When soccer moms attack
I'm purposefully brainwashing my daughter into enjoying sports. We go to games, play baseball out in the yard, watch sports on TV -- you name it. Partially it's because all my friends are artsy types who wouldn't know the difference between a fast ball and a touchdown (and I need someone who will go with me to games over the next few decades) -- but it's also because I'd like my daughter to take an interest in being active, and I think sports are a door into a more physically engaged lifestyle.
However, I dread the day when I'm standing on the sidelines next to some lunatic who thinks that 8-year-old soccer games are some kind of life and death competition.
Like Sandra Gutierrez, a 39-year-old mother who became so wrapped up in her son's "under-8" league game, that she attacked the 14-year-old referee who was officiating the match. The ref's father then tried to stop this insane woman, and she punched him in the face. It was only after an off-duty police officer saw what was going on, and stepped in to arrest Gutierrez (and her husband, who'd also got himself involved by this point) that things finally got under control.
But beyond the bruises, what's worse is that the kids get caught in the middle. Not only did they have to witness absurdly unsportsmanlike behavior, the coach of the team Guitierrez was "supporting" decided it was best to pull his players out of the tournament (not that I disagree with that decision, but I'm sure it was disappointing for them, nonetheless).
While outbursts like this are obviously uncommon, I can clearly remember parents at all my sporting events who couldn't keep perspective. What do they think they're teaching their kids -- that screaming, shouting, bullying and complaining makes you a winner?
Get a grip.
[Thanks to Thordora for the tip]