A Message To The A-holes At Kids' Sporting Events

by Rita Templeton
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Hey, you. Yeah, I’m talking to you — the only one at this children’s sporting event who’s out there yelling at the refs and players, waving your arms, snorting in audible disgust, basically acting like an inflamed rectum. You need to take a seat. Take several seats. Shove a hotdog in that gaping hole — here, lemme buy you one — and let the rest of us cheer our kids and their teams on in a positive and encouraging manner, the way parents are supposed to do.

You’re acting like this is the World Cup or the Stanley Cup or some other kind of Very Important Cup. Newsflash: It is, comparatively speaking, the freaking Sippy Cup. These are kids. They are playing. They are learning through experience. Only what they’re experiencing right now is you being a dick.

I get it — your precious snowflake is the “best player on the team” and is forced to carry all these other “no-talent hacks” onward to victory. These uncoordinated fools are totally holding your little superstar back, amiright? Your kid would be on the winning team every time if it weren’t for those crappy excuses for teammates. Oh, and those terrible refs and all their stupid calls. Oh, and the sun, because the only reason Junior missed that last shot is because that shit was just shining too brightly.

This is a game. They play it because it’s fun for them — usually — until they’re so pressured by some short-tempered idiot that they can’t even concentrate. They’re kids, not pro athletes. Nobody’s “sports career” is on the line here, and nothing life or death is riding on the outcome of this game. It’s an extracurricular activity, something they do for enjoyment and self-enrichment. I mean, when you run on the treadmill, is it because you’re training for the Olympics? No.

The officials are getting irritated. The other parents are getting irritated. It’s no picnic to sit here on these hard-ass bleachers anyway, sucking up our weekends, so we would all appreciate it if you weren’t adding to the discomfort — because bleachers made of splintery wood and hot tar wouldn’t be as irritating as you’re being right now. You’re not doing anybody any favors by raging like a honey badger with hemorrhoids, least of all your own kid.

You know what you’re doing to your child, the person who looks to you as a role model? You’re saying that public assholery is fine, acceptable, normal behavior. You are shaping the next generation — of assholes.

Somebody’s gotta lose. Sometimes it’s your kid’s team. Maybe you could try being, I don’t know, sensitive and supportive? You could use this opportunity as a teachable moment, to instill the (much-appreciated) traits of good sportsmanship and the ability to lose gracefully. Or you could just be the target of a bunch of dirty looks and eye rolls from the parents who can’t believe you’re acting like a grown toddler.

I guess, instead, I’ll take advantage of your lemony demeanor to make some lemonade, namely, using you as a teachable moment. I’ll tell my kid to pay attention to how ridiculous you’re acting. How even grown-ups sometimes don’t know how to behave properly. How sad it is when people don’t understand how to handle their frustration. And most of all, how proud I am that he isn’t — and never will be — that kind of person.