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I was honored recently to attend the inaugural home football game at Patriot High School in Nokesville, even though I was there to cheer on the visiting Brooke Point High School Black-Hawks.
The Pioneers put on a first-class performance as they earned their first varsity football win in the school's history. However, after observing the behavior of some of the other Brooke Point fans, I am somewhat embarrassed to be associated with the school.
During the game, some of my fellow BPHS fans were eating peanuts from the concession stand. They dropped the shells in the bleachers and crushed them under foot. The young children commented that the home team "sure will have a big mess to clean up."
Not only did their parents fail to correct their behavior and ask them to clean up after themselves, they seemed to encourage the children's behavior by saying, "If they didn't want a mess, they shouldn't sell [peanuts]."
It pained my wife and me to observe the disrespect and disdain with which these people treated the Patriot High School football team and fans. With this sort of behavior from fans and family members, it comes as no surprise that that only three of the Brooke Point players kneeled during on-field injury time-outs (the entire Pioneer football team and both cheer squads took a knee each time, however).
At the beginning of each game, the announcer reminds us that football games are supposed to be teaching our young men and women about responsibility and sportsmanship. As parents and fans, it is our responsibility, too.
When ours is the visiting team at another school's stadium, we should be putting out best foot forward to represent our school and our county well, behaving as guests in a friend's home.