I hope you can get something from this post, but I’ll be honest with you…I’m writing this one for myself.
First the advice and then the admission.
If you have a problem with a call made during a game, bite your tongue and take a walk. If an umpire, official, referee or whoever is enforcing the rules of your game makes a mistake, close your eyes, take a deep breath and just walk away.
It will save the embarrassment for you, your player, your team and your family. Turning your back can be hard to do for someone who is emotionally invested in each game. Taking a walk and biting your tongue can be really hard to do if that bad call affects the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, those bad calls happen all too often and at every level of play. These guys are trying to get it right, but sometimes they make a mistake. While it is considered OK to get on the umpire or referee at professional sporting events, be careful how far you take it on the amateur level.
So once again, just walk away. That’s the advice. Now for the admission.
Last week at my kids high school baseball game, the umpire totally missed a pick off play at second base. Everyone saw the player get tagged out except the umpire in the field. He was razed pretty hard by the fans, but I had to take it too far. I hate missed calls in close games and I let him know about it. I even yelled, “Even the guy in the Porta John saw him get tagged out!” I kept letting him have it and it felt good at the time, but I have regretted my actions ever since. I embarrassed my family, the team and myself.
I have been associated with sports my entire life and I know that bad calls happen, but my making a fool of myself will not change the call or the outcome of the game.
Once again, just so we are clear on this, if you see a bad call made in your player’s game, just walk away. While that is good advice that I am passing on to you today, I’m really saying that to myself. Who knows, maybe next time I see a bad call made during a game, I might take a trip to the Porta John!