It's impossible to produce this show and not hear over and over again how parents are bringing terrible sideline behavior to games. While I can't deny that this terrible behavior exists, or that it has a negative effect on so much of what youth sports is supposed to do for us, I can offer a potential alternative explanation for why we're seeing so much of it. All the usual reasons: paying unreasonable amounts of money; chasing labels like "elite," "select," and "travel;" the professionalization of youth sports (treating kids like professional athletes), and living vicariously all still apply. But lately, I've been thinking that something even bigger is going on here. In fact, given context, this kind of behavior may actually be understandable. I won't say I think it's right, but it is perhaps more understandable when we consider what else is going on. Let's talk about it.
The Bad Behavior
It's always important to set the table before we dig in to a topic like this. If you're joining us for the first time, you might not be indoctrinated yet to the problems we're trying to solve or to the way we use words to describe them. One need only type "Bad Sideline Behavior" into a browser search tool and more than a million results will pop up. I wrote and recorded a lot more detail on this subject in episode #36 titled Bad Sideline Behavior (https://thesoccersidelines.com/36-bad-sideline-behavior/). I wrote and recorded that episode in early July 2018, so if you want to take a deeper dive into what I see with respect to bad sideline behavior, I'll simply link you to that episode and you can read or listen to my thoughts on the subject.
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Preamble to Political Potpuri
What I'm about to say is going to make some people mad. Not because I'm promoting one thing or another, but because I'm walking up to a third rail issue. Actually, I'm walking up to and calling out a whole bunch of third rail issues, but understand... I'm doing this to point them out - not to convince you or anyone else of anything. I'm going to ask you to trust my motives for two reasons:
* I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, nor anything else, for that matter. I don't care what your (or anyone else's) politics are. I'm a registered independent - always have been and probably always will be. I value ideas from both sides of the isle and a few that come in trough the windows. I do vote, but I do so based on the issues that are important to me, the merit of the arguments posed from whatever candidates are on the ballot, and I feel no loyalty or aversion to any of the parties. I have friends in every political camp and I frankly don't care what anyone else thinks my opinion should be about most of the stuff that finds it's way into the public debate. I consider most of it none of my business. I welcome informed discussion, and reject all unsupported arguments that "should" on me - as in: I should think this way or I should vote that way. I understand that I am considered unusual by many & I don't care. People have made assumptions - usually incorrect - about my belief system for most of my life. It is simply a phenomenon I have no control over.
* My personality type has been established and confirmed often through testing over the years. I'm a confident, intuitive, thinking type who takes queues from an internal compass. All arguments and discussions are welcome,