EDITORIAL: Friday night manners

York Dispatch

There's nothing else like the opening night of high school football season.

The bands are marching, the cheerleaders are leaping, and the concession stands are hopping.

And oh yeah, the players are running up and down the field with reckless abandon.

Put it all together, and you can practically taste the excitement in the air.

It should be a joyous time.

Sometimes, however, the enthusiasm of the occasion can get the best of some of us.

You can almost bet that sometime during the evening, someone will cross the line from exhilarated into unpleasant, or even obnoxious.

It happens every year.

A fan will hurl epithets from the stands.

A player will take a cheap shot at an opposing player.

A coach will berate an official for a call.

Loutish actions by a player or a coach can sometimes be excused. After all, in the heat of competition, emotions can sometimes get away from any of us.

Boorish behavior from spectators in the bleachers, however, is simply unacceptable.

Fans are there to watch, cheer and enjoy. Nothing more.

Hurling insults and jeers at players, coaches or officials is just not good form, especially when peppered with profane language.

Fans would do well to remember that the friends and family of those individuals they are disparaging could very well be sitting a few seats away from them.

In rare instances, it can even lead to some rather nasty confrontations.

That's not what high school sports should be about.

It should be about celebrating the often amazing athletic achievements of young boys and girls on the cusp of adulthood.

We need to remember that we're all a part of a greater York County community. We shouldn't divide ourselves into warring factions along school district lines.

So Friday night, enjoy the games and cheer as loudly as you want for your favorite team and players.

But please leave the insults and jeers at home.