Someone pinch me. The Chiefs are 7-0 and the only undefeated team in the NFL. The Missouri Tigers are 7-0 and headed for a possible SEC Championship Game.
As I said last week, life is good for local football fans.
These are positive thoughts. However, I am unable to let go of some very negative situations occurring during sports events the last couple of weeks. The NFL fan base showed its lack of class when Houston Texan fans cheered as their quarterback, Matt Schaub, was injured and helped off the field. He will miss games during the rest of the season.
It is true the quarterback was having a terrible year, and everyone in Houston was aware a change at the position was needed. But cheering when a home town player or any player is injured?! No doubt the majority who applauded were either under the influence of too much alcohol or were just plain clueless.
The thing that bothers me the most is behavior like that is becoming the norm and not a man seems to care. A good friend reminded me it was just a few out of 75,000 who booed. Does that really make a difference? What makes sense to me is that is totally wrong. I am a huge sports fan and I bleed the colors of my favorite teams, but being a loyal fan can’t make it okay for someone to be a heartless moron.
I have attended games at all levels this fall, and the fans are more and more out of line. Comments made about coaches and officials at high school and middle school games are way out of line. The sad factor is these are coming from adults, most of whom most likely never even participated in high school sports.
I base my logic by the comments made that make absolutely no sense. There is nothing worse than a sports fan or parent who thinks they know the game because they watched a few television games. Unfortunately it is the loud and obnoxious few who get all the attention. During my years of participation in sports it became obvious to me these negative fans typically embarrass the players they are there to cheer for.
I recall three instances as an athletic director when a star player came to me to express the embarrassment one of their parents had created for them during a game. They asked me speak with the parent. In each case the parent acted as if they had no clue what I was talking about, but in the end finally realized that they were hurting their kids. It did have an impact, and they did shape up during games. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when a child has to point out poor behavior of a parent.
That brings to me coaches and officials.
At least 95 percent of the coaches I have known care about the players and obviously want the best for the team and athletes. Coaches were once admired and respected as pillars of the community. They now are often viewed as the enemy. Every parent needs to be a coach and every coach needs to be a parent. It becomes much easier to walk in another’s shoes.
And certainly officials are not members of the Evil Empire. They are very dedicated people with a very difficult job. But for officials we have no athletic contest. They are not perfect but they face a tremendous amount of adversity. The relentless lack of respect appears to be getting worse rather than better.
Unfortunately, it is most likely a product of our “Me” society. The most important aspect of being a part of a team is to learn to work together to accomplish a common goal. The word “team” is one of the greatest words in the English language. Fans and parents – behave responsibly and respectfully.
• Jim Leyland retired as the manager of the Detroit Tigers. He once made a great comment that has stuck to me: If you are in charge of something, after 10 to 12 years of leading, people stop listening to you. It becomes time to move to something else.
• The Chiefs defense is the talk of the NFL. I hope that the offense can continue to improve. We just may be able to surprise everyone.
• The Cardinals vs. Red Sox should be a classic matchup.
• Whether you are a Peyton Manning fan are not, the guy is CLASS-plus.
• My quote of the week comes from Herbert N. Casson: “In handling men, there are three feelings that a man must not possess: fear, dislike and contempt. If he is afraid of men he cannot handle them. Neither can he influence them in his favor if he dislikes or scorns them. He must neither cringe nor sneer. He must have both self-respect and respect of others.”
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 5-6 p.m. every Thursday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org