After a break of a few years, my son took up football (and I mean soccer) again last year. Which for us means driving him to training twice a week, and once the season has begun, pretty much spending our weekends cheering at one game or another, and occasionally washing the entire team’s shirts. Most of the time, that’s fun, because hey, watching kids at play is fun. The boys are all somewhere around 14 or 15, sometimes showing surprising skill, sometimes just bumbling across the field and rubbing their elbows raw sliding over the artificial turf. Sometimes it’s hard to hold back and not come running with the band-aids and mollycoddle them, but you can’t do that to teenagers, right? And as the team captain’s dad told me a few weeks ago… “Every single one of them is taller than you.”
That’s not true, by the way. Two of them are smaller than I am. But that’s not the point. The point is…
They’re kids. They’re supposed to have fun. Of course they’ll take the winning or losing seriously, especially since they got promoted to the next higher league, but this isn’t the Champions League or anything. At the risk of repeating myself, they’re kids.
Now, last weekend…
Ten minutes into the first half, our goalie went down. He simply became pale as the proverbial virgin snow, sat down, and according to his dad, his forehead felt extremely hot like he was developing the flu right there and then. Our defense players, being closest, started yelling, our coach came running with a water bottle, the referee came running… and the opposing team’s coach started complaining. How we should just take the boy off the field, get a substitute in, stop wasting everybody’s time, and so on, and so forth.
The referee stopped the game.
He gave our team the time to support our goalie as he stumbled over to the benches. He made sure the boy was okay as he swapped his clothes with the substitute. He made sure the substitute and the rest of the team were okay with the situation. He waited until everybody had had the chance to breathe, calm down, and signal that they were ready to resume the game. He even let everybody slap the substitute’s shoulders and tell him, don’t panic, it’s all good, we’ve got this, we’ve got your back.
Only then did the referee blow the whistle, and the game continued.
The opposing team’s coach didn’t cease his yelling and complaining the entire time.
The substitute goalie was my boy. But, again, that’s not the point. The point is…
Think bigger. Think the world. Imagine a world where we occasionally stop the game, make sure all the players are okay, and then – and only then – let the game continue.
Incidentally, this is the future liberals want.
Never mind the gators.
They’d be fun, though.
How lovely! Thank you. I love reading your stories on FB so I’m sure I’ll enjoy your posts. So glad to find this today. 😀 😀 xxx
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