ElemenoB made it onto the freshman team at her high school and today was their first game. I went to watch, somewhat excited to get a feel for what to expect this season.
It was not pretty.
First, let me say that the girls on ElemenoB's team seemed to be playing well and having fun. The coaches were encouraging and happy. To me, that's what sports should be all about.
The other team, as well as their spectators and coaches, were not so... what is the word? Courteous? Sportsman-like? Those don't quite work. Let me put it this way: the coaches loved to scream at the girls on their team, specifically the ones who were playing well. Especially pink-sweater-lady coach, who also took delight in telling the referees how dumb all of their calls were. That lady has some sort of issues going on in her life that just make her an angry person. I wasn't sure if she just needed a hug or to have someone tell her that everything's gonna be all right (rockabye).
The girls on the opposing team would yell in our girls' faces when they were blocking them (is that what it's called? Blocking? Guarding? Tackling?) or if they were trying to get the ball away from them. Things like BALLBALLBALLBALL!! or DENYDENYDENYDENY!! What the heck is that all about?
The home team's spectators would yell and scream and stomp their feet anytime someone on our team was shooting a free-throw, but if we did the same when their team was shooting, we got dirty looks and glares from every 13 and 14 year old tough guy in the gym. I was like, what? Why can't we be friends? We should all be friends. And all I got back was *glare, glare*.
If you are laughing at me at this point, fine. Go ahead, laugh. I know what you are thinking. Basketball is a competitive sport, Gerb! They're supposed to tackle each other and be jerks and yell and glare at everyone. Well, I don't like it when people are mean, sports or not.
This is SO hard! I want to be supportive of ElemenoB's new endeavor, but I feel SO uncomfortable around mean people!
I think I may have a solution, though. Sort of a Pay-It-Forward for girl's basketball.
Do any of you out there know the coach for Orem Junior High's freshman girls' basketball team? (I SO wish I had brought my camera so I could show you a picture! She was so pretty, but she'd be a whole lot prettier if she smiled once in a while.) If you do, could you do me a big favor? Give her a huge, squishy hug the next time you see her and compliment her on her pink sweater. Then ask her if she'd like to talk about what it is that makes her so mean and angry. Once you're done with your heart-to-heart and she's gotten it all out, give her another hug and then ask her to do the same for one other coach or player who seems mad at the world. I'm hoping this will have the effect of eventually increasing my comfort level at girl's basketball games because everyone will be nicer.
If she refuses or resists or gets in your face, could you do something else for me? Get as close to her as you can, look sweetly into her eyes and then yell at the top of your lungs,
Thanks. (SO much.)