Tag Archives: Excitement

Don’t Be That Guy

So, over the weekend, Barry was at his youngest daughter’s soccer game at the local Y. All set for an afternoon of fun and laughs, he nearly had his weekend spoiled by That Guy. You dudes know him. Here, let Barry explain.

That dad was there. The one no one wants to stand or sit next to. He’s the guy who’s screaming so loudly and so angrily that you’d think his livelihood was on the line and if one of his players messed up, he’d be out on the streets begging for scraps with which he’d bait his rat traps so he could eat.

I wanted to confront him. I really did.

At first, I only watched him scream and hurl invective at his players. Odds are, his little girl is not going to be the next Brandi Chastain or Hope Solo. All he accomplished with the yelling was looking like a bit of an ass and, more than likely although I’m pretty much guessing here, pushing his daughter away.

Fortunately, someone, his wife I think, tapped him on the arm to get his attention. They spoke for a bit. He didn’t look happy, but he did quiet down. A little. Enough so I could almost enjoy the game.

These are the guys that really drive me nuts. It’s as if they’re trying desperately to relive their own childhoods, address whatever sporting inadequacies they once had and correct them by making their child do what they couldn’t. This is no different than the Pop Warner football coach who’s trying to create a dynasty in 11-and-under football so he kicks off the kids who have never played before so he can stock his team with winners.

Youth sports is supposed to be just that: for the youth. These little dudes and little dudettes are joining a soccer team, or a basketball team, or baseball team or lacrosse, or whatever, so they can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun, and enjoy the company of their peers. It’s not so a dad can coach, imagining each night that he’s Vince Lombardi.

Once I had one of those dads on my daughter’s kindergarten soccer team. His tiny, tiny little girl was playing up a year, meaning she was a year younger than everyone else on any of the teams, and he just would not shut up. He yelled at his daughter all the time, completely undermining her confidence and actually making her cry. This went on for like three games until finally I snapped.

I got between him and the field and told him to shut his trap. He look at me dumbfounded and asked what he’d done. Right behind me his child was balling. I gestured at the poor kid out there sobbing and said, “Think about it. You know what you are doing.”

He looked me and his lip started to quiver. A grandfather of another girl came over and started chatting him up. Distracting him. The other moms gave me the thumbs up. He never came to another game. His wife brought their daughter to every practice and game after that. He developed into a great little player and actually scored a goal once.

I never said anything to his wife but she sat right next to me at the end of yet party and we talked about how awesome her little girl was. He sat across the room.

I didn’t tell that story so everyone could hear how awesome I am standing up for little kids. (although he is) I told it to you as an example of sorts.

Sometimes we get carried away, caught up in an exciting event and we can forget that the kids for whom we’re cheering are only little kids. And sometimes we don’t understand, in our excitement, that we’re doing more harm than good. And sometimes we need someone to step up and point a few things out. And sometimes, we have to be the one to do the stepping.

Either way, we all need to remember that youth sports are for the youth. Let’s let them have fun.

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Anticipation Nightmare

by Richard

If there’s one thing I forgot to take into account when I decided to take the job as a part-time tutor at the Wonderful Elementary School, it’s that I would have to deal with little dudes and little dudettes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an idiot. I knew I’d be teaching the little shriekers. It’s just that I forgot I would also have to put up with them.

Especially when they’re wound up so tight they could snap a spring in twain. And, brother, when it’s Halloween and they’re going to be going out to hunt up candy in only a couple of hours, they are wound — the heck — up. Way, way up.

Most of those kids who celebrate Halloween were up and down out of their seats faster than a hyperactive mole trying to escape the hammer. (Sure, there are some kids who don’t celebrate Halloween. I was told by one that his mom considers Halloween to be the devil’s birthday so it’s no reason to celebrate. There are times when I have a very, very hard time holding in my opinions. That was one.) The enthusiasm/excitement was contagious.

Kids who wouldn’t have their parents catch them dead wearing make up because they worry the parents might think they’re in costume, were grabbing onto their chairs with clenched fists to make sure they didn’t accidentally join in on the suppressed sugar-party-to-come.

All I’ll say is it’s a good thing I got to leave just after lunch. If I’d have had to stay much longer, there was a very good chance some of those kids would have had to trick or treat on crutches. Accidentally, of course.

Now my only problem is trying to keep myself calm until I can get out of the house and start trying to scare some people. Or something. I’ve heard. Not that I would do that on purpose. Only, you know, accidentally. Of course.

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What Can I Say?

by Richard

Well, dudes, what can I say? Other than, “Oops.” And “Sorry.”

You know, the usual.

I just got caught up in the excitement of getting out of town, away from the young dudes and with the guys I’ve been friends with for the past three decades.

Basically, we’ve been acting like a bunch of idiots young dudes out on the town. As soon as we got in on Wednesday, we hit the hay because we had a big day the next day.

We took off for a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a new exhibit/ride/experience at Universal Studios Florida, all based on the adventures of that wonderful boy wizard. And, the entire time we were there, I just kept thinking this would have been much better if it had been celebrating the works of Terry Pratchett.

Hey, I’m a literary snob. It is known. Move on, now.


We’ve been up to no good for the most part and that’s sure to continue tomorrow, when we head from the beach to the bowl. Well, to the Swamp really. Off to see the Florida Gators take on the Tennessee Volunteers in a great football game in Gainesville.

I, for one, plan to have a great time.

You dudes probably won’t be there, but I’m rooting for you to have a good time anyway.

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