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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 2

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skafiend / February 16, 2007 10:32 AM

Unfulfilled personal sports dreams + unrealistic expectations of their son or daughter turning pro if they just get the right breaks + a nip or two of booze in the parking lot = some blowhard beating up a 17 year old Little League umpire.

mike / February 16, 2007 10:44 AM

Caffeine, among other things.

Mac / February 16, 2007 10:46 AM

Steroids in their Zima.

Naz / February 16, 2007 10:47 AM

Just plain over.

Julie / February 16, 2007 10:49 AM

Inability for parents to let their children have any painful experiences whatsoever. That way they don't grow up scarred like they did.

carrie / February 16, 2007 11:42 AM

they're what happens when people who shouldn't have kids, have kids.

leah / February 16, 2007 12:11 PM

They think they are helping. Turns out they are making it worse than if they'd left it alone.

I mean, how humiliating for this wrestler, right?

I don't know what would drive someone to something like that. Guess I'm not super testosterony.

tes-toster-oni, the freak out parents treat.

fluffy / February 16, 2007 12:19 PM

my father used to coach my little sister's soccer team. his team hated him. he never noticed or cared. he was a real a-hole and to this day, thinks his team worshipped him.
He didn't do it to bond with my sister; he did it for his ego.

I agree with skafiend- "unfulfilled personal sports dream"

Regarding the parents who scream and yell from the sidelines, I think that there should be rules posted with regard to behavior. If a parent breaks the rule/s, they get a time out in the corner, and no beer.

Pedro / February 16, 2007 12:19 PM

Camcorders, videophones, etc...

These things aren't new, they're just documented better.

Steve / February 16, 2007 1:35 PM

Beats me -- I was lucky if either of my Ps would even show up at one of my Little League games....

a / February 16, 2007 1:41 PM

It's not so much about what's going on with sports parents going wild- but today's parents in general. The amount of sheltering and planning and coddling that parents participate in these days is stunting the next generation of kids.

Taylor / February 16, 2007 1:47 PM

Right on, skafiend.

Appleby / February 16, 2007 1:58 PM

Whatever happened to the days when a father and son could go to a baseball game, enjoy a hotdog, cheer for their team, and then attack the ump together, as a family?

Assailants Say Gamboa 'Got What He Deserved'

printdude / February 16, 2007 2:04 PM

I believe it to be part of our society's exaltance of winners and the elevation of sports stars to status unreachable through any other means.

What other way is little Jonnie going to make 10 million a year, if not through sports.

I must win, I must be better than you, else I am a failure.

Them is my 2¢.

Blue / February 16, 2007 2:32 PM

I umpire Little League Baseball, so I am in the forefront of today’s topic.

Let me say that it is a small percentage of parents that are ruining it for everyone. As a whole the parents are very helpful and encourage fair play, good sportsmanship and a good time. Further, almost all of the coach’s promote the same attitude…good sportsmanship and fair play.

I am not condoning anyone’s behavior, but let’s not come down on all parents. 99% of them are great, even the ones who have had "unfulfilled sports dreams"...I’ve seen it.

Speaking of that...the whole “Unfulfilled personal sports dreams” take is a little too ABC After School Special. Not only is that minimizing the problem at hand, but it is also a cheap shot to anyone who did play sports growing up. Too easy…you guys are smarter than that.

My theory? No matter what the situation is, there is going to be a small % who ruin it for everyone.

Strike Three!! Yer Out!!!

skafiend / February 16, 2007 2:46 PM

Speaking of that...the whole “Unfulfilled personal sports dreams” take is a little too ABC After School Special.

It wasn't meant to whitewash everyone. But as a former high school football player, as well as a former sports reporter who covered high school sports for seven years of my 15 years in that business, trust me, it wasn't a "made for TV" statement. Seen it firsthand too many times...

Blue / February 16, 2007 3:05 PM


You have actually seen a parent tell their kid "I had an unfulfilled sports dream and you will allow me to relive it!!!!!!"...?

Felix / February 16, 2007 3:23 PM

This is what happens when schools allow extra-curricular activities. Kids should be working, not playing. Playing don't teach 'em nothing. These so-called knocks they get from parents are nothing compared to the sore backs and arthritic knees they'd get at a meatpacking job, lil' nancyboys.

theatre dork / February 16, 2007 4:08 PM

This is why I am glad I was a theatre dork. My mom and dad weren't going to interrupt "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to yell at the kid who played Puck for forgetting his lines.

Seriously though, I would agree with people who said the bad apples are just better documented now. I remember going to my older neighbor's high school football game when I was very young and having my dad take us home because there were some insane parents freaking out on the umpire. No one had cell phones or camcorders then though.

skafiend / February 16, 2007 4:56 PM

You have actually seen a parent tell their kid "I had an unfulfilled sports dream and you will allow me to relive it!!!!!!"...?

No, I've had enough parents tell me or the kids themselves tell me about their sports legacy that you learn to read between the lines. "My dad taught me blah blah blah... he used to play for blah blah blah..." or "Well, I think he gets that from me because when I was his age I..." . Cover high school sports in the innercity and you get thsat a lot. Like I said it's not true for all over-the-top sports parents, but I've heard it from enough to know it's a factor.

kate / February 16, 2007 5:40 PM

I've coached and ref'd youth soccer and basketball in the past and before every season, I'd have a meeting with parents.

I told them that games are very rarely lost on bad calls - what's generally to blame is missed shots, poor passing, and the like.

Lucky for me, the parents actually listened and if they thought something needed to be brought up, they'd bring it up to me first... not to their kid's opponent.

Like Blue said, it is a small percentage BUT that's what gets the attention - who wants to see footage of parents enjoying and cheering for their kid's team?
Just because I see some fat babies eatin' pork rinds and hamburgers on Maury doesn't mean I think every mother feeds shit to their child.

mike-ts / February 16, 2007 5:44 PM

Give me the choice of having to either manage or ump a Little League game vs. having fish hooks shoved under my fingernails, I'd first have to ask "You do sterilize the fishhooks first, right?" Blue, you've got my respect. When I was a 10 year old, I saw umps who had to throw out 1) drunken parents from the stands for being too loud, 2) managers for cussing a blue streak, 3) sober parents who yelled when God (a.k.a. their son "Timmy") rightly got called out on strikes, etc. I don't remember a kid being more of a problem than the occasional whine fit. The parents were the misbehaving bullies. No wonder the umps were all Gary cops and firemen. They knew bouncer was an unofficial side task of the job, and while the kids were playing baseball, they were playing You Can't Win.

This has been going on since formally adult-organized sports have been around. It's just that we have cameras everywhere now. I say throw the kids a ball, leave them in a park, supervise that they're safe, but otherwise let them hash out their play.

My cousin's brother in law is a state cop who umpires, and had a parent follow him into the parking lot after a L.L. game yelling because once again, God (a.k.a. son "Timmy" once again) was hurt because of a bad call. Finally, he tells the guy to get lost or else he'd be in trouble. The guy of course says, "Who are you, some sort of cop?" Upon which, he pops the trunk of his state cruiser to throw in the ump duffel bag, slams the trunk, and says, "As a matter of fact, yes I am." And yes, that is one of his favorite stories.

C-Note / February 16, 2007 5:46 PM

Don't be such a bunch of condescending, snide, pseudo-psychologist castrati.

Hmm... could the answer be that kids' sports combine 1) probably the thing parents love the most in the world -- their kids; 2) competition with a genuine interest in the outcome; 3) bad officiating & worse play, and 4) some loud talk and a relaxed social setting?

Mikey / February 16, 2007 7:08 PM

What makes everyone here so sure that the father tossing the other kid wasn't just part of the "show?"

I mean, it is common knowledge that wrestling is staged, right?

spook / February 17, 2007 4:50 AM

"What's going on with sports parents gone wild? Any theories"

Perhaps their Americana stupid Red Eye readers? Who say, I can make my kids fall in love with reading or art, or I could make them sports junky
Idiots I mean should these people have kids in the first place? Do we need these kids on the planet? Have I been drinking, yes, but do I have a point here?

And what’s up with Fluffly's crack story!?! I mean doesn’t any one wanna here it besides me? !

Jaye / February 17, 2007 8:59 AM

to those who try to justify it with maybe there was bad officiating, ya ya...stop playing.

these crazy, over the top, i wish i was when i was young parents are too busy trying to live thru their kids,,,they are caught up in their own fantasy world..sometimes forcing kids to do things that they don't even want to do..

dude saw his kid losing and felt like he was losing and is a sore loser and flipped, plain and simple..

Pete / February 17, 2007 12:21 PM

Just a bunch of immature adults leading such empty lives that they're seeking fulfillment through their kids' lives instead. Get a hobby, people.

shutteredwomb / February 17, 2007 6:11 PM

breeders are obnoxious no matter which way you slice 'em.

Matt / February 24, 2007 8:40 PM

The parents are jealous of the ability of the other teams players being so much better than of the kids that on thier team that they no good and just want to see succeed that it causes them to act as they normally wouldn't because they feel that they are being mocked when there team gets blown out.

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