Monday, December 13, 2010

OK, Sports shows extreme social attitude

It's happened before, I know, but this is still shocking, and not - a NY Jets coach deliberately tripped and injured a Miami Dolphins player to help his struggling team.  Woody Hayes, Head football coach at Ohio State punched an opposing player - and lost his job over it.  A college player in a bygone era was so excited by his team's inability to stop what appeared a sure return for touchdown, stepped from the sidelines to tackle the opposing team's streaking return person.

What does this raise a flag for me?  Well, it is a clear and prominent reminder of the attitude instilled by many of the institutions and social organizations of this nation - win at all cost!  Intentionally injure a player from the other team that is hurting your efforts to win (or step off the sidelines to tackle, or punch that opposing player who just stopped your vaunted team's efforts, or trip and injure an opposing player), intentionally try to influence the officials to get a call in your favor, even when you know it's wrong. 

We've seen it in Olympic sports, the Tour de France, baseball, basketball, football, track and field and other sports.  Medalists have lost their medals and faced prison time.  Named Champions are forced to step down in shame.  Records are cheapened by cheating.  And it is all in the name of winning.

What is the real message we share with the world with this win-at-all-cost attitude?  Do we show ourselves as a nation of honor, who instill sportsmanship in our people; or that we are like all those other countries where dictators intimidate to get the results they want?

Perhaps it is time to reconsider our national obsession with winning.  I enjoy seeing my team win as much as the next person, but prefer to watch at team play to their full potential, with honor and pride in their effort.  I've been a player, I know the desire to win, but I value more that quality that allows us to honor and respect someone who played better on this day.

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