If it's Saturday and you live in Weston, Florida, Shhhh! Be quiet!
All across America, parents take their kids to soccer games, hockey practice, American peewee football, swimming lessons and the like. Often they stick around to root for their kids and the home team. Or, more and more often, to jeer instead of cheer. Not just parents, but also coaches, are seen screaming at their kids, heaping abuse on opposing players, cursing referees.
Enough, said Weston's local youth soccer association. It declared a recent Saturday Silent Saturday on which kids would play just for fun. Parents and coaches were told to watch, smile or frown if they like -- and zip their lips. No screaming, no taunting, no pressure on little Johnny and Jane. This day at least, there'd be no -- as the administrators put it -- spreading negativity, which can lead to fighting, on and off the field.
According to the local newspaper, Silent Saturday games turned out quiet as a cemetery -- save for one whoop from a fellow who said he hadn't gotten the memo. Plans call for at least one Silent Saturday next year as well, though lots of parents asked the soccer commissioner to schedule even more hush-hush games.
Critics point to recent brawls involving players and fans at U-S pro basketball and college football games as PROOF that anything goes in today's intensely competitive American sports. But not in Weston, Florida, on Silent Saturday