My boys aren't playing a winter sport, and I have to say, I don't miss it. Not because I don't want to drive them to practice or even that I don't enjoy the games. I have come to appreciate our time in the car together, I value the physical activity for them, and there is a lot about the games I really do enjoy. I'm not an athlete but I've always been a sports fan. I don't miss crazy parents. I don't miss the third party embarrassment I feel when a parent is more invested in a game and the outcome than their child. I don't miss the sometimes palpable tension between parents of the two teams. I agree with the young author of the letter below. We parents can ruin everything. Let's remember it isn't about us. Let's remember sports are supposed to be fun. Let's remember it is the lesson of teamwork and sportsmanship which will mold their character, not the numbers on the scoreboard. Let's remember they are children, all of them, no matter what color the jersey.
Offside is a Facebook page, started by a referee, Brian Barlow, to encourage better sideline sportsmanship. He offered $100 for every video of crazy parents screaming at referees at children's sporting events. He also posted this heartbreaking and poignant letter from a 4th grader.