Shortly after halftime Noah’s soccer team scored yet another goal. The sound of cheering and adulation was deafening and absolutely amazing particularly because it all seemed to be coming from one person. The 6 foot 5 inch super fan sporting a bright yellow and purple Laker’s jersey, cargo shorts and flip-flops was pacing the sidelines and yelling the encouraging commands of “spacing, center the ball, and get on him!”. This brave fan was once one among many of his kind at children’s sporting events. Sitting amongst the “take the fun out of sports brigade” this courageous rebel stood out like me at a KKK rally.
librarian coach could not stand another moment of this outlandish noise. I mean who ever heard of someone actually cheering loudly at a sporting event? He motioned to the Sideline Referee who in turn walked over to the Main Referee at midfield and pointed to none other than – Pastor Dave, my hubby. With the game on hold and every parent, and soccer player – including my twelve-year-old son watching intently, the referee walked over and teold my husband to either be quiet or move to the other side of the field.
Here is a bit of background on our sports crazed family. My husband is a former All-American Volleyball Player who set a record for the most kills in a NCAA match while playing for Stanford. He was raised by a father who played basketball at Princeton and semi-professional baseball. His sister played volleyball for Princeton. I played collegiate NCAA Volleyball, my father is a former NBA Player , my sister a former Olympian and Pro Beach Volleyball Player, my brother a former Collegiate Basketball player, and brother-in-law once held the American Record in the 100-butterfly. As the icing on the cake, my mother watches every NBA and NFL game that can be found at any time on any channel and can out coach anyone! Our two families combined are the perfect storm of sports fanatics and world-class athletes.
I’d say we know a thing or two about sports, but these nouveau fans, and their anti-enthusiast lobby have blocked our swagger. We can’t help it that our kids were born and bred for sports (well maybe not baseball we had a really bad season) and we love cheering them on VERY LOUDLY! We don’t want our courts, nor our fields gentrified! We want to paint our faces, wag our foam fingers, shake our booties and chest bump! And most of all we want to maintain the right to embarrass our tweens!
After the stellar performances on the soccer field – my husband’s and my son’s – I asked my son Noah how he felt about what happened with his dad today? He said, his teammate walked over to him and said, “Dude, the ref’s talking to your dad!” My son’s response, “Not again!” When and if Noah plays collegiate ball, he will be well equipped to handle the fans who await him and he will be unashamed of his loud and proud parents!
The “council of acceptable suburban parenting” (they don’t exist I made that up), has actually convinced our local and very popular soccer league which shall remain nameless to officially hold a “SILENT SIDELINES WEEK” (this part is true).
Here’s an excerpt from their website, “Once again this year, we will practice “silent sideline soccer” during all games played on Week 6. Only the players and referees will be allowed to say anything out loud during the silent soccer period. Parents are only allowed to clap to acknowledge good play. Coaches are asked to sit in a chair and are allowed to chat with their substitute players on the sidelines.” We are doing this because – wait for it – “Players on the field should be encouraged to talk, this is one of the big benefits, once the players know they can communicate amongst themselves, then they will hopefully continue this throughout the rest of the season. Parents (and coaches) should be listening to their players communicate, this is normally impossible with all the “noise” generated on the sidelines in a normal game.”
Come on people! We are on an express train to crazy town here. If you don’t like the sound of demonstrative fans sign your kid up for tennis and golf. If your player doesn’t know she can communicate with other players on the field teach her how to yell or do hand signals.
Know that you are welcome to join us no matter whatever your child’s skill level, we will encourage and cheer for them very loudly as well. But remember when you step on the basketball court, soccer or LaCrosse field, you’re in our house and in our house we say go big or go home.
Until next time…Fly high and dazzle ’em!
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