I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
It was a soccer weekend. Yesterday Finley had a second game.
Recreational soccer has gotten some bad press lately. The story out of Utah is horrible and heartbreaking. A soccer referee was punched in the face after giving a goalie a yellow card for pushing an offensive player. The ref left the field in ambulance, went into a coma, and died. Oh, my heart grieves for his family and that community!
Fin’s game was late in the afternoon, when the sun is low on the horizon. With the bleachers facing west, it was right in my eyes as I watched the game. During half time, I moved across the field to the visiting team bleachers, so the sun would be at my back and I could better enjoy the game.
I sat with the opposing team’s fans for a close hard-fought match between two fairly equal teams. I was satisfied with the final score, 3-3, because it summed up a good, well-played game. Their fans were respectful. Some were downright funny, which is why I share the conversation on which I eavesdropped.
Late in the game, the ball went out of bounds and was given to white, our team. The opposing team’s coach started yelling, “WHADDYA MEAN?! IT WAS OFF WHITE!! GIVE IT TO MAROON!” He had harsh, grating, megaphone voice.
His co-coach tempered him throughout the game. I had watched him several times go over to loud-mouth and speak quietly to him at such moments. We all need someone like that in our lives.
Behind me, one of the mothers laughed. “Have you ever seen a ref respond in a positive way to a coach’s yelling?” she asked a friend.
Her friend replied, “Oh, it happens all the time.” She laughed and continued in a fake referee voice, “‘You’re so right! That ball was out on the other player. Thank you for pointing it out to me!'”
“‘Yes, and thank you for suggesting that I go for an eye appointment. I actually may need a new pair of glasses,'” the first mom said, in her mock referee voice.
“‘Wow. I don’t know what we would do without coaches like you all. You’re great,'” her friend went on.
They both laughed at their own wit, and I laughed, too. It was sarcastic, but not caustic. I only wish all parents at sporting matches could see it like they did.
Recreational soccer is just that — recreational. Nothing earth-shaking. Nothing that will make or break anyone. Just fun.
Unless, of course, you have no self-control and punch a ref in the face.