No, this isn’t going to be a blog about Halloween, even though it’s the perfect date for it.  No, today I’m writing about poor sportsmanship and how it seems to run rampant in “professional” sports these days.

The most recent one that I know about was at Game 7 of the World Series this Wednesday.  The Kansas City Royals were at bat and one of their players had just hit a great ball to get on base.  The Giants pitcher then proceeded to hit the next batter, Salvador Perez, which garnered him a free base.

I didn’t know there was anything wrong with this (thinking it was just a REALLY bad pitch) until Craig made a sound of disgust and explained how it’s unwritten that, if a pitcher gets “shown up” by a batter, he’s “allowed” to hit the next batter in retaliation.

SERIOUSLY?!  WTF is that?!  Not only is it an infantile response, but it’s not even punishing the “offending” batter!  Not that that makes it any more acceptable, but that whole “sins of the father”–or in this case, teammate–bullshit is just that . . . bullshit!

Sadly, the poor sportsmanship doesn’t end there.  There are ridiculous rules all over “professional” sports.

In hockey, fights are allowed, and apparently even encouraged.  One of the players is known as the “Enforcer,” who–according to Wikipedia– is there to ‘deter and respond to a dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies.’  Expected.  Let that sink in.  We punish our children for retaliating when they’re hit (or bit or whatever), but when they get older and join the Ducks or Penguins, Go ahead!

And football might have the biggest bunch of rules designed to encourage unsportsmanlike behavior yet.

For instance, in the NFL, there are measures put into play so that one team can’t get too high a score.  When a certain team reaches a score that’s 35-40 points higher than their opponents, then it’s required that they put in a lesser player in order to even the playing field again.  And, if the opposing team still isn’t good enough to catch up, they start to cry “Not Fair!”  Though to be fair, this pity party due to low scores attitude runs rampant in other sports as well.

There are also lots of relatively recent rules designed to keep the quarterbacks safe (like the Quarterback Slide), but unfortunately, those new rules have also largely changed the landscape of the game, resulting in silly new rules and even sillier calls.  I’m not saying that we need to go back to the injury-ridden days of football in the 70s and 80s, but it seems to me that football is a violent and dangerous sport that includes being tackled by 200+ pound men, and anyone who wants to play the game should know and be willing to accept those risks.  Otherwise, play flag football.  It’s like boxers wanting to hit each other with pool noodles so they don’t end up with bloody noses.

But, sadly, I can’t lay all the blame for these things on the players or rule makers.  It appears that most fans agree with these things.  With hockey, the enforcers are often among the most popular players on their teams.  And the Giants’ fans cheered when Perez got hit in the leg.

I’ve never been a big fan of sports, but the more I learn about the different rules, the bigger my dislike.  There’s just too much childishness running rampant in sports today; on both sides of the stands (including the ridiculous rioting that went on in San Francisco after the Series).  I’ve never been a fan of that kind of immature behavior among children, but at least they’re young enough not to know better.  When this sort of shit is allowed (and in some cases, encouraged) in fully grown adults, it sets the worst kind of example to young, impressionable kids.  And how can it not leak over into those players’ personal lives?

But that’s a rant for another time.  For now, I’ll simply say Boo to “professional” sports and their dishonorable rules and players.

Bad Sportsmanship


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. csmithsq
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 09:42:51

    I need to make one correction. Alyx got a lot of the above information from me, and I think I was unclear about something. In the NFL when one team is up 35-40 points they are not REQUIRED to start playing 2nd-3rd string players. But it’s considered common practice or courtesy that when the game is well in hand the winning team will USUALLY do that, and is sort of expected to do that. It’s when they are far ahead, and they still keep in the starters and continue to score that the losing team will start whining about it being unfair. Even though there is no rule about scoring as many points as you can or want to. The “mercy rule” was invented for community and amateur sports to foster sportsmanship, not for professional sports.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Oct 31, 2014 @ 09:44:44

      Thanks for the clarification, Craig. And, while you were my main source of the above info, I did check with other sources on some things, too. But, being that you’re into sports, I felt you were a valid reference. 😉


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