Saturday night at the Foothill-Dublin football game, I spent some time talking with legendary former Foothill coach Matt Sweeney about the kids playing sports again.
Sweeney mentioned that recently he had ridden his bike in Livermore, came upon Max Baer Park and stopped when he saw some youth sports teams practicing.
"It was just so great seeing kids out there playing sports again," Sweeney said. "It felt great to sit there and just watch."
For people like Sweeney -- and I count myself in the same group -- seeing kids of all ages (sorry high school athletes, you are all kids to me) playing sports again has been so refreshing.
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, seeing the athletes out there competing is a heart-warming experience. But as I also touched on two weeks back, there is still some of the vibe missing.
Foothill won the game 36-35 over Dublin, converting a two-point conversion with 1:30 left in the game. In normal times, it would have been a raucous scene.
The parents were excited and going crazy, but without the students, it was a level below normal.
On the negative side -- and it is really hard to find a negative now that the kids are competing -- it also brought out how negative parents can be during high school sporting events.
Without the students and the bands, parents' voices carry probably more than many wish they did. Criticizing the officials is part of the game, unfortunately, and I think most officials realize it is the nature of the business. But the stuff coming out of some parents' mouths would make some dockworkers blush.
The officials in the game made sure to leave the field together in a bunch, expressing concerns for their safety. Pleasanton police officers at the game stayed longer than normal as well.
The officials are not getting rich doing these games and maybe it's time to realize if there were no officials, there would be no games.
Let me say that again -- no officials, no games.
Maybe some parents who seem to make a lifestyle out of blaming the officials for their child losing a game need to take a serious look in the mirror.
Trust me, some of the stuff I hear coming out of the stands, especially during basketball games, seems like it could only be fiction. These parents need to take a serious look in the mirror.
As a player growing up, I looked at it this way: if I was perfect in a game, then maybe I might find a reason to blame the refs. But guess what? I was never perfect in any sporting event I played.
There has never been one time -- as a player, parent or writer -- I have seen that officials have cost a team a game.
I heard nonsense from both sides of the field Saturday night, and for me, it took something away from the exciting ending.
What pulled it all back together for me came at the end of the night when I was standing by the gate into the football stadium.
A Dublin football player came up to the gate to leave carrying his gear. He looked at the group of us standing there and said, "Thank you all for being here tonight. You all have a great rest of your weekend."
Pure class and it gave me faith in the future. Yes, there were some questionable calls, but here was a player on the losing side of the night appreciating the gift he and his teammates had been given.
Honestly, it brought a bit of tears to my eyes. I just wish some parents could act as maturely and appreciate that our high school kids are playing again.
Send in your results!
It gives me great pleasure to say "Coaches, send in your results!"
I know there is no "official" standings, no league titles, no playoffs, but the important thing -- especially for the seniors -- is that the kids are playing!
Help me create some memories for these kids that have had a rough last two years of high school.
Here is the deal. Get one of your parents to collect the data from each game you play and send it to me by Sundays at noon.
It is not hard as all I need is who you played, the result and any pertinent highlights. You don't have to be a writer -- send me the details and I will put it together.
Send your results to me at [email protected] and together, we can make some memories.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly.