Rant With Randi: ‘The ball doesn’t lie!’ and other stupid things parents scream at lacrosse tournaments
I just returned home from a fantastic week of lacrosse in Colorado, where the weather was nearly perfect and my group of friends/lacrosse parents put a smile on my face daily. We had one day at home to rest and then hit it again here in Del Mar this past weekend. Basically, our summer consists of lacrosse, lacrosse and more lacrosse.
Therefore, the most important thing to know about being on a travel team with any youth sport is that it is critical that you are surrounded by great parents and great coaches. You are going to spend a lot of time with these people, and you want it to go as smoothly as possible.
In fact, one might say that it’s a huge bonus to be able to have a damn good time with this group. They will see you at your best and your absolute worst, because the days can be very long. Sometimes you might even get fed up with your own kid and say things you regret, and your teammates (and their parents), are there as witnesses, gulp. The people with whom you hang your hat can make or break the experience.
I like to take pictures during games, so I don’t sit down much. Generally speaking, I’m standing by parents on the opposing teams. Boy, is that fun — not. When I tell you that I want to smack most of them, that wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Seriously, the things people scream at these tournaments are so insane, that they could almost be construed as funny. Here are some of my favorite moments and the summer has just begun:
The dad with the big fat belly who stands on the sidelines with his arms crossed, screaming to his son, “Move your feet. Go faster!” And it’s almost as if the fatter the belly, the louder that dad screams. Here we are, in Colorado, dealing with the altitude which makes it difficult to breathe just standing still, and these kids are getting yelled at for not moving fast enough by guys who probably sit on their butts drinking beer all day. Classic. One time we had an early morning game, and a dad was sitting comfortably in his new tournament chair drinking his Starbucks, screaming at his son to “Wake up and start playing lacrosse!” Really? Can I pour the Starbucks on your head so you will shut up?
An opposing team lost a game and the father ran up to his son and screamed at him, “You better not have committed to going out with your team after this game. You lost, period. You are going to review film tonight.” He seemed like a nice guy — not.
And then you get the parents who are so intense and freak out on the refs. No matter which way a play is called, someone always goes postal. “Come on, what game are you watching?” “That wasn’t a push, that’s just lacrosse.” “Since when is choking considered a flag?” “Let the boys play” (while a kid is lying on the ground unable to move).
It might seem like I’m picking on the dads, but there were a lot of moms that I could have done without as well. They are the moms who believe that they know the game of lacrosse better than the coaches. These women are pure Crazytown. They keep track of all the stats and start screaming out plays over the coaches. They want to be sure that their son knows to shoot the ball, because they only have 3 minutes left in the game and someone needs to get the job done.
I read a quote: “On a scale of one to lacrosse mom, how crazy are we talking?” Yup, that pretty much sums it up. Trust me, it is funny if you don’t have to stand next to these whack jobs.
I might buy a muzzle for the next tournament just to keep my mouth shut before I say something that will get me killed! I’m on the edge, people.
What say you? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.