In my 20th season in the sports writing business and covering high school football, it’s still amazing to see how some “adults” react to a high school football game.
Some of them need to remember that they are indeed adults. Or they need to grow up a little bit, and in a lot of cases not even just a little bit.
Fans can be fans -- we see silliness all the way down to youth football -- and those problems definitely are evident on the high school level. That’s troubling.
These ugly scenarios are seen every week at games. Coaches’ wives and families have to sit away from the rest of the crowd because they just don’t want to put up with fans who want to show off how much they think they know about the game. Those kinds of fans can ruin the game for everyone, and, most of the time, they are off with their assessment of what is going on out on the field.
Just ask the coaches or any of the other quieter fans who actually do know the game.
Even though it’s not ideal, dealing with those situations is part of the job description of being a head coach. The coaches’ families shouldn’t have to worry about those things, but we all know that’s not realistic.
So it kind of comes with the territory.
It shouldn’t come with the territory for the players. Any “adult” who criticizes or screams and yells at a high school athlete for making a mistake needs to look in the mirror a little bit and think about what is going on in their own life.
There are the former athletes who can’t let go of the fact that they’re no longer competing. There are parents who live vicariously through their child’s athletics exploits. And there are the fans who just feel they have to be part of the show and make a spectacle of themselves in the stands.
No matter what category those fans fall in, they’re wrong for their behavior.
Most high school athletes won’t go on to a college or professional career. They are just kids who love to play the games they play, and they deserve the respect of the adults in the stands.
When they don’t get that, it reflects badly on the people in the stands, not the players on the field. And it hurts the game for everyone involved.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org