Friday, May 12, 2006

Hooligan Grandpas and ambitious parents

I watched a soccer match that Robbie played in today. He is goalkeeper in the local under-13 team and they were playing against one of their big rivals. I feel so sorry for the boys in that team. The parents and trainers are more interesting than a soap opera, but unfortunately it is the young players who get the brunt of their anger, when they do something wrong or just aren't up to scratch.

Last season this team and ours were practically neck-and-neck for second place in the the discrict league, but so far this season they haven't been faring too well, as our boys have won the last two games against them. I wasn't able to watch those games, so I was keen to see if the adults were still the same competitive assholes.

Boy, did they put on a show! Early in the game, after two boys sandwiched our top player in as he was heading for their goal and then fouled him, as he lay injured on the ground, the trainer of the other team yelled to one of the boys, "Don't feel bad, you did well!" Well, even if it was an accident, I think it's pretty bad form to praise a player for injuring someone else. At least the father who managed to piss me off at every game last season by telling his son how stupid he was every time he made a mistake was no longer there, but there was another prize asshole to take his place. A grandfather there kept verbally berating the players, complaining at the referee and having little tantrums. In the second half the referee had a tantrum himself and banned the grandfather from the pitch after the latter grabbed (I suppose) his grandson and shook him after he made some mistake. The way these people behave, one would suppose that their children are playing in the first division, or something.

We get these parents at ice skating too, like the father who beat up the trainer of our club a couple of months back because his daughter was excluded from the State team after she failed to fulfil the requirements for attending practices. I actually feel sorry for these people, the parents as well as the children. They must be really insecure that every win or loss of their child reflects on themselves. They don't realise how much harm they are doing, not just to their relationships with their children but also to their own health. I would have loved to have put a blood pressure cuff on that grandpa this evening.

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