Reflection: Championships

Come on Ref! Are you even watching the game?! – Scorpion Coach

This is the time of the season for the boys and the girls to show off what they have learned from hours of practice, games, blood, sweat, tears, sportsmanship, and laughter.

Even though it is flag football, the children play really hard, their determination can be felt from yards away. (But their faces this season are rarely seen because of the CDC’s policies on face masks).

Parents and Coaches become like players and/or referees: they want to get onto the field, they want to call the game from the sideline, they want to tell the other team what they should do, they want to argue and fuss; however the referees are the one’s who officiate the game and we can shut all of that down.

One of the coolest things about being a ref is that what you say goes and all of the athletes depend on you. Can there be a game without the referee(s) officiating? The answer is boldy no!

This is why it must be ever so upsetting when in the NFL, NBA, and other professional leagues the refs are biased or if they cheat. But we won’t get into that today because I don’t currently coach or ref for the pro’s, instead let’s discuss some of the fun that the kids have at sporting events and some of the craziness that occurs during gametime!

FUN – Football Unites Neighbors

Royalty-free football team cheer leaders photos free download | Pxfuel

American Football is probably the most ultimate team sport that exists. American Football is a game where no play is possible without the team. In American Football no quarterback means, who will throw the ball? (unless you just plan on doing run plays, and only 1 run play per possession is allowed by age group) If there is a quarterback and no running-back or receiver, then who will catch the ball or run it? It’s kind of like having Kool-Aid packets with no water, would you use soda/milk/whisky, or would you just rather have the water that you need?

In American Football, players must work as a team to win the game, without teamwork there is no winning. I haven’t coached or ref’d a game yet, where a player was able to be a ball-hog. In football, there are so many ways that a play could go right or go left, that you need at least one or two referees, three is even better for more serious games.

If you don’t think that American Football is one of the most ultimate sports for teams, then which sport has your vote?

I’m not sure what you voted, but if you didn’t vote American Football…Well, I disagree and by this quote, so does #1 Mr. Warren Moon. =D

Warren Moon quote: In football, it's the ultimate team sport. You have to...

Recently during our championship for Under Lights Flag Football league, we had some interesting circumstances occur. The game’s themselves were pretty good, the championship match between the Vikings and the Seahawks (5-6th grade group) is one to remember. The Saints vs. the Cardinals (3-4th grade group) was a fun game to officiate as well.

One of my favorite games to officiate was the Titans vs. the Bears (5th – 6th grade group). During this game the Titans showed up with 7 or 8 players total, during the game only 6 players are allowed on the field, so for the Titans they had two substitutes. Meanwhile the Bears had a full roster with between 12 – 14 players. It’s probably to no surprise that the Bears won the game, but what made this game special for me was the plays that the Titans had and the fun they seem to have as well.

The Titans are a team who have plays such as SuperPowers, Eat A Lot, and Chik-Fil-A, their coach, a man in his mid 40s is calm, cool, and collective; this informs you of the Titan’s play style. The Titans played the game until the last second, however the Bears played a great game and won the match, later to be defeated by a powerful Vikings squad at the #1 seed.

As mentioned before there was some craziness that happens during sporting events and for the kid’s sporting events it’s the adults who ruin things! Go Figure!

Photo by football wife on Pexels.com

Question: During a game, should a mother (kid teammate’s mom) be trying to tell another mother how to take care of her child? During a flag football game for children, should a parent be drunk? I guess the answer to these questions depends on the circumstance and/or your upbringing, me personally as a military brat only option two seems more acceptable (if not too drunk!). Let’s go into some more detail:

A mother who was with her son and watching her other son play flag football, did not have his water bottle. Why didn’t he have his water? Simply…I had it in my backpack on another field!

*Note – Just because what you see isn’t what you would expect or want to see, you should not feel entitled to tell another person how to deal with or raise their children. Quite honestly one should just MYOB (mind your own business) especially when you don’t even speak to this person on a first name basis. As a family man and as a black man, it upsets me to hear about micro-aggressions taking place during a kid’s football game. The most important thing should be the children having fun and yet adults still find a way to mess that up!

To continue with the story, the woman was so aggressive with getting the attention of the other mother, that she was attracting attention. Words were said, women gossiped together, and one woman (the only black mother from the team) was isolated as a target. Fortunately, the coach of the team is an open-minded, warm-hearted, and b.s. (bull stuff) intolerant man, who sided with the isolated mother, making her not quite so isolated! The coach proved himself to be an ally, whereas this is not the first time that other parents on the team had unkind things to either teach their children or say to the black mother. Now, I know as you read this you may be thinking, “but, what the heck does this have to deal with football?” Simply put, it doesn’t!

The tackiness and lack of proper bearing displayed by the other mothers is a testament towards their character. I surely hope that, their children will become good people, who right the wrongs of what their parents are teaching them! Football is a great character builder for children both male and female, therefore, maybe just maybe we should get those moms out on the field to play a game and let some frustrations out. A good ol’ game of pick em’ up and buss em‘, would be just the medicine we need. =D

Nevertheless, the game was so eventful, with moments that I had to threaten to send a coach home and another ref had to threaten to end the game so that everyone will go home! Parents and Family members from the sidelines screamed at each other from across the field. Players trash-talked one another, cried to the refs and to their coaches about the trash talk, and then went on to score touchdowns. I had a player ask me, “Whose paying you?!” I had the nerve to say “….” well let’s end this one on a good note! What I did say was, “Just focus on playing your game and everything will be fine”, what I wanted to say wouldn’t be appropriate, which is why I didn’t say it!

But I do know one thing…Kids don’t really think like that, so this young athlete must of picked up that kind of inquisition from either his coach or one of the parents. Nevertheless, I did get paid, but that’s for being as fair and as active of a ref as possible, with three other refs on my side for the final game, there’s no doubt about who the Champion was…Go Vikings.

The overall experience as a novice referee thus far has been rewarding. The energy you get from being on the grand stage aka field, is like none other that I have experienced; it’s unique and it’s fun. To the young person who is reading this whether male or female, if you are looking to make some extra money/volunteer/or you are just a lover of sports and people, why not try out referring sometime?

Until next season boys and girls, stay safe and stay focused. Peace

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