BOSTON (CBS) – As long as I’ve been in this business, there have always been certain stories that recur again and again, stories like the traffic rush on holiday weekends, the shopping crush the day after Thanksgiving, and, regrettably, insanely-bad behavior by alleged adults at youth sports events.
Perhaps you’ve already seen this video online, showing about a dozen parents at a softball game in Kingsport, Tennessee making fools of themselves after a verbal exchange over umpiring calls escalated into this fiasco. They were summarily ejected from the ballpark and both teams were disqualified, even though no players or coaches were involved. Nice work, parents!
If you’ve ever attended youth sports events you know things like this, if not quite as bad, can and do happen way too often. Heckling the referee is not uncommon. Less common but especially reprehensible is when parents heckle the kids themselves. And I’ll never forget the sight of parents and kids who’ve somehow persuaded themselves that a seventh-grade basketball game might be part of a path to the n-b-a, and therefore treated the proceedings with absurd intensity.
Most parents don’t act this way, because we realize how ridiculous it is and understand our obligation to model sportsmanship to our kids. And there’s no question about it, they are learning social lessons that will become manifest later in life.
So here’s hoping we don’t ever see anything like that idiot-show in Tennessee around here. Even though the grim truth of human nature is that we probably will.