Sportsmanship

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Sportsmanship

Many adults and children have seen it. The player who chargers the mound after they get hit with a pitch, the touchdown celebration after a touchdown catch, or the basketball coach who doesn’t like the call the referee made and goes in a yelling outburst. Thanksgiving is known for many things including eating food, seeing your family, and then finally watching a few games of football. Every year the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys play on this date special day. Year after year regardless of who wins or loses, they always show good sportsmanship especially because they know that a crowd who usually doesn’t watch football every week is watching that day, including little children. This year, there were two cases where there were players who showed real bad sportsmanship. Detroit Lions defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, could take full responsibility for one. The 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year was penalized and ejected from the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Packers for stomping on the arm of guard Evan Dietrich-Smith. This is a prime example of what “not to do”, especially when there are fans that idolize this game. National Football League (NFL) committees released a statement saying that, “The on-field conduct exhibited by Ndamukong Suh that led to his ejection from yesterday’s game was unacceptable and failed to meet the level of sportsmanship we expect from our player”. The actions of Suh were followed by another case where bad sportsmanship was shown, this time by a much less dangerous act. After catching a touchdown, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson took a shot at New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress. After catching the touchdown, Johnson pantomimed shooting himself in the leg, clearly mimicking Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg at a nightclub and was later put in jail for carrying a gun. Although both of these actions are considered to be unsportsmanlike, they are on different levels. In professional sports, it all comes down to sportsmanship because these are the guys who almost every sports fan will watch on their television sets. Sportsmanship is a forgotten aspect of professional sports and if the National Football League (NFL) wants to regulate and enforce an ideal, things are going to have to change. All these players hurt one thing for the National Football League (NFL): image. The league needs to toughen up on players and whenever there are acts of poor sportsmanship, there should be more serious actions. Yes, those were examples of bad sportsmanship, but what exactly is sportsmanship? Sportsmanship is known as sportsmanlike conduct, as fairness, courtesy, being a cheerful loser, etc. Good sportsmanship could be anywhere from shaking hands at the end of the gam to helping a player up when he or she falls down. After an NFL game, it is known that the head coach from each team goes to the middle of the field and gives the opposing coach a handshake. This has been a long tradition that the NFL is almost known for. The handshake at the 50-yard line was likely once a nice tradition and is turning into a charade ever since. When big teams play each other where coaches don’t like them, people are always wondering, “ Will Bill Belichick shake Eric Mangini’s hand!” Every question possible is asked about the simple question ranging from will it be long? How long? Will it be sincere? The handshake is a symbol of sportsmanship and adds a human element to the postgame. On October 16, 2011, this case of the friendly handshake went to a different level. Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh had a tussle at the 50. After a victorious win for the 49ers, head coach Jim Harbaugh couldn’t control his excitement. An excited Harbaugh ran across the field with his arms in the air, pumping his fists celebrating the unlikely victory. He then emphatically slapped Schwartz’s hand and patted him on the back. Schwartz took...
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