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Never take sports too seriously

I have been covering sports in one way or another for about six years now. I am no stranger to press boxes, sidelines and perimeter fences.

One of the more distasteful parts of the job is the inevitable task of putting up with belligerent fans, and in one case a belligerent reporter.

I had the displeasure of sitting beside the reporter in question at a UNA football game two seasons ago.

He was a little loud and somewhat obnoxious throughout the game, but he broke several rules when it comes to the world of sports journalism etiquette.

He showed favoritism towards his team throughout the game, which is only natural given he was tied to the school. However, every major football press box will undoubtedly have signs posted that say “do not cheer in the press box, this area is designated for working media.”

This is an unwritten rule of sports journalism anyway. Unfortunately for this guy, it gets worse.

He swore on a regular basis, at least almost under his breath, but he justified an obvious late hit on UNA’s quarterback Lee Chapple by saying, and I quote, “if you don’t want him to get hurt, take him out.”

That guy obviously had no earthly idea what player safety and sportsmanship are about, because only a person lacking in cerebral faculties would ever justify a blatant cheap shot.

I was forced to bare witness to such another event a few days ago. I’m not naming names or teams, but anyone who was a part of this event reading this will know what I’m talking about.

An umpire at a softball game made a confusing call that had both coaches coming out for a conference. During the break in the action fans on both sides put in a few opinions about what the call should have been, in their opinion, which is inevitable really.

One of the coaches asked the fans on his or her side to calm down because the “opinions” were getting louder. A fan for the other team, for no apparent reason, took offense to what the coach had directed towards only his or her side.

Words were exchanged, and the conversation got more than a bit heated before order was restored.

People who watch sporting events from little league through high school seem to forget one important thing: it’s a game. No matter who wins or loses, players are there to have fun. Scores should be kept, but at the end of the day it’s a young person’s game played for enjoyment.

Never lose sight of that fact. Sports should never be taken too seriously, or else the reason that people play them in the first place is all but forgotten.