FANtastic Sportsmanship – Or Not

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The home team crowd boos as the opposing team enters the field. The number of fans no doubt outweigh that of their opponent so any cheers from the visiting team fan base are nearly muted. Pregame announcements on the jumbo-tron remind fans, as well as players, to be respectful of each other, their team mates and, most of all, their opponent.

Colleges and universities tend to pride themselves on traditional values, setting a precedence, and earning the respect of the global community at large through example. The NCAA upholds the same values. So, I have to question, why is it that no matter what college stadium you go to watch a college football game, the opposing team is not welcomed with the respect they deserve being a visitor on your turf? Why is it so hard to whistle or clap for the opponent (your guest) when they enter your field (your home) to take part in a sport that thousands are known to pay good money to see and enjoy? It is, after all, a sporting event you share in common with one another.

Websters defines sportsmanship (in part) as an aspiration that an activity will be enjoyed with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. I believe that sportsmanship is a learned behavior through life experiences; with age comes wisdom. You’ve heard to old saying, walk a mile in my shoes. Perhaps if fans would remember the feeling of being on both sides of a situation and that camaraderie is at the base of good sportsmanship, then wouldn’t that speak volumes for the stature of that college or university and the students who are proudly affiliated?

Some things to remember about being a good sport:

  • treat your opponent with respect; be humble, welcome them
  • win without gloating; accept a compliment while giving one in return
  • lose with dignity; congratulate your opponent, avoid making excuses
  • demonstrate by example; do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Next time you attend a college football game (or any sporting event for that matter) be cognitive of your surroundings. Stand out by being a gracious host who welcomes their guests with the respect they deserve having traveled the distance to be there. You may just find the same treatment reciprocated when you then become their guest. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.

As quoted by Addison Walker – “It is not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.”


write by Jarintzy Cardenas

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