Go, Jags, Go!


From the series: Life on Dog Hill

I’m all for parental cheering during sporting events. Believe me, I’ve yelled my lungs out on many occasions over the years. What’s surprising, however, is how I’ve mellowed with time.

Screaming the names of my competing children is no longer important to me, nor them. They know I’m there, in the stands, cheering them on to victory in a quieter, gentler manner.

What a relief to all those parents I’ve annoyed over the years with my passionate cheering!

This all became clear to me at a recent soccer tournament in which my twin sons were playing. Lo and behold, amongst the crowd was a parent whose lungs could well have been used in a wind tunnel. And, while I was quite impressed with the volume that stemmed from just one person, I was less impressed with the fact that each cheer was punctuated with remarks intended for every parent who wasn’t screaming.

“Go, Jags, go! Why am I the only parent cheering? Go, team! What’s with these other parents?”

Once home, I told my husband that this experience had been payback for ALL the times I had been loud and obnoxious at the boys’ wrestling tournaments. He laughed and questioned whether one game was payback for all those times. I must confess, wrestling did bring out the beastess in me…

“Absolutely,” I replied. “A wrestling match only lasts a maximum of four minutes, unless someone wins before the time is up — which is most likely the case. And the team only had eight members. So at the most, I might have screamed for thirty-two minutes at each tournament, and that’s stretching it. I’d say it was more like fifteen.”

He considered my argument a strong one but reminded me of the times that I was especially obnoxious — to the point where people would turn and stare or plug their ears. I had considered plugging my own ears during the soccer game, but chose not to when I remembered that, at one time, I had been considered the loudest parent in the stands and was proud of it.

At the next soccer game, the twins had quite a family crowd with three of their siblings joining us in the stands. We staked out seats on the far side of the bleachers so we could be heard if we felt the need to belt a loud cheer. Good thing too, since Tom got all wrapped around the axle when the ref gave Alex a yellow card.

“What?!” he screamed indignantly. “Are you crazy? That’s just a foul, not a yellow card!”

That was followed by him screaming at the ref, “Where’s the card?” when a player from the other team took a vicious hit against one of our players. And again when an opposing team member pushed one of our guys out of bounds. Within a short amount of time, Tom had everyone on our side of the stands yelling, “Where’s the card?” whenever anything happened that we didn’t like.

I confess that I yelled too. But this time I lowered my volume the first time someone turned around to stare rather than scream louder. Oh, yes, I’ve mellowed with time.

Go, Jags, go!

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