Psst. Hey, you – the allegedly grown man at the kids’ basketball game tonight. You know who you are – you were sharing your very candid opinions with the refs, the coaches, the players, and the parents all night, as loudly as possible. I have some advice for you. Shut. The hell. Up.
Seriously, dude. Nobody wants to hear your nonsense. That’s why the scorekeepers eventually sent the ref over to ask you to stop. That’s why there’s a policy in the parents’ handouts, forbidding the type of behavior you were showing tonight. And that’s why you should have been ejected during the first quarter.
But you didn’t see it that way. Instead, you become indignant and belligerent. Which is why the community center director eventually had to leave his office, come into the gym, and sit down where he could keep an eye on you. He gave you way too much leeway; by then you’d already insulted the refs, our coaches, our head coach’s wife, and several nine- and ten-year-old boys. Don’t you feel proud?
This was our eighth game, and I’d never seen you at one before, so I naturally assumed you were with the other team. I just couldn’t figure out why you kept yelling at our coaches to “have some confidence in your players!” This was strange, because you seemed hateful enough to enjoy seeing the opposing team not have confidence. But no, to my horror, you were with us. The head coach told me afterward, when I was talking to him about how you’d picked a fight with his wife.
I can only hope the reason you’re not a regular is, you’re not closely related to one of our players. Surely you’re not a dad; if you are, woe be to your son. I’m hoping you’re just a crazy uncle who only comes to town once a year, and whose existence the family spends the rest of the year denying.
It would probably be best for all of us if this were the case, and therefore we’ll never see you at another game. Because after what Matthew told me on the way home, you don’t ever want to see me again. It seems when he was called for travelling, you yelled out something to the effect of, “Stop playing football.”
Dude. Not cool. For so many reasons. First, the travelling infraction was slight. He wasn’t carrying the ball like a football. The refs in this league are super-prone to calling travelling. Everyone knows that; it’s just the way it is, and that’s fine. Yes, he travelled. No, it wasn’t a huge infraction. Second, the call didn’t impact the game at all. Third, it wouldn’t matter if it had. This is a children’s league. No one’s going to lose their life savings or their career over one of these games. Fourth, you’re not the coach. Fifth, you’re not his dad. Sixth, it would be a rude thing to say even if you were his coach or dad. Seventh, he’s NINE, you jerk.
I was pretty mad when he told me about this. He didn’t seem upset so much as annoyed, but he did ask me why you would say something like that. I told him there’s no good reason, that you’re just a horrible example of an adult – and of a human being, for that matter. Then I told him you don’t matter in the least bit, and your opinions shouldn’t, either. I told him you’re probably a frustrated person, more worthy of pity than of scorn.
But I told myself I would remember this. Trust me – you don’t want to address my son that way again.
So, if I’m wrong, and you end up at another of our four remaining games, you really should rein in that unacceptable behavior. I’m far from the only one who noticed, there are less forgiving parents than I, and there’s likely to be a reckoning. Quit hurting people.
You seem to love the game, but trust me – that sort of behavior doesn’t come from being an avid fan. It comes from being an asshat.