Yesterday Zach’s lacrosse team played a game in which they were beaten and beaten badly. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and BOOM. Six goals, one right after the other went in the net and our boys were suddenly down 7-1 in the first quarter. It was not pretty and it was not a fun game to watch, but watch we did. And that’s when I noticed a phenomenon I’ve decided I will forever call “Whiney-Loser Syndrome.” This particular syndrome seems to happen when a team is behind and there’s no hope for a comeback.
My kids have been on both sides of that type of game. The type where they’re either so far ahead or so far behind there is a zero percent chance of a team being able to rebound and make a surge for a win. It’s a fun place to be when you’re on the winning end of that type of game. It’s not such a fun place to be when you’re on the other side.
Yesterday our boys were definitely on the other side of a win. And it sucked. It was when the other team was up by six goals that I began to hear it. The low rumble of the whine. “Hey, ref…call it both ways!” Hey, ref…are actually watching this game?” And my personal favorite “Hey ref….get off of your knees. You’re blowing this game!” Yep, that one came out of my mouth. And that’s when I realized. I sounded like a whiney loser.
None of the parents from the other team were complaining about the reffing. They were happy with the calls. They were winning.
So could it actually be a syndrome? Whiny-loser syndrome. I think it could be. I posed this question to Stan last night. Does the losing team whine at the refs more? He said he thinks they do. He went on to say that last night the refs were calling more on our kids because our kids were committing more penalties. They were scrapping and trying to pull themselves out of their funk, but the harder they tried the worse they got. The other team was crisp and clean in their play. Our boys were not. So most of their penalties well were deserved.
But whiney loser syndrome does happen. I’ve seen it all too often. The parents and players on the team that is getting the tar beat out of them see everything wrong with the refs calls, especially because those calls, more often than not, go against their players.
After last night I think I want to opt out of the syndrome. I want to teach my kids to be good sports. Most of the time it’s not the fault of the refs. Most of the time when a team is losing a game it’s because they’re being outplayed, outmanned, outgunned. That was last night’s game. Maybe the reffing was a little, tiny bit one-sided, but for the most part our kids deserved the penalties they drew. And I didn’t need to be whiney about it.
Oh, for the love of my children…