EDITORIAL: Make it a point to follow the golden rule when cheering on football Fridays
At 7 p.m. Friday, another high school football season will get started.
As normal, there will be plenty of pageantry. Bands will play fight songs, cheerleaders will leap into the night sky and fans will scream their heads off.
They’ll be there in the thousands at stadiums all across York County to watch a bunch of fired-up teenage boys take part in a true piece of Americana.
That’s because Friday night high school football games have become much more than simple athletic contests. They’ve become a part of our community fabric.
It’s a chance to catch up with old friends, put aside our differences and problems and cheer on the alma mater.
There’s plenty to love about Friday night football.
Boorish behavior: There’s one thing, however, we all claim to hate about the games — the boorish behavior that seems to crop up every year.
Unfortunately, it's become almost commonplace.
Almost no one is immune from this plague. Fans, coaches and players are all guilty of crossing the line when it comes to behaving badly.
This year, we should all make a concerted effort to make sure that we’re acting appropriately when howling in support of our favorite team.
Let’s think before we yell.
When you’re ready to lambaste the coach for poor play calling or sitting your son, bite your tongue and ask yourself a simple question: How would you feel if that coach was your son or husband or father and you heard someone blasting him in front of hundreds of your friends and neighbors?
You’d be pretty darned angry, wouldn’t you? Rightfully so.
And when you feel the urge to publicly berate a teenage boy who is trying his best while performing in a highly-charged, public environment, pause for a moment and think to yourself: Is this what a reasonable, mature adult should be doing?
We’re pretty sure what your answer would be.
Coaches, players not immune: Finally, when the coaches and players get caught up in the heat of battle, it’s understandable that their emotions will run high. Here’s hoping, however, that they can rein in those feelings before they explode into unsportsmanlike, or even violent, actions.
Coaches and players need to be especially vigilant when dealing with the officials. They need to remember that the men in stripes are people, too, with wives and children and parents. Treat them like you would like to treated.
You can never go wrong following the golden rule.
Keep your cheers positive: We’re not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. Whooping it up at a high school football game is the God-given right of every American.
Just keep your screams positive and supportive, not negative and degrading.
It will make Friday night football an even more enjoyable experience for everyone in the stadium.