Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Do Fans Understand Sportsmanship?

Without baseball and in the continuing wait for the hockey season that probably never will be, I have been reading deeper into some of the stories surrounding sports.

The following statement, reported on NFL.com, was made by a player, Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears, on Sunday: "I could give a crap about what people think on the street. Get mad at me all you want, I could give ... I could give a crap about what people say," Urlacher told ESPN Chicago's"Waddle & Silvy" show on Monday.

The situation apparently was that Brian Urlacher congratulated a player on the other team for a great play--I believe it was an interception. Turns out that the other player, Daniel Manning, was a former teammate and friend. Brian demonstrated something that we rarely see in sports: sportsmanship. What a concept. And the fans could not appreciate the display.

I side with Brian in this one. I often acknowledge my opponent on the racquetball court after a great serve or kill shot. There is nothing wrong with appreciating a good play--even by the opponent. Why? Because it is just a game. Athletes are not gladiators in the coliseum trying to kill each other. After the game--they are still friends.

Brian goes on to say, "When the play is over, it's over," he said. "It's not like I have to go out there and be a jerk to him because it's during the game and I'm a tough guy. That's not the way it is. They're my friends. Between the whistles I'm going to try and get them, and when the play is over we'll go back to doing whatever."

Great sportsmanship. We need more of it!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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