Monday, October 28, 2013

Sportsmanship Is Dead

"One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it." - Knute Rockne
"There is no such thing as sportsmanship." - Terrell Davis

   I stumbled across an article on Yahoo! Sports about a ban on post game handshakes. I nearly thought it was April Fools with how odd is sounded. Granted the story is just in Kentucky, but I had to read on to see what else it might say. In the long tradition of shock headlines, it would appear that the ban was to exempt the school district from any liability. It's more for when (not if) things get heated in the post game tradition of hand shaking. While most teams say they will continue the tradition anyway, the statement has been made, and you can't take it back.
   During a time when The Wife and I are trying to teach our children good sportsmanship, I'm rather shocked and a little disappointed that anyone would even consider proposing a ban on anything that is meant to foster goodwill. I think we've all seen a few YouTube videos that demonstrate that there are plenty of "bad apples" out there that will, and have, spoiled the bunch. The highs school I went to allowed people to mill around the track while they watched Friday night football games until our team got ganged up on by the crowd after one particular play. Now there's a chain link fence surrounding most of the field, making it look like gladiator games or Thunderdome.
   I recall reading a few of the comments and one in particular stood out. A woman stated, "Instead of punishing all the players, why not penalize those who are not mature enough to handle good sportsmanship?" I agree. I'm tired of a VERY small group dictating how the masses are treated. I've noticed as of late that my grandfather's quote is correct. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Those who complain are speaking the loudest. Since I've realized that, it's been a goal of mine to be a louder voice for the positive. If all we hear is the negative and nothing but complaining, there will be nothing for our children to participate in. Let's do more to support positive programs, traditions, events, and the like.
   So, given the two quotes above, which one will you be? I recommend we try to be the first. Shake on it?


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