Fair Play: Lessons kids can teach parents, fans

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 9 edition)
THE cops assigned to help keep the peace during the Cesafi football finals entered the football field, when there was a brief commotion involving the University of San Carlos and the University of Southern Philippines players.

I know they had good intentions, but they shouldn’t have done that. And that was the reaction of some of the Cebu Football Association officials, too. Though it looked ugly from the spectators’ point of view, the fraces was under control. The refs, and more importantly, the players themselves, got the few hot-headed players to check their emotions.

Yep, the cops assigned for the football tournament had it easy. They just sat there and I think their mere presence was enough to deter zealous folks from createing trouble.

But in the Sacred Heart School-Jesuit-Ateneo de Cebu vs. Don Bosco Technological Center match, they sure did had to earn their keep for a bit.

Nope, there was no trouble from the players, but from the spectators. From what I saw from the officials table, a section of the Don Bosco supporters got a bit carried away with their goal celebration and cheering that the cops and tanods had to be called in to make sure the two groups stay separated. I saw, too, a man and a woman—yep, two adults—get into a heated exchange.

To be fair, there were cooler heads from both sides who tried to make sure their fans won’t cross the line.

As one official said, “In college football, you’d expect trouble to come from the players. In high school football, it’s the parents. It’s worst in elementary football.

Kulang na lang magsumbagay ang mga parents.”

He was exaggerating, especially about the last part. But it’s true. That’s why there’s a running joke about football moms, right?

Cheering is good. Jeering isn’t. But these are concepts, for some, that are quickly forgotten when the whistle is blown. Yes, it’s due to passion. They just love their schools but you can be passionate without crossing the line, right?

I mean, in the first half of the high school finals, I sat in a section where there were Don Bosco supporters to my left and back, and Ateneo supporters to my front. There sure wasn’t any hint of trouble.

I hope the parents paid attention after the match. When disappointed SHS-J players, who sat with heads bowed in the field, were approached by their DBTC rivals to be cheered. They show that it may be the finals, but it’s just a game—no need to forget values like sportsmaship because of a heated rivalry.


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