Monday, November 17, 2008

Fans should know their role

As I have said in previous posts, given the demands of being sports editor for a small-town newspaper, I relish the opportunities to get out and cover local sports. I only wish time afforded me more chances to do so.

But I did get a chance over the weekend, when myself and reporter Mike Stribl covered Kingston, Rondout Valley and Pine Plains competing in the state field hockey semifinals at Chittenango High School, which is about 20 miles south of Syracuse.

First of all, let me give my congratulations to all three schools for getting to the final four and particularly Rondout, which reached the state title game.

Now, for an observation. Let me preface this by saying I am not a parent, so you can take what I am about to say with a grain of salt.

I have three nephews who all played sports at various levels, so I am no stranger to rooting for "my boys" -- as I sometimes call them -- to succeed. But I do have a problem with parents, or other family member living vicariously through their children.

I just think it sends the wrong message.

Now I bring this up, not to criticize those who were there cheering on our local teams because you all were not the problem. The Kingston and Rondout fans were fabulously not over the top and I got a huge kick out of the Pine Plains' fans with their coach Dick Meilinger head on sticks.

That's all good fun.

Some of the other teams' fans I saw up at states were way over the top. I'm not saying they were rude or obnoxious because I really didn't think they were. But you would have thought it was those fans playing the game and not the players themselves.

Like I said I'm all for rooting, but I think it sends a troublesome message when fans give off the vibe that their whole being depends on the outcome of these games played by high schoolers.


Blogger Lenore Schulte said...

You are so right. Fans/parents should support not only their own athlete, but also appreciate the athletic ability of opponents. Sportsmanship at games should be a requirement for all involved.
This is how we teach our HS athletes to be healthy competitors and succeed in the real world.

November 20, 2008 at 11:11 AM 
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