Bleacher Bits: When parental pride goes hardcore
We've all seen it at least once while attending area sporting events. A proud parent of an athlete yells support for their child while he or she steps into the batter's box, up to the free-throw line or onto the gridiron.
And then the child/athlete responds with a roll of their eyes, which is often followed by a post-game conversation along the lines of, "Mom, dad, don't do that."
My own step-daughter had made her feelings known, and that is why I was noticeably stoic at athletic events she was participating in. Well that, and the fact I was most likely "on the job" while the game was going on, which precluded me from making faces at her under the basket when she was at the free-throw line.
Parents of athletes are often challenged to walk that line between supporting their child or embarrassing them.
Lawanda Ann Alford not only crossed over that line and then stepped back to erase it, but she perhaps established a new standard in how a parent should not act at a sporting event involving any of their children.
Alford is the mother of University of Southern Mississippi freshman quarterback Anthony Alford. As reported in the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger, last Saturday, Ms. Alford was escorted from the stands at M.M. Roberts Stadium and charged with a pair of misdemeanors after being arrested by Hattiesburg Police.
She was ordered to leave the stadium after getting into a loud argument with another fan who was critical of her son's performance during USM's 59-24 loss to Marshall.
Before leaving the game with an inured foot in the third quarter, Anthony Alford was just 9 of 21 passing for 65 yards, and had gained just 12 yards on 10 carries along with being sacked three times.
In the spirit of fairness, the Clarion Ledger report does not address what may have been said by the other fan, and I have known a few football fans to get a tad testy when their team was not performing up to expectations.
So while I would be inclined to offer Ms. Alford a mulligan for her behavior since the other person involved may have crossed a line as well, any sympathy I felt disappeared when I read it was not the first time it had happened.
Last spring, Lawanda came out of the stands and onto the field at one of Anthony's high school baseball games after he was ejected for arguing a called third strike.
So kids, before you think your parents' sole purpose in life is to embarrass you at sporting events, it could be much worse.
Moms and dads will continue to be proud, but you will not know this feeling until you have children of your own, and things are going to come up in your life where that parental support means the world to you.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.