This article in the San Jose Mercury caught my eye yesterday. It seems that at some kids soccer games you’re not allowed to cheer anymore. That’s right Dad and Mom, sit in silence while your kid runs his little ass up and down the field.
The goal is mostly to stop parents from yelling inappropriate things at the kids like “No, kick the ball to Susie!” or “It’s ok that you’re gay, Stanley!”
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really understand sports fandom at all. I was at a pizza place with my girlfriend the other day, watching the 49’ers game because it was on. When we finished there was 2 minutes left in the game and she asked if I wanted to stay. At first I thought yes, then I remembered that I really don’t give a crap who wins. It has no bearing on my life whatsoever. So that’s where I come down on sports.
But when it’s your kid on the field it’s different. If you had to take a disgruntled Packer home with you after they’d just lost, you might be more involved in the game. So it’s understandable that parents want to cheer their kids. But they can be awfully obnoxious about it. Dad always thinks he knows more than the coach. Sometimes Mom does too, but those moms are often hanging out in lesbian bars on the sly.
However, in this brand new world of “everybody gets a trophy so nobody feels bad” kids sports, this is just one more thing that won’t help kids prepare for the real world. Sure, they’re learning about teamwork and athleticism. But shouldn’t they also be learning how to tune out the noise when they’re trying to concentrate? Life is full of distractions, just ask any comedian. But instead of telling the kids “Hey, you’re dad doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Just tune him out while you’re on the field”, they punish all the parents by making them sit quietly. Maybe they should make them all face away from the field too to protect the kids with stage fright.
Later when they’re sitting in their dorm room trying to study while Tupac is blasting through the walls and foam from the keg party is leaking under their door, they’re going to need to know how to filter out the noise of life.
Although I’m sure some of the kids are thrilled to have a reason to shut their parents up, it’s still not the real world. way to prepare for our future.