It is really time that we take a minute to talk about behavior, not mine because I'm hopeless, but yours. Why the heck do we do the things that we do at ball games? Why do we let little things we cannot control get under our skin so bad? Why do we end up embarrassing ourselves with utterly dingy things?
At the recent boys basketball tournament held in Castle Dale for high schools, I watched a lot of games over two days. I thought the play was good and that the refs were doing a pretty good job, at least until Emery played. And then it hit, completely out of the blue, I turned into a fan and no longer was I objective.
Suddenly officials that had been good up until now were all of a sudden biased against my team. These guys were jerks, how could this happen to a team I cared about rather than one of those other ones that I could have cared less about who won or lost. It simply wasn't right. Why did we get the lousy officials?
Did the refs turn lousy or was it simply that I was engaged in this game and I took everything differently? I like to think it was the first rather than the last but I am still not sure but I am not looking for outside opinions.
So what are the options that we as fans and parents have when it comes to sports? What is the proper code of ethics? Does it matter if we are watching or playing? Let's look at some different scenarios that have occurred lately.
First, at a recent Lady Spartan basketball game, a fan from the opposing team let an abominable word slip out of his mouth. Not once, not twice and just maybe more than thrice. And this was at a girl's ball game no less. He was escorted from the facility. Now that is crossing the line. Emery fans would never act this way, right?
On the news lately was the story of little league football game about a father that came out of the stands and tackled the opponent's ball carrier. Another story existed telling about a little league pitcher's father having his son throw at the head of the batter. And another existed of a father pulling a gun on his son's coach. All line crossers. And we would never do the same, right?
And finally, little league football right here in Emery County. At the super bowl, which is the last day of games, coaches handed in their lineups. I could not believe that a team could barely field enough players to play the game. How come this could be? What the heck was going on? Well, it all boiled down to kids ending their season before their team did. I shake my head at that also. I was taught that if you start it, you finish it. There were no other options. Has this rule changed?
It is not easy being a fan, it is not easy being a player, and it is not easy being a coach. Everything comes with rules but there is not enough space or time to right every rule that could ever come up. Nor should we have to. Common sense needs to rule here, act as if your mother or your church leader or the principal was sitting next to you. In some cases, it might take all three.
Cheer for your team, cheer with the cheerleaders like two boys did at the last girl's game, have fun. Yell at the officials if the need occurs, and let me tell you the need does occur, but remember the rule above. Ball games are good for everybody; please do your part to keep it that way.