The Sports Parent


So my kid is playing soccer now.  Oh boy (wasn’t my idea but I play along).  She’s played before in preschool, at camp, and in an after school class, but this is the first time on a team.  In a league.  It’s a different animal with coaches and refs and stuff.  And there are parents.  Sports parents.

One of the top-five types of parents I absolutely detest are sports parents.  They are loud, controlling, and living weirdly vicariously through very young children.  If you don’t think it is really pathetic for someone to bask in the reflected glory of eight-year-old children, you should go observe one of these spectacles.  Do it.  Go to any park on a Saturday this spring and check out the parents.  You would think these mopes lives are dependent on the outcomes of kids kicking balls around a field.

What’s interesting for me was cluelessly slipping through some portal where everything went from the annoying “everybody’s a winner” mentality to “your scholarship is dependent on your conditioning, Jenny!” ethos.  WTF?  I’m sure everyone will still get a participant ribbon or some lame shit like that though,  I’m bewildered and torn to a degree.

Anyway, I had hoped and vowed to be as enigmatic a parent as I am at other parent-child events.  I do a bunch of school and parent-kid things but I kind of keep to myself and let the freaks find me for snark, yucks, and superiority-based hipster criticism.  With sports I figured I could just let the kids have some fun while my mind drifted to other more pressing issues like what some kid’s mother looks like naked.  I wouldn’t want to be one of those mopes roving the sidelines, barking orders, and usurping the coaching staff.  I refuse to say a syllable to any ref or official.  And I certainly wouldn’t want to absolutely live or die with each kick, throw-in, or own-goal.  That’s just fucking retarded.  My plan from the beginning was to just sit in my beach chair and chill out in my pork pie.  I’m the guy clapping for both teams like a smelly hippie.

Did I mention that my kid’s team hadn’t won a game yet?  Until this past Saturday.  And we they fucking crushed did very well!  Here’s a thumbnail of the season to date:

Coyotes – Opponent*

  • Week 1: 0-0
  • Week 2: 1-1
  • Week 3: 0-1 (on a very late goal)
  • Week 4: 4-0 (yeah, baby)

*Officially, scores, standings and statistics are not kept in this league but the Coyotes are 1-1-2 with three games to play.  C’mon?!  Everybody knows the elephant on the field.  They teach statistics in second grade math.  Shut up!

Well…guess who were the loudest, most obnoxious, most barking-est soccer parents this past week?  Uh, well the Coyote parents, that’s who.  That would be “us” for the record.  The way some parents explained it, our kids had not “drank from victor’s cup” yet, so why not party like an asteroid is hurtling toward earth?  We were kicking major ass!  And roving the sidelines…and making calls…and “coaching.”

Well “we” weren’t doing a damn thing, except being the parents I love to hate.  Our team’s parents (“we”) celebrated well out of proportion to the action on the field.  It got a little embarrassing, actually.  The Coyote parents (“we”) would have uncorked champagne and torched police cars had the opportunity presented. Co-yote-es!  Co-yote-es!Co-yote-es!  You’d a thought it was the Yale-Harvard Super Bowl® World Cup featuring the Yankees versus the Red Sox.

Don’t get me wrong, the girls played with a new intensity and a terrific team energy against what must be the one of the weakest teams in the five team division, the Hawks.  There is a lot of variation in skill at that age.  And there is a lot of variation in the skills of the volunteer coaches.

Incidentally, the best division team, the appropriately named Eagles, have dumped major points on their opposition but only eked one measly late goal against the mighty Coyotes (“us”).  Of course when the Coyotes (“we”) played the Eagles, the Eagles were playing the second half of a rare double-header (for them not us)…on a 90º day…after a 4-0 crushing of the Ponies.  Their parents are the worst.  We got lucky.

So, what the hell, right?  Even though I was trying hard to not be a sports-douche-parent, it is really satisfying to see your kid’s team (“us”) play so well, make plays, and score goals, baby.  Goals raining down like diamonds on the shoulders of heroes!  I was slapping high-fives and pumping fists.  I got totally carried away with the thing.  I mean, the overarching purpose of the 1st-2nd grade city league is to have fun.  And winning is fun.  And Saturday was fun parent winning day!

Hell yeah!  And shut up, I’m new at this.


2 Responses to “The Sports Parent”

  1. Benjamin Says:

    Oops! Good start, but then you accidentally started giving us a whole bunch of details about your kids soccer league standings.

    Nevermind, I see what you did there – it’s Joycean- you show yourself becoming the douche you started out hating.

    I’m that douhe too.

  2. Ty Hardaway Says:

    ^^^The arc is constructed to show how as the competition intensified so did my rabid sports parenting douchiness. Doy.

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