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Local Little League Parents Start Anger Mismanagement Program

Get mad.

By Jonathan HollisKANSAS CITY - Parker Johnson noticed a problem at his son's little league baseball game. The 38-year-old saw things take a turn for the worse and wondered what all parents do at some point during their child’s little league game: “Should I speak out?” A teammate of his son, Tommy, now 8, struck out looking, leaving a runner stranded at third base in the final inning."I look over at the kid's dad and he's not even throwing anything at the umpire or yelling or anything,” said Johnson. “At least threaten to meet him in the parking lot.”And so, Men Against De-escalation, or M.A.D, was born.The organization’s roots run deep. Johnson’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather fulfilled their family’s tradition of being completely unbearable, and now he’s aiming to continue it."What we really wanna do is get out there and encourage more dads to do the right thing: commit aggravated assault at a children's sporting event." said an anonymous dad who wanted to be identified as “G. Busey.”The group meets every Sunday for heckling rehearsal, obscene gesture training, and ejections tallying. Membership in M.A.D. even includes potential prizes, with the leader in ejections at the end of each little league season receiving a bronzed flask. Johnson and dozens of volunteers have also begun to hand out sample-size liquor bottles, baggies of cocaine, and loose cigarettes to fathers in Little League games across the country and have seen a massive spike in M.A.D. membership as a result.Not to be outdone, Johnson's wife, Patty, started Women Against De-escalation or W.A.D shortly thereafter. The all-little-league-mom organization features “Is that HIPAA?” seminars, scowling lessons, Herbalife discounts, and even “mock trial” sessions where members practice testifying against an umpire assaulted by their spouse.All in all, the Johnsons feel their work is making a real impact in the little league community."Here at M.A.D., our motto is, "Take Matters Into Your Own Hands," said Mr. Johnson. “And that’s just what we want to teach our kids. We’re hopeful for a better future ahead.”

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