By Kristin van Ogtrop
January 07, 2015
Christopher Coppola

Dear _________ Coach,

First, thank you for coaching my son’s ________ team. I have never been a coach myself, but imagine the job involves long hours, recalcitrant/sleepy/hormonal/dim-witted kids and weather that is too cold/hot/rainy/windy to make your ________ team as effective as it can be.

And the parents! Let me just say we mean well. And when we are making a lot of noise on the sidelines, you really should not take it personally. We aren’t yelling at you, we’re yelling at the ref.

Really, Coach, I am grateful for all that you do, especially because I know my son can sometimes be a real ___________.

The reason for my letter today is because I have a little problem. Like many parents of your players, at the beginning of the season I carefully put the entire home game schedule on my work calendar, so that I and anyone who is privy to my calendar (which somehow seems like everyone; I blame Edward Snowden) can see the afternoons I have to leave early for a _________ game. It is a lovely system. And it seems utterly and completely broken.

Here is how the games I put on my calendar this season have turned out so far:

1) Rained out

2) Played, mysteriously, at 10:30 am after being scheduled for 4:30 pm

3) Scheduled for Tuesday after being originally scheduled for Monday, then “postponed” on Tuesday morning because there was no available ref

4) Rescheduled for date TBD for reason I never learned

5) Cancelled because the other school, as it turned out, did not have a ________ team after all

So I’m writing, Dear Coach, to make one simple request: Can you, God, school administrators, and the coaches of all competing schools please get together to help me and all busy, overscheduled parents­—Moms or Dads, working or stay-at-home—make it to one, just one, game this season?

Yours truly,