The following is an article that was set to publish in the Deseret News today, as part of my family fitness column I do every other week. Although it still may be published, it was put on hold for further editing and screening, and not for grammatical errors … although there very well might be some. It is because, and I quote “We don’t want to indict the entire crowd, stadium and franchise, so we want to be careful.”
Are we a society that is putting the feelings of irresponsible consumers of alcohol over the children and families who’s dream it is to watch professional athletes preform at their best?
To be honest, I didn’t think it was controversial at all … maybe I just bleed controversy or something … sheesh.
What do you think? …
A father-son outing ruined by spectators
The other night, I sat in my front room, anxiously awaiting my husband and oldest son, Anderson’s return from an extremely rare father-son outing to the RSL game against Portland. Having watched the game on television, and knowing that RSL beat Portland 4-2, I fully expected the two of them to be all smiles. However, when the front door opened, there was a look of disappointment that was very apparent on both their faces.
From a very young age, much like his dad, Anderson has had a strong draw to the game of soccer – or, fútbol, as he prefers to call it. From the time he could walk, it seemed Anderson always had a soccer ball at his feet, and over the course of his nine-year life, not much has changed.
For birthdays and Christmas’s he asks for jerseys of his favorite players, Lionel Messi and Didier Drogba, as well as the biographies to go along with them so he can learn just how they became pros. I will find him searching game highlights on Youtube, and watch him study intently, every move, then watch him practice over and over those same moves in the backyard and on the field with his club soccer team.
There was even a time when Anderson was a bit peeved at my husband and me for not sending him to Spain to go to training camp. “How will I ever get to play for FC Barcelona if I don’t go to the camp,”he would emphatically ask?
I love seeing his passion at such a young age, but more than anything, I love to watch him share that passion with his dad.
There is nothing quite like watching those two practice kicking the ball into make-shift targets they’ve fashioned out of old tires, practicing juggles or just playing a father-son pick-up game. And as much as I dislike watching soccer on TV, I love watching the two of them watch it together.
A couple of weeks ago, was one of these such moments, when the two of them stayed up late to watch the RSL playoff game against the LA Galaxy on TV. They were almost synchronized in their reactions to each play that was made, as they cheered RSL to a 2-0 victory over Galaxy.
Watching those two sit together, celebrating that win, I could tell neither of them wanted that moment to end.
That night, after Anderson had gone to bed, my husband and I discussed taking some money we had saved up, to purchase tickets for he and Anderson to go to RSL’s next game against Portland. It would be a stretch, but we knew it would would be something Anderson would not soon forget.
The night of the game, Anderson got all decked out in his RSL jersey. I have never seen a boy so excited. I know my husband was equally as excited to have this time with his son.
However, upon finding their seats, more specifically, who they were sitting by, my husband knew this would not turn out as they had hoped. They were surrounded by a group of foul-mouthed, beer-drinking indiviudals, who spent from pre-game to the very last second of the game, yelling obsenities and throwing objects around. My husband recounted asking one to please stop, motioning to Anderson. The man yelled back at my husband saying, “I don’t say anything here, that I wouldn’t say in front of my own child.” He then continued with his behavior.
That night was to be a night that a father and his son spent together, enjoying a game they both love. In stead, it was ruined by a group of spectators acting like idiots.
I’m not sure if or when there will be another time when the two of them will be able to attend a professional soccer game. I only wish they could have been able to enjoy it.
So, if you are reading this, and are one of those individuals who attends professional games only for the chance it gives you to drink alcohol and yell out obsenities, I ask you to please don’t. That little boy and his father you might be sitting next to, have not come to hear you; they want to enjoy a rare moment together, watching a sport they love, and build (good) lasting memories.
Arianne Brown is a mother to six young kids and an avid runner. For more articles by Arianne, “like” her Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WriterArianneBrown?hc_location=stream) page or follow her on twitter @arimom5.