I am such a huge youth soccer fan. There is very little I enjoy more than pacing up and down the field, following Youngest and his team back and forth and back and forth, shouting and whooping as appropriate.
The experience has been enhanced this year because the league finally got wise to how annoying and interfering parents can be. [Guilty, I suppose, to a degree.] They now have all the players and coaches on one side of the field and all spectators across the way. The team banners are placed with the players, so the parents mingle with each other, rooting for opposing teams, up and down the sideline.
It is the U10 league, after all, which means I yell, "Nice stop, goalie" or "Great goal, boy" or "What a kick, kid" to players on both teams. Am I more partial to Youngest and his team? Hell, yeah. But I acknowledge that these are all just third-grade and fourth-grade boys. And when someone does well, they should hear it from everywhere, so when I shout, "Whoo-hoot" when Youngest scores and then scores again and then scores again, all in the span of five minutes, it's okay.
The man at the far end of the field, sitting with his pal as his son Nico plays, screams at his kid as he tries to defend. He drops f-bombs about people thinking their kid is better than someone else's kid. He and his buddy bitch about how everyone thinks they're so special, when in Mexico, it's just a dirt field, and the kids play much better.
My son performed a hat trick. And not just any old hat trick, he made a flawless hat trick, meaning he scored three goals in a single period. Hell, he did it in less than five minutes. So happy for him.
And so sorry for Nico that his dad, quite frankly, sucks. I saw them leaving the field, the father berating him for missed kicks and poor defense and on and on and on.
My kid isn't better than his. But I know my kid's dad is better than Nico's dad.