Today in the San Francisco Chronicle C.W. Nevius's column is on the front page. It's about an incident that happened in Richmond, a town nearby. A soccer referee got walloped in the head by a coach. Apparently, the referee has worked my children's games:
On the Berkeley side, you have moms in folding chairs with coffee cups and a novel.
The world of soccer is a different place for Latino teams. This is so insanely complicated an issue. It brings up race, parenting, the whole shebang, and in a town where both race and parenting obsess us. It disgusts me that a coach for a kids' team would get violent. It's insane. On the other hand, I feel kind of embarrased at my smug assurance that I'm doing the right thing by not being involved in that competetive world. You should us Berkeley parents at the games. We cheer both sides, we shout "great job, Panther goalie" when the girl has just smacked back our daughter's best effort at making a goal all year. We are so careful to be even-tempered and uncompetitive. But the real truth is that on the few days when I manage to rouse myself from my paper and watch the game, what I really want to do is stamp the little blond Panther monster's head into the dirt with my daughter's cleats. My natural impulse is to shriek "KILL 'EM!" at the top of my lungs.
And at the same time I could not care less. My kids only play soccer because they insist on it. I refused for years to waste my Saturdays at the games. I don't even like to get dressed before noon. How can I be expected to be out on the field at 8? More to the point, I don't want my kids to be athletic. They are supposed to be brainy and nerdy, and completely unpopular. Shunned by the athletes in school. And there they are, strong and fit and running up and down the field. I don't understand it.
Well, at least I can comfort myself with the thought that they both SUCK at soccer.