Fans can make or break a game! Keep it CLASSY!
School has started. Softball games are in full swing. Kickoff will soon happen for Mayes County Football. It’s just that time of year.
It’s also the time of year parents and fans cheer on their favorite team and athlete. For me, the fans can make and break a superb sport.
Seventeen years ago I covered my first game from the sidelines. There’s always been a thrill of the game itself. However, being so close to the action has spoiled me. I find myself cheering just as hard as many of the fans. I smile when I see fans getting into the game. There’s a large part of me that wants other fans appearing bored, sitting on their duff and uninvolved in the game to get motivated about their team, winning or losing.
There is an aspect that turns my stomach at any sporting event, bad fans. I see it all levels from youth, through high school and on to college and professional events.
I understand plays are disappointing, players mess up or miss and fans don’t see a play the same as a referee. Be disappointed, fans have every right to be, they are emotionally invested in their player, the team and the game. Don’t be negative! The play is over, move on and support your team positively.
Riot squads can be an asset to the team. When plays aren’t going their way, players get disappointed easily. It’s the job of the band, cheer and riot squads to provide that positive reinforcement and encourage the remaining crowd to do the same. It also makes the atmosphere of the game itself.
I take issue with the negative and general lack of class shown by many at the games. As the games are being played, I’m challenging parents, students, school officials and fans to keep it classy.
Parents, I understand it’s your kiddo out there, I’m a parent myself. He’s going to make mistakes, point them out, encourage a different attack for the next time he’s faced with that situation and move on. It’s a game. Keep it classy.
Fans, referees are there to do a job. We’ve all witnessed bad calls, even on a national level they mess up. However, they are the only and final call on each play. Agree to disagree and move on. Keep it classy. I’ll admit I’ve even been known to express the “Oh! Come on! REALLY?!” The game goes on, therefore so should my disagreement.
Students, especially those in high school, please remember there are MANY younger students looking up to you. It is neither acceptable nor classy to call out to degrade or make fun of ANYONE, especially a member of the opposing team. I’ve seen it too often, and many times my 9 year-old son is with me. It completely turns my stomach and I have to continue to explain to my kiddo, how and why that’s not an acceptable behavior. School officials should also enforce sportsmanship. In today’s society and the intolerance of “bullying,” I would hope those school officials continue to enforce that intolerance at the game.
As a reminder “sportsmanship” is defined as an aspiration that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors.
Unruly, rude and offensive fans should be escorted from the game. It ruins the atmosphere and the game for anyone else. So this year, please keep it classy. Be aware of what you’re saying, who is looking up and at you and just focus on the game. Keep the negative, the inappropriate and absolutely the foul language at home!
Good luck to all the teams, I’ll see you on the sidelines!
Kristy Troyer is a lifetime resident of Mayes County, a graduate of Pryor High School, owner/photographer of Kristy Troyer Photography and a proud fan of the Adair Warriors, Chouteau Wildcats, Locust Grove Pirates, Pryor Tigers and Salina Wildcats.
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