Cheap Seats

A salute to volunteers (no, not the ones from Tennessee…)

I was going through a pile of stuff that needed to be filed when I came across a card…it was written to my wife and I from one of the parents of the last team I managed in our local Little League. My wife, bless her heart, was always the team mom and the scorekeeper. It thanked us for making them feel more comfortable as parents and despite of all the things that were going on in our lives (we were going through some tough times not only within our league but also outside of it too) we did a tremendous job with the kids.

That to me symbolizes the good things and the bad things about the most indispensable part of sports leagues and events, volunteers. These volunteers make not only the leagues we play in or events we attend that much better, but also make a huge impact on our lives off the field and in some cases several years later. One of my Little League baseball coaches was a restaurant owner as well, and I got my first job washing dishes and bussing tables at his restaurant.

But there seem to be less and less folks volunteering their time. A lot of it is because there’s less and less time we have to volunteer. But for those who volunteer for sports leagues, the frustration in dealing with parents not to mention the politics of the leagues themselves sour people on continuing to volunteer as well.  Part of it, as well, is adults who don’t like being told how to do things and instead of working towards a solution they just throw up their hands and quit. Or, there are adults who take this advice and change their style but because they ended up on the wrong side of the politics of leagues it doesn’t really matter, and little if anything is made of the fact they took their advice and implemented it.  But fans of our opponents noticed how positive I was and commended me for it…oops…did that slip out???

And where I sit from the cheap seats I see all their hard work on the field and know that they spend so much more off of it. It’s not just the practice or game time…it’s also the prep time that goes into practice or games. It’s also the first aid and concussion awareness classes they take and also the organizational time. So next time you are at a sporting event, or event of any type, seek out a volunteer whether it be your son or daughter’s coach or someone signing folks up for a 5K and thank them for all they are doing. That card I referred to in the first paragraph (and the complements from our opponent’s fans as well I accidentally referred to)I received over two years ago I might have set aside but I’ve never forgotten them.

PAUL’S PREDICTIONS, WEEK 4

Another great week…the only thing that kept me from going perfect for a second straight week was a field goal. There’s only three games to pick this week as Oregon has a bye (only a slightly easier game for the Ducks than their first two “contests”)…

WASHINGTON 40, Idaho State 14

WASHINGTON STATE 32, Idaho 10

OREGON STATE 35, San Diego State 31

Last week: 3-1   Overall: 9-2

Paul Williams

I am a sports nut who has tried to make the transition from athlete to athletic....err....supporter of my two children and their athletic endeavours. I am also a former sports reporter for The Arlington Times, Marysville Globe, The Skagit Argus and The Coeur d'Alene Press. Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter (@PDub4170).