On My Soapbox

Sometimes the game gets too intense, even for the fans. But it’s not about them, it’s about the kids who are playing. Photo by Matt Hooks

Originally, I was going to use this space to only talk about the new lettering policy at Taylor High School, but then there was an altercation at the boys’ basketball game.

During the game, tempers flared, and it almost became physical. Actually, in one case it did become physical and resulted in ejections from the game.

I’m not talking about the player though. This was between fans in the stands.

Cheering on your team is all fine and dandy, but when you demand people to move because they are cheering for the opposing team, it’s gotten out of hand.

When you put your hands on another person, it’s gone way too far.

When police are called to secure the gym, it has become stupid.

Our social question this week (Facebook and our website) is all about assigned/ticketed seating.

I have no problem with cheering on your team and a little friendly trash talk and antagonizing in a playful fashion at games. It makes the atmosphere better and makes the players raise their level of competition. However, when the final buzzard sounds, it’s over. Win or lose, now it’s time to go home and celebrate or prepare for the next game.

Everyone wants to see their child at their best and not be cheated or defeated, but sometimes people think they are getting paychecks to play – and that’s in any sport.

Between the altercation and the controversy with letterman jackets, it makes me beg the question, who are high school sports about?

Is it still about the kids competing? Or is it about the fans trying to live their youth through these players?

Not just with the games, but also with the letterman situation. I’m not a fan of the new policy, but it is in place whether people agree with it or not.

I understand wanting to keep tradition and encourage kids to participate, but as parents we are not competing anymore, so this is not for us. Unfortunately, that’s the hard truth – so nobody wants to hear that – and we have to adapt to the times.

Every parent is proud and excited when their child receives an award (a jacket in this case), but we have to remember they have to work for it, not us. Parents have to encourage them to be the best, even if the requirements don’t necessarily represent that.

So, instead of saying play two varsity sports, say win state (face palm) in your sport because there is no way that jacket request gets denied.

When the opponents crowd gets too rowdy, return the favor when your team scores or makes a big play. Don’t make it personal, just have fun with it. When it’s all said and done, leave it on the floor or the field.

As excited as fans get about kids playing or participating in extracurricular activities, everyone has to remember, the KIDS are participating, not us.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go watch the Deontay Wilder and Tyson Furry fight. I wonder if we get another Undertaker impression from Furry.

“They got a police presence? (Laughing hysterically) Are you kidding me?”

- Charles Barkley

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