We have already spent some time talking about some of the crazy stuff I have seen at the ballpark. Parents with all their passion and enthusiasm are an easy target, but I have noticed some things in the last few weeks that have forced me into a very sobering realization.
It’s not just parents behaving badly. It’s everybody, to differing degrees. As I write this, it’s Rivalry Saturday in college football and I watched GameDay on ESPN leading up to the Iron Bowl. I know this is the Mother of all Rivalries, but it allowed for some interesting observations. This is not meant to be a football rant because there are plenty of examples across the landscape of sports.
Players Behaving Badly
Crotch grabbing, profanity, fighting, general poor sportsmanship and just plain acting like a fool was everywhere. In a social media world where twitter feuds are an everyday thing and even include the President I guess I shouldn’t be shocked anymore but we used to hold athletes to a higher standard.
Fans Behaving Badly
Dean Wormer in Animal House summed it up pretty well. “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”. I know college kids drink, but to be stupid drunk at 9 in the morning is extreme. Raining beer cans on the opposing team as they did during the Clemson vs. South Carolina game is criminal. And liquid courage causes a lot more issues, some of which are much more serious than just saying something stupid on TV.
Coaches Behaving Badly
When the FBI is involved in college athletics, you know things have gotten pretty extreme. Four coaches, so far, have been arrested and I’m betting that there will be more. When Rick Pitino is involved at a school like Louisville, then it seems likely that other schools will be implicated. The irony of all of this is that Bruce Pearl became famous back in the 1980s for ratting out cheaters in the Big 10 and now…
Administrators Behaving Badly
Coaches get fired. Trust me I understand. But when Brett Bielema gets fired, pretty much on the field immediately following a game, something is really wrong. It couldn’t have waited a few minutes. Really?
Now, I give Bielema credit for taking the high road at his post game press conference. I just wish it didn’t seem so rare to see someone acting with class in a tough situation.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.
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