Humor by Greg Schwem

I spent the downtime between Christmas and New Year's engaged in athletic pursuits, meaning I watched football on television. While my beloved Bears frittered away a season on my flatscreen, my trusty iPad monitored other games via live streaming video. This is known as "couch potato multitasking."

Eventually I extricated myself from my sofa sectional long enough to attend a few youth sports competitions, some of which startlingly resembled what I witnessed on TV. Both the NFL and hockey played by 8-year-olds feature high-speed collisions, multiplayer pileups and spectators screaming, "Hey ref, call the (bad word) game fair!" "That was interference, you moron!" and "Open your eyes, (another bad word)!"

I also watched two 9-year-olds compete in a United States Tennis Association-sanctioned tournament. While the volume level was considerably lower, I still heard plenty of profanity and some, "Really? No way was that ball out!" Again, not from the kids playing, but from the parents watching.

Scenes like this are why it's time to harness my beloved streaming video technology that allows me to watch a live South African cricket match if I so choose. Venture capitalists listen up! I'm searching for backers for my new site, Here's how it works:

All youth sports for ages 5-14 -- heck, let's include pre-schoolers just to be safe -- will be streamed live via my site. Parents will no longer attend games; instead, they must drop their children off and then retreat to a Wi-Fi-enabled location.

From there just log on, find your son or daughter's game via a drop-down box and watch the entire event live on your mobile device. Feel free to yell and swear at what you perceive to be an injustice but remember: You're going to look pretty stupid screaming at your Kindle Fire while sitting on a loveseat at Starbucks.

For those of you who just HAVE to be part of the action, don't worry. The website will have several interactive features -- including "live chat," where you can dispute calls and make verbal threats in real time. Save time by memorizing some chat room acronyms. Face it, it's much easier to type RGYHOOYB than the long-form, more cumbersome "REF, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT!"

If you are one of those parents who likes to talk trash about the opposing team -- yes, I'm talking to you, soccer dad, whom I once heard yell, "At least we don't teach OUR kids to throw elbows" -- my website will contain multiple message boards. Create your own thread and vent all you want. Give the thread a catchy title like, "The Pink Power are the dirtiest team in Pee-Wee basketball. Agree?" Thankfully, is password-protected so the Pink Power players won't be aware of you.

Not sold on the idea? Think of the upside! Mom, you will never suffer the humiliation of being ordered to leave an event by a referee or a coach who has had enough of your constant chirping from your lawn chair. Law-enforcement officers can concentrate on keeping the entire town safe, since they will no longer have to break up fights between two dads at a Little League game. All games will be much shorter, too, since play won't be stopped for red cards and sideline warnings.

Finally, to reward your children for doing their best, win or lose, will contain vouchers for free post-game sodas or snacks. Coaches, simply click on a reward and the coupon goes right to your cellphone. Parents, half an hour after the game ends, pick your child up at the local ice cream shop or McDonald's. You'll find your kids laughing and commiserating with the friends they've made on the team.

Better yet, 30 minutes should be enough time for you to calm down.

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

Humor & Satire

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