sportsmanshipI do not follow sports, as you no doubt have learned from my blogs.  Perhaps that is because Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where I went to college set the record for most consecutive losses in football.  I graduated with my first master’s degree having never experienced a winning game, even when we brought in an all-girls college that had just gone coed and formed a football team.  They beat us as well … by a wide margin as I remember.

We got used to losing.  We still showed up at games and cheered for our side.  Of course, our cheers were geeky as well, routinely including the digits to the irrational number Pi.

So, I am puzzled when I watch sports today and fail to see any level of grace and

sportsmanship.  And, I am especially puzzled when the lack of sportsmanship goes viral, as it appears to have done in basketball.   For example, why on earth would we condone scenes like this during the basketball game?  When did the rules get rewritten that distracting players was part of the game?  Why don’t I ever hear complaints?  Where is the sense of sportsmanship?

We do seem to get more upset about the team’s name, especially if it has tribal roots.  I guess birds don’t have any rights, so Ravens and Hawks are safe … but if they learn to speak I fear those will be out as well.  Yet we condone scenes like the one pictured above.

Tennis still seems to insist on decorum.  The judge can quiet the crowd and, during the point, no one is allowed to do anything that might be a distraction.  That seems right to me.  But, then again, tennis is a game that is not generally followed like basketball, football, or baseball.

The masses seem to behave badly.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the election cycle follows the same lack of sportsmanship.  Maybe we Americans have lost our sense of it.

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