Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Sportsmanship

Football is a game. Men are paid large amounts of money to entertain us by playing this game. And in this age where it is routine for a single player to be traded several times in his career, you would think there would be more on-field acknowledgment of a job well done by opponents. Working in Silicon Valley, I can no longer count the number of times when someone I used to work with has become a competitor, and vice versa - but you still remain friends, or at least pretend to.

I didn't play football in school, but I was in the judo program for a while, and our judo coach was also the football coach. He used to tell football players they should be the first to offer a hand up to someone they have tackled. "It's good sportsmanship," he would say, "and it embarrasses the hell out of them." Much better than talking smack.

I bring this up because in the Hawaii Bowl yesterday there were two examples of great sportsmanship. I'll note the second one first. After the game, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan was being interviewed by the ESPN sidelines reporter. Hawaii had trounced ASU by a score of 41-24, Brennan had broken the NCAA single-game touchdown pass record. Several times during the interview, ASU players came up to Brennan and congratulated him, and each time he thanked the player, using the player's first name. I was pleasantly surprised an opponent would not only make a special trip to do that, but also ignore the cameras. And I was charmed by Brennan's friendly and personalized thank-yous.

The first piece of good sportsmanship was a glaring example of officials being Stupid, and "no good deed goes unpunished". Davone Bess had just caught a touchdown pass, and walked to the stands behind the end zone and shook hands with several kids - we're talking grade school and middle school aged. He did it with grace, charm and good will, and one of the cretins in stripes not only threw a flag for "unsportsmanlike conduct", he also ejected Bess from the game, as this was his second "infraction". Something is clearly wrong with the NCAA rules if they don't allow a player to be a good role model.  

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