They say thereís a time and a place for everything, and when it comes to yelling, cheering or showing some frustration or emotion for a sports team, it would seem like doing so at a game would be a pretty fitting time and place.
Or is it?
When I was covering a peewee hockey tournament last weekend, I was introduced to what I can only describe as the ultimate moronic hockey parent.
Luckily it wasnít someone from Fort St. John, so no need for the community to feel shame about what Iím about to recall.
It was the tournament final between the Fort St. John Ross H. MacLean Peewee Flyers and Prince George Cougars. I was sitting in one of the less populated stands so I could jot down notes in relative peace, but it would seem I chose the wrong set of bleachers. Behind me sat a Prince George dad who was so riled up by the game (which Fort St. John dominated from the start) that he was on his feet, literally screaming at the ice with every second word from his mouth being the dreaded F-word.
When I say screaming, I mean screaming. It was so awful that I felt embarrassed for his kid, and all the kids out there on the ice who had to listen to that idiot.
As I was about to open my mouth to say something, a local hockey dad stepped in and asked him to stop with the screaming and foul language because, after all, these were just kids on the ice and no one needed to hear that kind of talk.
What was the belligerent Prince George manís reply?
ďShut the f--- up! I donít want to hear it! Just shut the f--- up right now and get out of my face.Ē
I honestly thought he was going to punch the nice dad.
Again the local dad tried to diplomatically speak to the Prince George man, but nothing would calm the guy and he ended up storming off just as security was on its way over.
The first word that came to my mind was ďpathetic.Ē Just pathetic.
Seriously, what a complete and utter moron. What kind of person can get so worked up over their 12 year oldís hockey game to scream and swear until theyíre red in the face and about to get kicked out? Whatís wrong with these people? And how would they think their son felt about that little exchange? Itís not like he and the other 50 kids out there couldnít hear the idiot.
I was absolutely appalled. As an athlete I never saw such a thing in my life, but again I played volleyball; not exactly the kind of sport that gets parents ready to tackle an official out on the court.
More and more these days weíre hearing about parents at their kidsí games, either fighting other parents in the stands or the officials or sometimes a coach. There are multiple accounts of parents fighting refs, choking coaches, putting other parents in the hospital all over bantam, peewee and novice hockey games.
And we canít forget former Boston Bruins coach and NBC NHL commentator Mike Milbury allegedly hitting a 12-year-old hockey player last year during his sonís game. Milbury says he only shook the kid to stop a fight between him and his son, but the kidsí dad has another story. The story stunned the hockey world, but if you look at it as Milbury just being another enraged hockey parent, is it that surprising will all the stories coming out these days?
It seems like itís just getting worse.
Whether itís soccer, hockey, basketball or whatever, if youíre the kind of parent who screams and swears at, or in front of, a group of 10-year-old kids or accosts someone at a game, you seriously need to give your head a shake, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what the hell youíre thinking.
You have no right to be at that game, or any game, if thatís how youíre going to behave because itís pathetic and embarrassing and no one wants to hear you living vicariously through your kid in that kind of way.
What kind of example does this set for the kids out on the ice or the court?
Parents need to stop, think and remember that itís just a game Ė THEIR game, not yours.
Let them play.