’s just part of it though.

You don’t have to like the call, but you had better damn well respect it. We really do our best, and we have bad days just like anyone else. Cut these poor officials some slack. It really is a hard job.

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Are Kids REALLY This Bad Now?

About a week ago one of my readers emailed me a link to a story that was just too juicy not to share. It’s about a high school girls’ basketball team who decided they’d be all cool and pull a prank on their opponents. Well, pranks can seem harmless enough, except for this one was a total health hazard! These girls poured HUMAN PEE into the water cooler of the opposing team! (Read more here).

You know, something like this is something I’d expect little kids to do (and be justly punished for, I should add). Teenagers should be old enough to know that this is a total health hazard and could have made someone very sick indeed! Of course, with today’s lazy, shit parents I’m not surprised something like this happened. Where were the parents in all of this? Do they just not care? I swear to fucking god if my kids did this (regardless of age!) they wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a month!

I think the most disturbing thing about this is the seeming indifference from the opposing school’s administrator. From the article: “‘We all need to remember that people make mistakes whether we’re adults or 14- to 18-year-old kids,’ said Hanson. ‘We need to sit back, no matter how upset, appalled or angry we are. I’m asking for our students, coaches and community to take the high road on this and show we are the classy people we are.'” Sorry dude, but your indifference is part of the reason these kids think they can get away with crap like this! You should be filing charges, not letting stuff like this go! What a joke.

Unfortunately, toilet pranks aren’t limited to just this. One of my very good friends told me of two similar incidents in her own high school. In one incident there was a lunch box left in a classroom for most of the year, so one day this kid decides to take a shit in it and leave it in someone’s locker. Um, hello? That’s a health hazard in the highest degree! I don’t know if he ever was brought to justice, however. In another incident she mentioned, a teacher asked a student to go refill her water bottle. The student filled her water bottle with toilet water, got the teacher sick. In this case, justice was served because she got expelled for her dastardly act. Maybe sometimes justice is served, but not often enough it seems like.

Anyway, I don’t know why kids are as bad as they are these days, but it just reinforces why I’m childfree and antinatalist both: my kids would be well-behaved and I would make sure of that (if I had them, that is), and as a result they’d be teased and bullied more than likely, and that’s not fair to them to subject them to it.

Parents/Children At The Bowling Alley (Again)

So last Friday my team for my recreational league (consisting of me, my mother, and my youngest sister) went for preliminary bowling to establish our handicaps and such for week one. I of course got no handicap because of my 200+ average (and in fact bowled my best series to date of 844, with a painful 299 third game – SO CLOSE!!!), but that’s beside the point. We were put on a lane next to a mother and her two young kids who were bowling together as a team, and the entire night was hellish.

As is typical of little kids, they just ran up and fired when we were on our approach and in full concentration. A lot of people don’t realize just how distracting that really is! When I’m on the approach I’m in full concentration mode, my focus is entirely on my target spot on the lane and getting the right ball speed and rev rate for the lane conditions. Even so, there’s still something called peripheral vision and when you see someone walking up on the neighboring approach from your peripheral vision it’s distracting as all hell. This is why common bowling etiquette says to wait until the person on the neighboring lane finishes his/her shot before you begin your approach.

Of course, the mother of the two kids did NOTHING to stop them from doing this very distracting behavior. I was getting more and more irritated at the situation and I finally took things into my own hands and stared them down and said very sternly the Spanish equivalent of “DON’T GO WHEN I’M GOING!!!!”

The mother uncorked on me for correcting her kids, but she wasn’t doing a damn thing about it so of course I was going to take matters into my own hands. As a hardcore bowler I take bowling etiquette very seriously. I won’t even take my place on the approach until my neighbors are done, much less start my shot. Of course, it could be that I just take the game way too seriously for an amateur (but trying to go professional) bowler. Who knows.

Alas, I love my PBA experience league (yes, I bowl in two different leagues) ┬ábecause there’s not a kid in sight at that one and everyone observes proper etiquette because it’s actually enforced by league officials. I’d still like to see adult-only bowling centers, though I think those are a bit of a stretch. I understand the appeal of bowling as a family activity and strongly support it as such, but please teach your kids proper bowling etiquette. It’ll make the game more enjoyable for all of us. Thank you.