Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky: disaster waiting to happen?


Yesterday, the NY Times had a piece about six Kentucky families signing a deal to make a reality TV show:

Overaggressive parents hollering from the stands have become a cliché of American childhood, but these moms have turned parental cheering into an art form — and, they hope, a business. Six Kentucky families have signed a deal with NorthSouth Productions, a television company, to make a reality show about their hoops-mad families.

It is unclear if the project will appear on the screen any time soon, but the producer Blaine Hopkins called the mothers perfectly suited to reality TV, describing them as “hysterical, passionate, real and competitive.”

Can I be the buzzkill to declare this the WORST IDEA EVER? There are already far too many reality TV shows out there either glorifying things like teen pregnancy or just acting like the worst person on the planet (looking at you, Kris Jenner). When you put power-hungry moms in front of a camera, disaster ensues. People act worse, exaggerate emotions to the nth degree and generally find it socially acceptable to do moronic things for the sake of ratings and the almighty dollar.

Take this mom, for example:

Michelle Green brings a billboard-size poster of her son’s head to his basketball games and has been known to cheer so aggressively that she has been thrown out of the gym.

“Sometimes, I’ve wanted to know what being a regular kid was like,” said Jordan Green, an 18-year-old, 6-foot-6 senior forward, who is the son of Michelle Green. “From Day 1, all I’ve known is basketball.”

His mother makes no apologies for her behavior. When Green, who works at a middle school, cheers from the stands, she said, “I turn into a complete different person.”

“I am an animal,” she continued. “I heckle everybody — the parents, the players, the referees.”

If she’s already acting like that without cameras, can we even imagine what she’ll be like knowing this is going to end up on television? Embarrassing her son is of no concern to her. All the moms are signing up for this endeavor in hopes of drawing attention and D1 college scholarships to their sons. Yes, because John Calipari and Rick Pitino are going to let reality TV determine how they allocate their scholarships rather than the play on the court. I know, I know, maybe the show will help their sons get their names into the mix, but it will not change the fact that they'll still need to be able to play.

Now how about this mother of the year?

Everything changed for Susie Walker-Byrd, 48, when her son, Bryce Walker-Byrd, entered the fifth grade. That is when basketball became more than just a diversion, and Bryce’s summers, like his winters, became dedicated to playing in as many games as possible. “The whole family sacrificed for Bryce,” said Walker-Byrd, a married social worker who has two younger daughters. She did not let her daughters be involved [sic] sports, clubs or after-school activities for several years because the family’s money was going to Bryce’s basketball expenses, she said. Family vacations were planned around Bryce’s basketball schedule.

One kid gets everything while the rest get nothing? Yeah, that’s something I want to support.

Hopefully this show never sees the light of day, because it sounds like a hot, hot mess. Then again, that's all you need these days for reality TV.

[New York Times]

Reva Friedel

About Reva Friedel

Reva is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and the AP Party. She lives in Orange County and roots for zero California teams.