Guest Post: Teri of Snarkfest on Stupid Silent Saturday

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc
photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc


You probably know Teri Biebel as Mike Rowe’s secret lover.

But she’s also a blogger, and a dang good one. She’s one of the first I read when one day I decided to have a go at this gig. But she’s not famous for being one of my first blog reads. See, she crushed on a celebrity, campaigned, and then met the son of a butcher. There’s pictures on her blog all buddy-buddy with the star of Dirty Jobs.

It’s not like I’ve dreamed of this with, say, Ingrid, or anything.

Teri’s probably smiling right now reading this.

She tackles a topic with toughness. Her writing is also featured in books, “I Just Want to Pee Alone” and “Life Well Blogged.” She’s on the CD today to talk about a problem and a solution that is a problem: Silent Saturday. See, Teri and I both hate Silent Saturday. I’ve participated in one as a coach; I know now how a nipple feels on a man. Useless.

And here for no apparent reason.

I couldn’t instruct my players. I couldn’t encourage my players.

I get the premise – so parents won’t scream admonishment from the sideline. Or berate their kids. Or other people’s kids, for that matter. At least there’s a field between them and me, the coach. Poor kids get it right in the ear hole.

Give Teri a warm welcome, and be sure to check out her stuff at Snarkfest.

photo credit: photography.andreas via photopin cc
photo credit: photography.andreas via photopin cc


Silent Saturdays: How can I keep my big mouth shut?

A big thank you to Eli for letting me guest post here at Coach Daddy. And since Eli is a soccer coach, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss dealing with coaches on the never-popular Silent Saturday.

For those of you who don’t have kids who play or have played soccer, Silent Saturday is the one day during the youth soccer season where parents are not allowed to cheer or encourage their children, and coaches are not allowed to shout instruction to the players. It’s basically an hour of watching parents and coaches act like excitable mimes.

Let me be clear: I hated Silent Saturdays. My kids hated Silent Saturdays. I defy you to find ANYONE who actually ENJOYS Silent Saturdays. Why? Because kids (MY kids, anyway) enjoy the encouragement when they have the ball and are running down the field with it en route to score a goal. My kids LOVED hearing cheers when the ball went in on the opposing goalie, or when THEY were in goal and they blocked an awesome shot. What kid wouldn’t love the cheering from the sidelines when they scored the winning goal? Or blocked a possible tying or go-ahead shot? Seriously! When my girls were playing soccer, they LOVED the enthusiasm of not only their teammates but the praise from their coach and from the parents watching and cheering them on.

When my oldest played travel ball, we had one game against a team who had parents that were incredibly obnoxious, and I strongly believe that Silent Saturdays were invented BECAUSE of parents like that. Not a play went by without the other parents shouting insults at the refs, at our kids and our coach. When the parents from our team finally spoke up, the refs kicked BOTH sides’ parents off the field. I was working that day, but my husband called me at halftime and told me that they were all on the other side of the hill in the parking lot and NOT ONE PARENT was allowed on the field to watch the game. Just the girls, their coaches and the refs. It’s instances like this that, I suppose, require soccer clubs to put a practice like Silent Saturday in place, to keep the shouting and insults to a minimum. And it is parents like that who give the rest of us a bad name.

If parents knew how to behave like adults and not like preschool children when things don’t go their way, we wouldn’t have to have things like Silent Saturdays, which, in my opinion, takes all the fun out of watching kids play a game that they love. Can you imagine EVERY Saturday being Silent Saturday? Or worse, can you imagine if your child played in ANY sport and you weren’t EVER allowed to shout encouragement, “way to go, baby!” or “that’s okay, you’ll get ‘em next time!”?? I certainly can’t. And I hope I never have to.

Teri Biebel is the mind behind Snarkfest, thoughts from a totally snarkastic mom. She is the married mom of two teens, and she spends most of her time juggling schedules or chauffeuring kids. Described as sarcastic and snarky, her oldest labeled her as snarkastic to describe her. She’s been told she’s funny, and provided that’s not followed by ‘looking’ she’s fine with that. You can find her hanging out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

silence quote


  1. Woe – silent Saturdays. It is sad that some parents can’t behave and have to cause this… Nothing is better than being cheered on….

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sad state of affairs, eh Hilary? Even the vile stuff fuels my girls … they feed off that.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      Sad indeed, Hilary! And so frustrating for those of us who want nothing more than a great experience for our kids!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        We should be able to vote for the parents to silence. Like, only three parents can speak per half, per team.

  2. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Wow, from one extreme to another. I had no idea that this existed. I get that it’s next to impossible to police the parents who cause the problems, and that’s a shame.

    “Excitable mimes” did have me giggling this morning though 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And keep in mind you can still mouth things. And that the coach knows what letter is made when you start with your front teeth on your bottom lip.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      Glad I gave you a giggle!

  3. Lyn says:

    Two of my younger grandchildren play soccer. I couldn’t imagine going to one of their matches and not being able to scream myself hoarse.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It feels too sanitary, or like when there’s technical difficulties at the TV station.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      I had such a hard time keeping my mouth shut, Lyn. Completely frustrating.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        How *did* you do it, Teri? I bit the sides of my mouth. A lot.

  4. For the sheer fact alone that I am a talker and can’t keep my mouth shut for more then a minute at a time, this would surely not work for me either! But seriously sad that stuff like this has to be done, because there are parents out there that cannot control themselves during their kids sporting events.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The most damaging stuff to come out of parents’ mouths is the admonishment of their own children. Just let them play. I coached them up this week, and will coach them up next week. Sit back and watch.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      I totally get when you yell something to the ref when a child is put in some sort of danger. When the kids are playing so rough that injuries are not only possible but LIKELY to happen, then yes, vent your frustrations. But when the kids are out there enjoying themselves, let parents cheer and be encouraging.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d prefer the parents let me, the coach, handle the refs. Just give the kids a boost, and let me do the dirty work. And I will.

  5. ksbeth says:

    fab post teri, and i cannot even imagine you or eli for that matter, sitting by silently for a soccer game )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      i can’t even sit silently for dinner.

    2. Eli I can almost see making it through a Silent Saturday relatively easily. Teri? Not so much. She’s from Jersey for God’s sake! 😀

      1. Teri Biebel says:

        Watch your back, mister, or I’ll talk to a guy I know and bada bing, bada boom, next thing you know there’ll be a fearless leader swimmin’ with the fishies.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I just worry about what happens when she had to hold all that in, Tobe.

    3. Teri Biebel says:

      Pretty close to impossible for me!

  6. Caroline says:

    Silent Saturdays make as much sense as non-alcoholic wine. Come on people!! It’s grape juice! Call it grape juice! Xoxo, Teri. Thanks for having her CD.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      “Silent Saturdays make as much sense as non-alcoholic wine.” Amen to that. Or tofu burgers. It’s unAmerican. *Teri charged me $37 for the rights to run this post.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      Thanks for sharing Caroline! And don’t believe Eli. I only charged him $25. Drama queen.

  7. My older son is a t-ball guy and hasn’t started soccer yet, but holy sheot, I hope they don’t have this when he does. I can’t even keep quiet during the day–it’s why I write and blog so much. It’s a way of talking without opening your mouth…kind of like cheating, huh? 🙂 I’m an old fan of Teri’s and a somewhat new reader of Eli’s, so it was exciting to see you both in one place today!

    1. Teri Biebel says:

      Hey Shay!! Thanks for coming over to read, and don’t be surprised when T-ball guy starts soccer and they spring a Silent Saturday on you. Bring plenty of food to shove in your pie-hole to keep from being encouraging that day.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d be silent for food.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Maybe they’ll resort to Whisper Wednesdays somewhere along the way.

  8. I haven’t heard of Silent Saturdays, and I’m sure I would not like it either.
    What has become a typical collective punishment around here are “ghost games”. After a soccer game where hooligans didn’t know how to behave, the next game is taking place with no audience at all. Poor players – how are they supposed to control a couple of stupid “fans”?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Maybe we could put the hooligans and harsh parents in port-a-jons for a half and see how they like the view?

      1. Yeah, why not? How about this: pair up a hooligan and a parent and let them wear a get along shirt for the other half..?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Or let them wrestle.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      Sucks that the players have to suffer because of the jerks who can’t behave.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I think parents should be allowed to yell anything they want in Swahili, but can yell encouragement only in English.

  9. I think you’d have to duck tape my mouth shut. I just can’t imagine. And the coach doesn’t even get to coach???? That sounds more like a pick-up game to me.

    Some parents really are DBs with what they say, but just kick them out. Don’t punish everyone–especially not the kids. It’s not their fault some grown ups are assholes.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d say a vast majority of it is the pressure parents put on their own kids. They’re the most DB-ey with their own kids!

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      Very true, Jenn, and very heart-breaking. Not to mention frustrating!!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Or maybe that you have to pay $5 … or $15 … if you want to be allowed to cheer.

  10. Kim says:

    The entire idea of “silent Saturday” seems ridiculous!!! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t last 10 minutes on one of those days.

    1. Teri Biebel says:

      Especially if you’re a loud-mouth like me, Kim!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Do you think the concept might come from the same people who don’t want teams to have goalkeepers or keep score?

  11. laurie27wsmith says:

    There’s nothing more encouraging than someone cheering when you score. Err, hang on that doesn’t sound right and it’s a family blog and I’m bad but you know what I mean. Right? Well Eli does, I’m sure he’ll see the funny side. Seriously there’s nothing worse than obnoxious parents living their lives through their children’s sport. Now let’s extend this to: Sanctified Sundays, Muttering Mondays, Tittering Tuesdays, Waffling Wednesdays, etc.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I hate that stuff. Like, Taco Tuesdays. C’mon. Tacos are good on Wednesdays and Saturdays, too. White folk.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        How about cheap Tuesdays then? Everybody loves them right? Even us white folk.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Mate, we do cheap Tuesdays. We also do cheap Wednesdays, cheap Thursdays, cheap Fridays …

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Nothing beats cheap Mate.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      How about Fajita Fridays??? I’d be down with that.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        here I was trying to be smart and clever and everybody brings food into it. 🙂 When do we eat?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        People on the CD bring food into everything, mate. I love this place.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Mate you need to go and have a look at these blokes, they’re hardcore foodies, believe me.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        We do Pizza Friday (but we don’t call it that). Can we move Fajita Friday to Thursday instead? (and not call it Fajita Thursday, just eat?)

  12. momus83 says:

    The middle ground I like in our leagues in Massachusetts is a zero tolerance policy for any talking to the ref by parents or coaches. You are just not allowed to speak to them positively or negatively, or really engage in any other kind of bad behavior toward your players or other teams as well. But you can cheer for your team all you want which most kids do like. Although there is the occasional player who would like their parents to just cool it with the sometimes inappropriate “Good job!” – so know what your cheering about parents!

    One time in a town league, another coach asked at halftime everyone experiment with the Silent thing so it was dead silent for the second half. Felt really strange and the kids hated it.

    That said, way too many coaches overcoach, shouting too many instructions during play that kids can’t absorb on the run (and I’ve coached a bunch of different sports and have done too much of this myself). Most of the coaching should take place at practice and on the sidelines when kids are out and can hear and absorb what is being said. Some coaches seem to want to manage the players every movement and that does not help the kids play more freely and figure things out themselves. When non-coach parents start doing the same thing, then the kids really are on info overload.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      This is one of the best comments of all time.

      You’re right – so many coaches want to micro-manage every kid’s every move. It’s like a video game to them. And if they score by listening to every instruction, what a great coach! And if they fail because they didn’t do what the coach told them to do so loudly, well, then it’s on the player.

      I do my coaching during the week, at practice. Game day, it’s time to see where we are. I will remind a player of their position or to help out, or encourage them. But who can hear me when the bloke on the other side of our sideline won’t stop bellowing his instructions for every move?

      Who loses? the kids, for sure. Because mom and dad probably have other ideas. I’ve had parents tell the team who to take a penalty kick. Really? I’m over here, y’all. I’ll make that call.

  13. Nina says:

    Wow I thought at first this was a joke. They really have this thing, and lots of people do it? It’s sad it had to come to that. Why can’t they have Eject-Obnoxious-Parents Saturdays? They’re probably the ones at fault anyway.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, it IS a joke. But it’s also the truth. Soccer games can be noisy; but if we could get the coaches to stop barking and the parents to lay off the kids, we’d be set.

      Maybe we could install trap doors …

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      I’d be TOTALLY okay with your version of Saturday, Nina!

  14. tamaralikecamera says:

    What?? I can’t be silent for..anything. I get the giggles.
    So there I would be, laughing among the silence. And probably then ejected from the game.
    While being removed, I’d let it all fly out in a string of obscenities and deep thoughts.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Dear Jesus: Please let Scarlet and/or Desmond play soccer. Please let Tamara get caught up in the action. Please let her kids’ soccer association institute Silent Saturday.

      Yes, Jesus, I know. It’s not about the obscenities. I want to hear the deep thoughts.

      OK, it is about the obscenities, too. And I think at least now I have sparked your curiosity.

      Thanks Jesus. You’re all right. Love, Coach Daddy.

    2. Teri Biebel says:

      No giggles here. When I try to be silent, I usually blurt out completely inappropriate things. And then, upon realizing how inappropriate they are, I ruin it further by NOT shutting up.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Someone record the next match Teri goes to. Please.

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