Sunday, October 19, 2008

Really? You really just said that?

This is what I was thinking yesterday while I was at the Utah football game. I took Eli with me, it was a lot of fun to go and be with my dad, see some old friends, cheer on the game. But every now and then I would think, "Really? You just said that? In front of me, my 6 year old son and that 3 year old kid and that octogenarian?" We have some people who sit behind us and in the most reasonable of tones, not even in the heat of the moment, use language that is about 10 notches above appropriate for general audiences. I realize that the old four letter words are worn out and have no shock value but it bugs me that the new and improved "four letter words" are so acceptable. Use them when you are with adult company, or at your own football game that you are playing in, or out at sea, but please don't use them when anyone under the age of 18 is around. I don't need NC-17 at a family affair. I realize things get heated, there were some great plays and some bad calls, but serious party foul on the dumba**, I mean idiot, behind me.

While I am talking about the game, we are there as fans. Fans buy the tickets to cheer on their team. We happen to sit right behind where the opposing team stands on the sidelines, we can see them spit, we can read their lips, we can hear their coaches go postal on them. But what irritates me more is the guy who yells completely idiotic things at some players and then looks around for every one's approval. It was funny maybe the first time, but quit while you are ahead. It doesn't bother me so much when a player screws up and they are jeering him but when they are just saying things, making fun of their appearance, talking about their mama - I can't stand it. There was one such fan yesterday. He would just pick on the players. He would pick on the ones that weren't getting any playing time. He would pick on those that were a little less fortunate in the good looks department, he would pick on those who tied their shoes with bunny ears instead of a loop-de-loop. On and on and on. Jeering, then looking around for approval. So annoying.

In college, while sitting in the student section, I kind of flipped out at one guy. I can still see his face but don't remember his name. The whole game he kept on him, making comments about his face, his brother, his sister, his mama, his knee caps. He was so obnoxious, you couldn't watch the game. I finally turned around and was a jerk, I admit. I told him to shut it. Let us watch the game. We are there as fans. Fans come to the game to cheer on their team and I can understand some painless attacks on opposing players but this had gotten out of hand. For one, he obviously can play ball, which was more than I could say for this boy with an unfortunate physique (I didn't say that about his physique, I was a jerk, but less jerky), he was better than most college kids who couldn't buy a place on the team, would he please concentrate on what our team was doing right and less on coming up with ridiculous taunts and meanness. Then I stepped off my high horse and only felt bad about it for a minute.

I guess the reason it all bugs me, the bad sportsmanship, is because I have kids (obviously not in college but maybe it was a maternal twinge escaping). I want them to grow up learning to play hard, work hard and cheer hard. But there really is no room for blatant disrespect in sports. And unfortunately, I think it spills over into everyday life. I think that is the part that really gets to me. I am by now means the poster child for courteous behavior, I have said my fair share of things that I shouldn't have, but I wish good manners would make a huge comeback. Ok, I'm stepping off the box now.
By Order of the Management posters by john w. golden available here


Charlie Cooper said...

I wish I would have seen you at the game. Are you going next time? It's too bad E had to have such a bad example in sportsmanship. He is so considerate of others on his team and the opposing teams despite these disrespectful strangers. You must be teaching him well.

Jenny said...

Hear Hear Whitney!