We’re All Lunatics

Coaches…I am talking about coaches. We are all crazy, irrational, lunatics. This is the conclusion I came to last evening when I was working the chains for my school’s high school football game. I also came to another conclusion, this season I am going to actively try to be less…insane(?) on the sidelines. How did I come up with the aforementioned conclusions? Read on…

First let me clarify, we’re all lunatics when it comes to our interactions with officials and coming to this realization led me to, at least tell myself, trying to be calmer…not even calmer, I am going to use the word rational here…I am going to TRY and be more rational when “speaking” to the officials. Sidebar…I am using the word speaking very loosely here, because last night what I saw was not speaking it was more of what looked like an ancient tribe’s warrior dance to the Gods above.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s go back to last night. So I am working the chains which means I am on the away team’s sideline among their players and coaches, definitely a unique place for me. I am used to either being among MY players and MY staff while coaching OR farther away from the action compared to my sideline spot last night.

Early in the game there were a couple flags going against the visitors and they were really letting the official have it. Nothing out of the ordinary at the time…but that didn’t last long. As the game went on I found myself thinking, “These guys are nuts”, every time they started arguing with the officials. Okay not arguing, because arguing involves two or more parties, and this just involved one side. When one of the coaches called the official “dirty” that’s when a couple of things really hit me.

Did he really just insinuate that the official was dirty? What does that mean? How are you a “dirty” official. I understand using the word “cheater” but dirty? …this guy’s nuts. Is this what I look like when I “lose it” on the sideline? Yeah probably…

So let’s look at this for a second, if you are a sports fan then I am sure at one time or another you have questioned a call and if you are a coach then you probably even received some sort of penalty for doing so a time or two. By now I a hope you have the mental image of the time where you yourself really went after an official or the time you saw someone acting like they have just been possessed by the sports officials poltergeist.

Take that image and put it into another scenario, any scenario where there are adults in charge of young men or women, sometimes even children, and there is another adult making sure all the rules are being followed. How ridiculous does it look? How ridiculous would it be, if you were at the beach and the lifeguard whistled someone you knew, to swim back closer to shore, and you “disagreed” so you started jumping up and down, swearing, and calling the life guard names? How quickly would you be committed? And how ridiculous would you look?

Listen, I am not saying there are no bad officials, but I am also saying, even if officiating is bad what gives us the right as coaches and/or parents to say the things that we often say or here to another human being IN FRONT OF THE VERY PEOPLE WE ARE TRYING TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR?

I mean how insane is that?

I think there is a strategy to speaking with officials and sometimes there is even a strategy to pick up 1 of those technical fouls, but to yell for the sake of yelling, and belittling a person by saying things we would NEVER say away from the court or the field just shows a lack of respect and a real sense of entitlement.

Basketball season is about a month away and our first game is less than two months from now, and I am promising myself to be a better role model on the sideline and just more rational…

…………….now the real question is, “How long will it last?” :-)

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