Often, teams will put on a tournament together, but our Coach, whom I love, but with whom I often disagree, thought it would be better to do it ourselves so we would not have to split the proceeds. So, 11 parents, many with other children participating in summer sports, had to put on a five day tournament single-handedly. It was exhausting. It was sheer, unadulterated hell.
The Moms slogged through mud and rain between our two concession stands and tried to keep the players and siblings dry. They stood over a hot grille and a spitting fryer in crushing heat and humidity. They wiped up shit. They unplugged toilets. They picked sanitary products up off of the restroom floor. At one point, a tornado passed through only a couple miles away from where we were. The resultant wind lifted our makeshift concession tent off the ground, and blew all the candy, chips, peanuts, and sunflower seeds all over the park. One poor Mom was manning it all by herself at the time. Luckily, quite a few kind spectators rushed to help her and everything turned out okay. But it was a big mess to clean up.
The Dads worked from dawn until well after dark trying to keep the fields dry and safe so that games could resume. They raked red mud and spread megatons of quick dry. They all ended up with bleeding blisters and excruciating back spasms.
And after all that work, we failed to raise the total amount necessary to take our boys to the World Series. It rained almost the entire weekend, which drastically affected our concession sales, as well as the proceeds from the other venues I had set up. The Speed Pitch, (kids have their pitches measured with a radar gun) which I had planned to go on all weekend, and which I was counting on to net a fair amount of cash, could only take place for a total of about two hours.
The jumpy thing never showed up. I still don't know why. I haven't had time to call and ask. My snow cone people had a scheduling snafu and weren't able to make it. My action photgrapher showed up, but some of his staff had a motorcycle crash on the day we had the most games scheduled, so only a few got shot.
AND...we had to pay the Umpires a $35 per game, two Umpires per game. That's a lot of cash outlay.
In the end, we did cover expenses and ended up with a little left over. But it wasn't nearly enough to make it worth all the time and effort we invested. We fell about $3,000 short of our $12,000 goal. The World Series starts July 7 and we have District Championships this weekend. We will have no time to do another car wash, or a hot dog sale, or sell more raffle tickets. We're screwed.
Several of the boys on the team are from families who cannot afford the travel and hotel expenses to stay there for a week. If they don't go, nobody goes, because we won't have a full team.
I feel like this is my fault, even though rationally I know it's not, so I'm feeling really shitty, but I'm also damned mad. It's not fair that they have practiced and played sometimes 3 games a day several days in a row in this goddamned Georgia heat or pouring rain for months, only to be told that they can't go to the World Fricken Series.
I'm mad that my team parents didn't bring in more sponsorships when they knew we had kids who really needed everyone to step up. I'm mad that the stupid ass weather couldn't just cooperate for ONCE. I'm mad that teams attending the tournament griped about our no cooler rule (which is pretty standard at tournaments) and then ordered pizza instead of buying our hamburgers to spite us. We didn't charge a gate fee and we didn't charge for parking (which is also standard at tournaments) and they still couldn't buy a fucking hot dog.
Do you know how many tournaments I have attended this summer and happily forked over a $7 per person per day gate fee for myself and Diminutive One and ate crappy meat by-product franks, and drank pissy tasting bottled water that some Lube Oil place donated and that they sold for $2 a bottle and did it with a fucking smile because it's for the KIDS???
So, umm, remember all the heartwarming crap I said about baseball? Forget all that. I fucking hate baseball.
And I hope that bitch from Buckhead that wore her Coach sandals to the game had to throw them away and her snotty hellspawn that made sport out of being mean to Diminutive One who just wanted someone to play with while his mother was basically neglecting him to man the fryer get hit by a schoolbus or something. Okay, no I don't. Well, maybe just one of those short busses.
I'm going to take a hot bath. I may stay in there until the World Series is over. Whomever said that failure builds character never had to tell 11 11 year old boys that they are not going to the World Series.
(Mom, I am Paypal'ing you $2 for the 8 really bad swears in this post, but I'm too depressed right now to repent.)