THE BLOG

A Dose of Hindsight and Being 'That' Football Dad

14/12/2015 09:32 GMT | Updated 11/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Seize the day

Carpe diem. Live for the moment. No regrets. That's me. I'm very good at looking forward rather than back. I mean, if you spent all your time thinking about the mistakes you've made, there wouldn't be much time left to contemplate the glorious list of future accomplishments that are surely mapped out in your future.

Haunting, childhood regrets

But every so often, I do something that breaks through my natural state of happy oblivion. I'm still traumatised by the bird's nest I pulled off a tree in 1974. Why wasn't I nicer to that unhappy boy in my year at school? And why did it take me about seven years to learn some basic skills about running a business?

I've exhibited an appalling bit of parenting recently which has been stopping me sleeping. It goes like this...

A keen football dad

My 10 year old son is a good and keen footballer. He plays for a team and it's getting quite competitive. He was playing an away cup match a couple of weeks ago, the usual Sunday morning stuff. The referee didn't turn up and so one of the dads from the home team stepped in. You can see where this is going...

Our team has a pretty raucous bunch of dads supporting them - that 20% of them are Americans is one of my excuses. The ref, of course, was awful. I mean, either through an extreme case of unconscious bias or being a complete arse, he gave every single decision to his son's team.

I'm the idiot? Well I'm not alone...

There was plenty of shouting from the side-lines, probably too much! Of course, we were thrashed by a mixture of good play and bad refereeing.

As the match finished, I found myself striding across the pitch to confront the referee. There was a fair amount of catcalling even before I arrived. "He's coming to speak to the ref!?" being one of the politer comments from the opposing parents. And of course I achieved absolutely zilch. What an appalling example to set to my son.

What an idiot - me, not the ref. Actually, me and the ref, but that's beside the point...

Cathartic enough

Now I'm full of remorse and hate myself; hindsight is a wonderful thing. Aggressive dads have no place at kids' football matches, as I knew perfectly well before the event, and I know even better now.

I usually find a silver lining, but I'm struggling this time. Although maybe just blogging about it will help exorcise the memory. And if so, let's hope the referee pulls his finger out this weekend!