This past weekend I fielded a phone call, broadcast a high school football game from the press box and enjoyed my niece's soccer game from a playground.
A mom called to get my opinion on how to react to her son saying that his junior varsity coach intentionally kicked a ball at his private area (with success). She also told me the son immediately responded by "getting him back."
I told her that his reaction was the first indication to me that maybe it was done in jest, rather than to harm -- although I'm sure it hurt.
But I also suggested she keep an eye on this coach's behavior and an ear open to her son's stories. The bottom line is no coach at any level should ever intentionally kick or throw a ball at a player that has any chance to do any harm.
I then went from talking about those malicious acts to the press box for the Friday night football game of the week. Even if it wasn't under the lights, it would still be the biggest game in town. The fact that it was under the lights made it even bigger -- of a hangout, that is.
I saw more fans not watching the football game than watching. My bet is half the students in attendance didn't know the score at halftime.
I was upset by this at first, but then I figured there were a lot of places they could be that would be a lot worse. At least here, they were in a controlled environment with friends, just like my then-teenage son used to be whenever he attended his high school's games.
All for the kids
The next morning, I went to see my favorite sporting event of the weekend -- my niece's soccer game.
Despite having to watch it from an adjacent playground while chasing my toddler, I saw two great ideas.
The first is that every player in the age group had the same colored shirt, with one team wearing pinnies. This enabled the league to ensure each player had the correct size, rather than not having enough in a size of one particular color but too many in a different one. It was nice to see kids in shirts that fit.
The second idea was from the coach. After the game, before the kids even left the field, he had all his parents come out and form a human tunnel like you would see a bride and groom go through at a wedding. The kids ran and crawled through several times. There was more laughter and excitement than at any point during the game.
My guess is next weekend every team on the complex will be doing it. The laughter and smiles were a nice reminder of why we get involved in youth sports, no matter what our role.
Contact columnist Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.