An Open Letter to the Illinois Parent That Got Kicked Out of A 5th Grade Football Game
Let me start this off by saying, I sure hope you're embarrassed.
Chances are, you're probably not. After all, who gets kicked out of a kid's football game?
However, if you're receiving the heave-ho by officials at a kid's football game, there's a good chance this isn't your first run-in.
I mean, why would you do that? How could you, orange sweatshirt man, get so fired up, that you'd allow yourself to get ejected from a kids game? What could possibly happen that would cause you to lose it at a kid's football game?
I forgot to mention, this football game wasn't for the championship. This was the 3rd place game. Meaningful for the kids, and as parents, we support that, but the truth is, the stakes are and will forever remain relatively low.
Here's an example of how low stakes the games are for 5th graders, the coaches are on the field. This is instructional football at its finest.
I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me set the scene for you. Rockton, Illinois, Sunday, October 10. The 5th grade Sterling Warriors versus the 5th grade Byron Tigers. Both teams played each other earlier this year, and Byron won. I thought maybe you'd need that for context, perhaps not. Either way, I figured I'd just throw that in.
After a 30-minute lightning delay two games before the 5th grade game, things were running pretty late. People were tired, it was rainy and gloomy, you could see it in everyone's eyes but not the kids. After all, that's what it's about.
Anyway, the Warriors and Tigers met on the gridiron one more time for 3rd place in the league. I feel it's important to reiterate again, this is the 3rd place game.
During the game, the flags are flying. Refs are calling penalties left and right and mostly on Sterling.
All of a sudden, the ref walks to the stands and yells for "Pat." Not sure who Pat is but he was called down to the sidelines to remove an unruly parent/fan.
Where I was sitting, I couldn't tell what was going on but it looked like the parent was really letting the referee have it. You know, how you would do it at a professional sporting event if you know, these were professionals and not just 5th grade kids.
Anyway, the ref, whose real job is obviously something other than just ref'ing kids football games on Sunday, wasn't having it and the dude got tossed.
So after some back and forth screaming and uncomfortable silence in the crowd, a child from the sideline ran across the field.
From my vantage point, it appeared the kid was being taken out of the game too. The adult version of "I'm taking my ball and going home." This time it was a kid who was just playing a football game.
Cooler heads prevailed and the kid stayed, but the people who I was surrounded by were shocked, stunned, and heartbroken for a few awkward seconds as we all thought the child was being taken home too.
For the rest of the game, I couldn't get the thought of what would drive someone to get that worked up at a children's sporting event.
Sadly this isn't the first time I have seen this behavior at games this year. I watched a parent from one team get in a shouting match with a coach on the field during one of the games. I honestly thought the coach was going to walk into the crowd to fight a parent/fan.
Personally, I love to watch my kids play sports, it's kind of fun. The worst part, the parents.
Orange sweatshirt man and any other parent who feels they need to play a bigger role in the game other than a cheerleader, don't be the worst part of kids sports.