Thanks to my sister-in-law, I have in my possession a “Sport Parent Code of Conduct” which has been implemented by one of the Little Leagues in her area of the world. The parents of the kids need to read and sign this document agreeing to abide by its terms and conditions or risk being
“… asked to leave the sports facility and be suspended from the following game.”
The tone of this document is lofty; the goals are noble indeed. I cannot imagine any parent refusing to sign the document; I also cannot imagine that all parents will behave in ways that are in concert with the document they signed. For example:
“I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults”. I suspect they will remember that until the first and second place teams are squaring off near the end of the season with the “league championship” on the line.
“I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league.” Having officiated youth sports for 37 years I can assure you that parents will never learn the rules of the game. Moreover, they will only learn the league policies in order to trash them or to attempt to circumvent them.
“I (and my guests)will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player or parent such as booing, taunting, refusing to shake hands or using profane language or gestures.” The first violation of that covenant will probably occur in the 4th inning of the first game of the season.
“I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.” Good luck with the “ability” part of that statement.
“I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.” This one will last until the 3rd inning of the first game…
There were 17 statements of this type that parents “agreed to” in this document; the dozen that I left out also had noble ends in mind with realistic expectations of conformity ranging from “perhaps” to “no way on the planet”. Nevertheless, I am sure that this makes the league administrators feel as if they have done something to make their league better than the one down the road. Hopefully, they will all sleep well in their delusional state…
Speaking of people living in a delusional state, Larry Brown was introduced to the world as the head basketball coach at SMU. To call Brown peripatetic would understate his coaching career. He has coached 9 NBA teams, 1 team in the old ABA that did not make the jump to the NBA and 3 college teams prior to surfacing at SMU at age 71. This is his 4th coaching position since 2003 – - and he took all of 2011 off. Asked about his commitment to this SMU job, here is what Larry Brown said:
“I don’t want people to think I’m just doing this for a little while. I don’t feel like, you know, one, two, three, four years. I want to be in this for the long haul.”
Larry Brown is an excellent basketball coach; the fact that he is in the Basketball Hall of Fame attests to that. However, the odds that he will be the coach at SMU in 2017 – - that is one year past the four years he dismissed as not the “long haul” – - are very big.
Bob Molinaro had this comment about SMU in his column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“In case you didn’t know, and I needed reminding, SMU – still located in Dallas – joins the Big East in 2013. Makes about as much sense as most conference moves these days.”
Far too often, the owners of sports franchises and pro sports leagues play games with politicians at the local and state level seeking to get money from the public coffers to aid their teams’ bottom line. When the politicos do not knuckle under sufficiently, their jurisdictions face punishment from the leagues or the teams in the form of “leaving town”. Seattle lost the Sonics that way; Cleveland lost the Browns that way – - and only got an expansion team back once the local leaders found the money in the budgets to do what they had refused to do for the previous owners; Sacramento may lose the Kings if things do not settle down out there. Therefore, it is nice to hear one politician speak up and say what he really thinks about a sports franchise that is not going to hang around. Here is Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey:
“I’m not going to the Nets game (Monday night) and my message to the Nets is ‘Goodbye.’ They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance.”
Finally, here is a gem from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:
“A report in ESPN the Magazine estimates 40-60 percent of the Oregon football team smokes marijuana.
“Does that include the people who designed the uniforms?
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………