You’re at a Little League game when a 9-year old crowding the plate takes a fastball to the nose. Now the kid is face down, choking on blood, writhing in blinding pain (probably overdoing it with the screaming) and making some wonder if they’re watching a ballgame or a ham fisted Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth.
But most don’t see the kid getting lit up by a defibrillator, because the real drama is around you, and the hooligan admired insults you’re screaming at the volunteer ump who, four innings ago, missed a close call at home plate.
At one time, youth sports instilled in children the critical skills that allowed a society to function and evolve. Teamwork. Stick-to-itiveness. And, most importantly, learning to work for a man who can’t follow the plot in Two and a Half Men because, back in 80’s, he huffed enough paint to whitewash the Berlin Wall.
Somewhere along the way, you re-watched The Breakfast Club and decided to bet the farm on the sage prudence of the wrestler’s dad. Now, rather than sniffling along as Emilio Estevez explains why keeping tape near the shower could anchor a spot for Bad Idea Jeans, you’re showing up at games with more coiled rage than Molly Ringwald had before she burned one down from Judd Nelson’s stash.
The rules for attending your kid’s game are clear. Buy a Coke. Enjoy the game. And know, out of 550,000 high school baseball players, (barring injury, lost interest, or getting sidetracked by a meth) less than 25 make it to the show.
In other words, the odds of cheering Junior to big league pay dirt are worse than Anthony Michael Hall winning an Oscar or Ally Sheedy getting recognized pushing the broom at Supercuts.