Good Call, Ref

April 18, 2007 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Sometimes when I prepare to show a player a red card, my mind starts to race. Did that really happen? Did I actually see what I thought I saw? Was I in position? Does this player really deserve to sit out the rest of this match and the entirety of the next match?

Those questions came to mind last night as I reached for the red card in my back pocket. Then, when I drew it out and held it high in the air, the player smirked.

Good call, ref.

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Fletch April 18, 2007 at 1:55pm

Attaboy, Mr. Wilson!

How about a post on the blog about the story that’s showing up on national blogs? It’s right up your alley - the mom from Lincoln who was giving her daughter the riot act about her performance in a soccer game, and left her stranded on I-80. The LJS wouldn’t print her name, which is probably good. I read it on Monday or Tuesday and couldn’t believe it, but it’s also made it’s way onto sports and other national blogs. Hometown proud! Woo hoo! We leave our kids on the side of a busy Interstate because they didn’t play soccer well!  Yee haw!

D.M.B. April 19, 2007 at 12:55am

I always think about that kinda stuff on the baseball field.  Of course not throwing people out but just close plays.  Your mind races for about 2 seconds and then you have to make up your decision.

CP April 19, 2007 at 2:01pm

It’s not a Lincoln problem, it is a widespread problem.

My dad coached Jr. High volleyball and girls basketball in our small Kansas town for 18 years, with some High School sports coaching here and there as the school district needed. One of my biggest takeaway lessons from growing up in that household was seeing all of the parents and how they behaved.

Like anything we might talk about, 90% of the parents are completely normal. They have sports in perspective. But there are the 10% that make everyone involved with the sport cringe.

While far too many stories come to mind, the worst I recall was a high school sub-state basketball game one year. A player collided on court with another player. A completely innocent result of two players hustling for a loose ball. No fault either way. The parents understandably came down out of the crowd to see if their son was going to be ok.

While the mom stopped at the scene of the collision where the son was lying on the court, the dad proceeded straight to the referees and went absolutely “George Brett” crazy on them, screaming in their faces and bumping chests with them until the police officer working the game could physically restrain him on the court in front of a packed gym full of shocked fans. He was escorted from the building.

Fast forward 10 minutes. He waked around the building and found a side entrance and asked a young kid playing in th hallway to open the door for him. (You see where this is going.) Straight back to the court, where he marched on at the next timeout to start all over again with the refs. This time the policeman awarded him a set of matching shiny bracelets and a chauffeured ride to a private room decorated in a minimalist decor of industrial grade steel for the evening.

While this is horrible, you have to understand that this was a high-stakes elimination game for a High School senior who was unlikely to proceed to college. It was the end of his career in sports. I could almost (but not completely) understand how a parent would get emotionally riled up in a situation like that.

What I cannot get my head around is when parents get this way during little league games and youth soccer and midget hockey. These kids are 7-10 years old. NOTHING they are doing athletically could possibly be as important as the modeling parents are doing behaviorally at this point.

I have no answers, just a lifetime of frustration with overbearing parents of young kids involved in sporting activities. (Notice I didn’t say athletes.)

As a side note, a friend of my dad’s who recently retired after coaching the Jr. High football team for 40+ years had an article written about him for a newspaper since the football field was being named after him. The newspaper asked some question about “would he do anything differently” or something like that. His response was a classic, and sums it all up.

“The kids have been great. They were in the 60’s, they still are today. But, if I knew then what I know now, I would probably have looked for coaching positions at orphanages.”

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