When I was a kid, there was a little league coach who was widely considered the best around and, if you wanted to win, you had to get on his team. People would move just so their kids could play on his team. I made the team one year, but it sucked! To be fair, my dad had been friends with the guy since HS and I think that played a big part in me making the team. I was the regional leader in stolen bases that year, though.
The guy acted like we were in the major leagues instead of 4th & 5th graders and was absolutely brutal in practice and during games (both verbally and in the punishments he would give). Miss a throw or a catch and he would rip you apart verbally and then make you run 10 laps around the field at full speed or let the rest of the team punch you in the arms. Of course, we won all our games and went to some big regional tournaments, etc. A few years later, he apparently lost his cool one day and hit a kid. When that happened, people started coming out of the woodwork with complaints about the way he ran things (no one dared complain before because they had wanted on the team so bad to begin with). He got sued, had some criminal charges pressed against him and was banned from coaching.
Last Christmas (20+ years since his little league incident), I was visiting my parents when he stopped by to wish my dad a Merry Christmas. He looked really old and just didn't seem right. They went in the other room to talk in private for awhile and when they came out, he was crying and gave my dad an uncomfortably long hug. After he left, my dad told me that he was divorced and unemployed and that he had actually come to ask if my dad could help him pay his rent that month so he would be evicted. Apparently, he had somehow tied so much of his life and self-image into that stupid little league coaching thing that, when he lost that, it was one of the major catalysts that started him on a downward spiral of substance abuse, infidelity, and other things that totally ruined his life. It was shocking to say the least and incredibly sad. I was so scared of him as a kid, but he was just an empty shell last December.
People, sports are just a game. It's not only the people trying to live vicariously through their children that have problems, but even fans of sports teams way too often take things much too far. Let's try and keep a little perspective. You're talking about other people playing a game for crying out loud. It's not life and death and it really doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things. Is it really worth losing sleep over if BYU loses to Utah, or is it worth disliking your neighbor because he wears red? Sure, I'm guilty too, but the thread below reminded me of this story and just kind of made me get some temporary perspective again.