Let me say from the outset I’m no great sport fan. I love tennis, I do like AFL, I tolerate Rugby League but that’ about it. Sport bores me, to watch and play. And having spent years working with professional sportsmen, they have also managed to put me off it.. but that’s another blog. My father, however, is sport mad.. he made me do all that crap when I was a kid, Soccer, Cricket, League, Tennis.. it NEVER ended. Now I’m a father and well.. in some twist of “its-not-fucking-fair” fate, my son is sport OBSESSED. I have a theory that sport obsession skips a generation, someone prove me wrong please!
Now before you think this is about angry footy parents – stop – no – this is about something entirely more bizarre!
For the last 5 years my son has played footy. The exact code doesn’t matter. This has meant every Saturday or Sunday for 6 months of the year we traipse off to some sport ground at fuck knows where… I have learned more about the town i live in doing this than 20 years shooting location Commercials! Now over this 5 years I have noticed something odd, weird and down right bizarre.
As you can imagine it’s the same group of parents, with some leavers and joiners over the years, but fundamentally the same group. It all started so nicely, friendly, sociable. Then the freaky shit started. As the kids went up a few grades, suddenly all the fathers started wearing the team jersey. Yes 20 males with beer guts and middle aged hair problems all in a team jersey. Ugly. Then they were all being “water boys”, “goal umpires”, and i don’t mean “oh fucking shit its my turn this week”.. I mean it became political!
“oh look Bob’s been flicked this week, that’ll learn him the asshole, he’s too fat to stay the distance, fucker should get fit if he wants to do it, he’s letting the team down!”
Then the coach huddle started.. yes 20 grown men nearly outnumbering the players hanging off the coaches every word at half time. All passing Gator aid to their little up and coming star player, nodding at the right parts, patting their kid on the arse. I mean for fucks sake, what are they going to do, does this somehow make them more efficient fucking water boys?
“Coach has decided to make the pack move forward more so im gunna make sure I have that water at the ready!” WOW!!! go man go!!!
Seriously you have to see this shit it’s like the Stepford Husbands.. 20 men dressed the same all smiling and kissing arse.. SCARY!
So what about me? Well I have spent 5 years avoiding this shit.. i really don’t care what the coach has to say nor am I about to run my arse off taking the little shits water! And needless to say I DON’T wear the fucking team jersey. So how does my son feel about this? He loves it. Why? Because sport is his thing and I respect that, I support him, I pay the fee’s, I make sure he’s at games on time, but the rest is up to him. It’s taught him that even though people may not like something they tolerate it because it’s important to someone they love. And he respects me for the time I give him, we actually have a good time driving there and back. And honestly isn’t that what these things are about, letting YOUR KID have some fun and do a little bonding!
Oh and I um forgot to mention how I avoid the other parents, the secret to my survival.. I have a Digital SLR camera and a fucking hot 300mm lens, I spend my time doing something my son actually gets a kick out of. I take action pics of him and his mates playing. He loves it, his mates love it, they post them all over fricking Facebook.. i’m a fucking goddam hero! And i TOTALLY avoid the other parents.