As parents our devotion, dedication and belief in our children can often make us blind to what the outside world sees and that we can go way overboard sometimes. I make this statement in regards to sports and for the purpose of this segment I will limit it to high school athletics of which I have tremendous experience as a long term observer.

The truth is many parents are simply nuts and probably have no idea that we often laugh at their antics while at the same time feeling embarrassed for their children who, by the way are really embarrassed by their parents behavior.

I can’t tell you how many football, basketball, wrestling and baseball games and matches I have attended over nearly four decades but it’s a large enough number to know the more things change the more they remain the same. Years ago some of us used to have what we called an “All Father Team” of basketball dads who often became the focus of attention at their own son’s games.

Loud, obnoxious, boisterous...whatever you wanted to call it they screamed at their kids, teammates, opponents, coaches and of course referees. On that rare occasion when they were actually tossed from the gym everyone around them breathed a sigh of relief including other family members.

Some of them simply can’t just root and support and appear to have some type of split personality. Before a game they are just regular people, cool and calm but once the whistle blows they take on a demeanor that makes those within ear-shot wish they were in a different section. From screaming at the officials to second-guessing coaches their behavior should be unacceptable but too often is accepted as being just part of the game.

To be honest many times it’s a case of “no harm, no foul” but at times it crosses the line when it’s directed at the players on the court or on the field. That includes attacking their own child which some seem to do with gusto, criticizing their play and not caring what others hear and think.

By the way the poor behavior often extends past the final buzzer and we in the media are constantly dealing with parents who feel part of our job is to listen to their complaints. Usually it centers on how their child is not getting enough playing time and would be a star if only the coach used him or her more. The truth is most parents are lousy talent scouts when it comes to their kids and would be much better off just cheering their accomplishments, big or small.