I recently attended a high school sporting event. The students were on their best behavior, it's a real shame that the same cannot be said for some of the adults attending.
It was a pretty high stakes game and I can understand how some of the onlookers could get irritated by a bad call by a referee but the extent to which some people went to vent their frustration is beyond me.
My hat is off to those referees. You need a really thick skin and, I would guess, a good dose of self control to put up with the verbal abuse thrown your way. I'm not talking about the usual vocal disagreements about a call, I think that is expected and par for the course. What I am talking about are the angry, aggressive and heated comments, personal insults, offensive language and at times downright threatening attitudes. I watched one dad, with a young child on his lap, launch into a vicious verbal attack on a referee, while another stood up, purple in the face, screaming and berating a young player on the opposing team. What is wrong with these people? Another 'fan' made it his mission to belittle players throughout the game. Good grief! I can only assume that mocking kids made this man feel somewhat superior. We accuse teenagers of having no respect yet we model this behavior for them over and over again.
I wish this had been the only time I had witnessed this sort of conduct at a school sporting event but it is not.
I vividly remember one dad getting so angry at someone sitting behind him at a local football game that he had to be restrained by those around him. The crime committed? Apparently the person behind him had the nerve to comment on and applaud a good play by the opposing team.
I'm pretty sure that no call has ever been overturned because someone in the stands had a temper tantrum. Maybe some folks don't even realize how threatening and abusive their behavior appears to those around them. It doesn't make you look smart or knowledgeable about the game. It's just embarrassing and uncalled for.