Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why is it softball when the balls aren't soft?

I apologize for the randomness of this post. It is not my best work. I know. I don't care.

Not the Momma has been playing softball. This is a big deal for a guy who is anti-anythinghavingtodowithteamsports. His team is called the Spherical Chickens... Yeah, I don't know either. It has something to do with physics, and everything being a sphere. You might understand if you're a physicist or a geek or a big nerd or something. I'm a geek or a nerd and I still don't get it. I guess it makes sense for a team name, since they are made up of mostly physics and math nerds.

The rules are kind of weird, but hey, it's intramural softball. We've gone to almost every game. They started playing to have fun and get some exercise, and it's working. The guys have progressively gotten better every game. The first few games were lost due to "Mercy" rules. (15 points ahead in the first 5 innings ends the game.) Gradually they got to the point where they were playing a full 7 innings. The last couple of games have been crazy. There have been wins,and HOME!RUNS! and cheering and catching pop flies and everything. But they haven't gotten big-headed or stopped having any fun. They lost last night and knew it was no big deal. They are the kind of team I'd like to see Little Monster play on when he gets older. They are really there to have a good time -- and they do. They see the humor in a dropped ball, the fact that some of the team shows up to play in jeans, suspenders -- and once dress clothes (he forgot about the game).

The problem (and the reason why Not the Momma and I are anti-anythinghavingtodowithteamsports) is that not every team has that philosophy. There are teams that care about winning. They care so much that if someone catches their hit, or they get tagged out before hitting first base, they throw a temper tantrum. They get irritated with their own team when mistakes happen and then begin to throw a fit that puts my nearly-two-year old to shame. In fact, their fits put almost any child to shame. The obscenities flow from their mouths like water from an open fire hydrant. They shake their hands, and turn red. It's embarrassing. They must have forgotten that this is intramural softball -
not the major leagues.

Nope, sorry folks, there are NO scouts sitting in the bleachers watching you play hoping to catch the next Babe Ruth or Darryl Strawberry. No one is hoping to find the next Nolan Ryan or Jose Conseco. But the people who are in the stands are even more important. They are the children that belong to the players. They see this behavior, and think it's okay. Want to know why your kid throws a temper tantrum? Start looking at how you behave when you don't get your way. It's bad enough to see a kid throw a temper tantrum, but to watch a grown man throw one over a silly intramural softball game? That's a bit disgusting.

I will be on the look-out as Little Monster gets older and wants to play with other kids. I don't think I'll be too excited to let him play somewhere when the male role-model in the house behaves more like a kid than the children do. I don't think I'll be happy to let him join a sports team where fun, exercise and just doing your best isn't good enough for the coach or any other parent on the team.

Last night's ordeal got me thinking a bit. And now it has me laughing. I know I've thrown temper tantrums -- I'm not perfect. But I think I'll be a little more careful in the future about where I throw them in the future. So, if you see some crazy lady laying in the grocery store holding her breath while kicking and punching the air because there is no lemon juice -- remember that most certainly isn't me. Can you think of a time you saw a grown adult throwing a temper tantrum?


Samantha said...

I know what you mean. My hubby used to play intermural softball and basketball. People would throw the biggest tantrums! I hate it when men get angry over stupid stuff yet don't seem to care when it really matters. The basketball team was through church and there were so many problems with bad sportsmanship that they had to cancel.

Ashlee said...

I am SO with you. But it doesn't end with the grown up games. The parents of the little league players around here are VICIOUS! Like you said, you'd think there were scouts watching their 7 year old kick a soccer ball. I had one person tell a ref to watch out for my son because he heard he was a kicker. What? This is soccer...they kick the ball. And honestly, my kid isn't what you would call a go-getter on the soccer field. He usually waits for the ball to come to him. :0) Sigh...dumb parents anyway.