As soon as the opposing team enters the field, the crowd of the home team gathers. Fans undoubtedly outnumber their rivals, so any enthusiasm from the visiting team’s fan base is almost muted. Pregame announcements on Jumbo-Tron remind fans, as well as players, to respect each other, their teammates, and above all, their opponent.
Colleges and universities take pride in traditional values, set an example, and earn 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 isn’t greeted with the respect they deserve on your field? Worth being a visitor? Why is it so hard for the opponent (your guest) to whistle or clap when they enter your area (your house) to participate in a game that is known to pay thousands of good money to watch and enjoy? go? After all, it’s a sporting event that you share with each other.
Websters defines sportsmanship (in part) as an aspiration that an activity will be enjoyed with due 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 the old saying, walk a mile in my shoes. Perhaps if fans miss the feeling of being on both sides of a situation and that camaraderie is based on good sportsmanship, wouldn’t that speak volumes for the stature and proudly affiliated students of that college or university?
A few things to remember about being a good sport:
- Treat your opponent with respect; be polite, welcome them
- Winning without glowing; accept a compliment while giving one in return
- to lose with dignity; Compliment your opponent, avoid making excuses
- Demonstrate by example; Do to others as you want them to do to you
The next time you attend a college football game (or any sporting event for that matter), be aware of your surroundings. Stand out by being a gracious host who welcomes his guests with the respect they deserve to go the distance. You may get the same behavior when you become their guest. Seems like a win-win situation for all.
As quoted by Edison Walker – “It’s not true that good guys finish last. Good guys are winners even before the game starts.”