English Comp. II
October 29, 2007
Has Cheating Become the New Fair Play?
Competition has long been a part of our culture. From a simple game of checkers to the Super Bowl and everywhere in between, there is competition. A competition is when two teams or two people compete for a single goal or a prize. This goal or prize can be anything from just being called the winner, to money, to the title of world champion. It can be anything. Through time and the evolution of sports, this prize has become more and more desirable. To be the winner has become such a high priority that people will do anything to get it, whether that means playing by the rules or not. Throughout history, people have been cheating. From the first Olympic Games to today, players and teams in all sports have cheated. There is a saying, ‘if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying’ and I think that statement has become a benchmark in today’s world of sports. It is almost every other day you hear of another accusation of someone cheating or getting caught. Players and teams are always finding new ways to cheat, from steroids to video cameras and spies, to taking tests for college athletes. Cheating in sports is getting out of control and it needs to be stopped.
According to Gunther Luschen in Oliver Leamans “Cheating and Fair Play in Sport”, ‘Cheating in sports is the act through which the manifestly or latently agreed upon conditions for winning such a contest are changed in favor of one side. As a result, the principle of equality of chance beyond differences of skill and strategy is violated.’ (Morgan 201) The first incidences of cheating go all the way back to the ancient Olympic games. Athletes would rub oil on themselves to protect their skin from dirt and sun. Also they would use the oil to make themselves more slippery. For example, wrestlers would use oil to make it hard for their opponents to grab them. One of the main ways of cheating was bribing. In one incident, a boxer bribed three of his opponents to take a dive, meaning to fake being knocked out. Other incidents include countries bribing athletes to compete for them, countries bribing judges to declare their athlete the winner. In one case, a chariot racer named Nero was declared the chariot champion even though he didn’t finish the race. Cheating has been a part of sports since the beginning of competition. Then as time progressed, new sports evolved and thus, new ways of cheating. Fast forward to the year 1919 and to one of the biggest cheating scandals in the history of sports. Baseball has skyrocketed in popularity and is setting all kinds of attendance records at this point. The World Series is predicted to bring in 50% more revenue than ever before. The Chicago White Sox were playing the Cincinnati Reds for the World Series title. Before the series even started, a former major league pitcher, William Thomas “Sleepy Bill” Burns and Billy Maharg, a gambler with an underground connection, approached two White Sox players, Ed Cicotte and Arnold Gandil. They told them that they were going to put $500,000 on the Reds to win the series. They wanted the White Sox to throw the World Series, lose on purpose. So Cicotte and Gandil got 6 more players on the team to agree to throw the series, because it would be impossible to pull off with only 2 players. The gamblers offered each of the players $100,000. At that time, $100,000 was a couple years worth of pay, so it was very good money. So the players all did their best to lose, they would make bad throws and strikeout on purpose. But they had to be kind of sneaky about it; they didn’t want to be obvious. So they couldn’t do it all the time. They had to make sure that they were hitting and scoring a little bit. In the end, the Reds won the series 5 games to 3. Each player got paid his cut of the deal. This scandal went undiscovered for about a year, until one...