I had a feeling there was more in the "fine print" located at the bottom of the kids' birth certificates.
More than feeding the heathens, dropping serious cash down on kicks they would outgrow long before the season was over, and of course maintaining a health insurance policy well into their twenties.
Somewhere in the finer print lies a rule about winning.
We must let our kids win. At everything.
Failure to do so will make them feel, well, it will make them feel bad.
And who wants that?
Certainly not the children.
I lied when I affixed my John Handcock to the bottom of those documents. But it was not my fault. I failed to see the finer print.
Sadly, my invalid signature does not allow me to return "he-who-wishes-to-remain-nameless" nor his sibling "number two".
And as a result, I am stuck heading to various kids' sporting events only to be surrounded by clowns who did see the finer print and take their responsibility for seeing their promise through very flippin' seriously.
You know who they are.
I signed both of the kids up for our town's recreational basketball league this winter, and suffice it to say I use the term "recreational" very loosely.
I plunked down a couple of benjamins and nearly one grant for each boy (that is nearly five benjamins if you are keeping track) to spend the winter on a court with eight boys, who much like them, are pretty consistent at shooting air balls.
He-who-wishes-to-remain-nameless is in the Junior/Senior league.
A win/win for parent and kid, really. Since he can drive himself to his games, he is not hindered by his knucklehead parents cheering from the stands. And we are not subject to the "stuff" that usually goes on at the seventh/eighth grade level.
Stuff you ask? Oh, I've got stuff.
Last Saturday, Number Two had a game at ten in the morning.
His brother dropped him off and I headed over to the Sportsplex once I got out of work. I arrived twenty minutes in.
The score was 38 -13 (not in our favor) and the coach on the opposing bench was stomping around throwing his cap.
Seems one of his players had blown a "crucial free-throw".
Seriously, how crucial can it be when the scoreboard is twenty-five points in your favor?
As the clock ticked down on the game that was now 49 - 16 (our kids had a three point run in the third period~yea!), the guy who made Greg Kinnear's character in Bad News Bears seem not all that douchy continued to throw his cap and bark at his players.
I was calling the lucky parent sitting at home this chilly morning all kinds of names in my head.
I think there were about two minutes left in the game when I was beside myself with complete glee. Finally...all the boring games I had sat through watching air ball after air ball fail to make the net had finally, finally paid off.
Oh, yeah. Following a hard foul by one of our kids, Douchy Mc Douchson completely lost his shit (along with his cap~he threw it so hard it got lodged under the scorekeepers' table~completely out of sight~unless, of course, you had my vantage point from the top rung of the opposing sides' bleachers).
After giving up on locating his lucky cap, he pointed at the boy who was charged with the foul while screaming "U N A C C E P T A B L E" over and over until spit was shooting from either side of his mouth.
Once he realized the refs did not concur with his assessment, his beet-red face and bulging forehead vein returned to his chair where he began, once again, looking for his lucky cap.
Our coach just sat in his chair. Emotionless. In all fairness, he might have been asleep since the three-point run at the beginning of the third period.
Mc Douchson located his cap and found his voice soon after he placed it on his head.
Much like Frosty, he came to life and started pointing at the perp again.
Right around that time our coach must have been startled awake and realized the perp was his kid, because he rose to his feet and shouted "SHUT THE FUCK UP" on the top of his lungs (accent on the F U C K).
McDouchson was pissed. Apparently wearing a team-colored coach shirt along with carrying a clipboard means only he could have outbursts. He started towards our coach.
Oh, man...this was about to get good.
Until the damn Refs stepped in.
With seconds left on the clock (the scorekeeper had forgotten to stop it--she too found the show quite exciting) the refs signaled that they would call it if cooler heads did not prevail in the next, um eighteen seconds (according to the clock that was finally stopped).
The coaches shook hands, the ref blew a whistle, and the clock resumed ticking.
The game went on as if nothing had happened. This is normal. Not one kid seemed shocked by the scene. Not one parent in the stands appeared interested in stopping it.
Welcome to the Land Of Winning...no matter what.
Hard fouls are U N A C C E P T A B L E.
But creating a scene in front of sixteen impressionable teenagers and their younger siblings in the stands = Completely A C C E P T A B L E.
Our boys went on a run...final score 52-25.
What a perfect way to end a 3 - 12 season. Number two and I talked on the way home.
After I told him what went on in the final seconds of the game was ridiculous and, at the very least, had no place in a rec-league basketball game, we discussed the season.
Eleventh place out of twelve was disappointing, but the fifteen games over the span of five months was a great way to exercise and get out of the house. Oh, please read my sarcasm between the lines...please!
Not to worry silly mother. Playoffs begin next week.
What the what?
How did your team make the playoffs?
Apparently everyone makes the playoffs. Remember the finer print?
What are the chances I get to be entertained by Douchy McDouchson and McSleepy our foul-mouthed coach again?
Since we are all winners, I would imagine the chances are pretty good.