CRITIQUE from the sidelines

I COULDN'T BELIEVE the words coming out of her mouth—well, almost couldn't. I was sitting next to my friend Barb, while we watched our daughters' varsity soccer game. Her loud, angry criticisms, directed toward the field, went way beyond the line of civility. And I must admit, I had been guilty of this less-than-stellar behavior myself.

When my daughter first started playing soccer as a preteen, it was all about fun. She enjoyed it, and so did I. And for the most part, the only calls from the sidelines were shouts of encouragement.

Later on, as school sports became more competitive, things started going south. Slots on the junior varsity and varsity teams were prized commodities. Positive support from the sidelines began to fade in the aggressive atmosphere of competition. That's when soccer became more about the score.

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AFTER KATRINA—the year of hope reclaimed
August 28, 2006

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