Saturday, March 5, 2016

Boys Basketball 5A Championship

Greg loves being a basketball referee.  The exciting environment, working with players and coaches, the camaraderie with the other referees -- all add up to a fun hobby.  He was selected to be the R on the boys 5A championship game (and I'm not really sure what the R is for, but I know that means he was in charge of the crew).  Tammy, the girls, and I went with him to support him.  Ellie and Lynnie were not super excited, mostly because they had gone with Daddy and Tammy the day before and watched all 4 semi-final games.  They were gone from 2:00-10:30.  That was a long time for them.  I sent them off unprepared for such a long day (because I didn't realize they would be gone that long).  We were better prepared for Saturday, with fully charged devices and lots of snacks.  Everyone did great while watched the 4A championship and then got ready to watch Daddy.

Cece spent most of her time in the row in front of me, or walking up and down the 5 steps next to our seats.

Cece especially loved the dancers at the halftime show.

Lynnie liked walking up to the concourse for treats or potty breaks.  Ellie spent most of her time with Tammy a couple of rows behind me.

One great thing about Cece is that when it was naptime, I took off her implant, and she laid her head down and went to sleep.  It was awesome.

I get disturbed by how vicious people in the crowd can get.  I understand that people in the crowd are invested in the players and the game.  It is a big deal for these kids to work hard and be in these games.  I know that spectators will always yell at the refs.  But there is a line that shouldn't be crossed.  I think we all know what that is.  There is no reason to ever yell personal insults or to be vulgar. 

There were people behind us that were getting more and more heated as the game progressed.  It started with the typical you're-so-terrible-you-missed-that-call-call-it-both-ways types of comments.  But it quickly devolved into inappropriate things.  To the point that Ellie asked me why that guy was saying mean things. 

I kept on thinking about how children will only go as far as adults in the community will let them.  I was thinking about how when I was a kid, we yelled at games, but if anyone got out of hand, an adult (or two) in the crowd would take care of it by saying something.  I was realizing that all of us sitting around were just letting this one individual take over the environment.  And then my mama-bear came out and I knew I could not sit still any longer. 

I was holding Cece and just walked up to the young man who had been so willing to share his thoughts and opinions with everyone and had a little conversation that went something like this:

Me:  Will you please watch what you say?  I have three little girls that are getting upset at what you are yelling.

Young Man: {a little shocked and very defensive}  At least I'm not swearing!

Woman (presumably his mother):  If you don't like it, you can just move over there!

Me:  It is just not good sportmanship, and they've asked us to be good sports.

Woman:  {gesticulating wildly} That's just basketball!

I decided that was as much as I could do, and I returned to my seat.  The young man yelled a few more times and then was silent.  But I was most struck by how his mother reacted.  Of course, her mama-bear came out as well when I called out her son.  [Really? That's just basketball?  And that makes it okay to act this way?]

The underlying issue is one of character.  Playing sports teaches many good things -- working hard, working towards a goal, being a team player.  It does matter who wins and who loses.  But it should not matter so much that we lose all of our character when we watch.  It is not okay to yell vulgar, personal comments at men who are trying their best to facilitate a sporting event. 

We had the pleasure of sitting about 20 seats away from Elder and Sister Holland.  I loved their example of clapping excitedly for their team and politely for the other team.  They were obviously enjoying themselves and the company they were with, and cheering on the young men in the game. 

My favorite picture was one that Greg's friend texted him.  There was good-natured ribbing about his audition for Dancing With The Stars and his invention of a new mechanic for calling a kick.

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