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Recent events have spawned the question

"What is Sportsmanship and where has it gone?"

sports·man·ship (noun )

1.

the character, practice, or skill of a sportsman.

2.

sportsmanlike conduct, as fairness, courtesy, being a cheerful loser, etc.

***********************************************************************************************

In December I attended a NCAA Div I Championship game. I was ashamed at what I saw and heard.. Instead of cheering for their football team "Great pass! Yea!" the fans taunted the other teams fans "Take that you suck!" People I had respected suddenly became Jerks, was it the alcohol or a trend in sports? or both?

While watching several games on TV I saw players doing diving flips into the end zone for a touchdown, this caused the "Excessive celebration flag" and 15 yards penalty on the kick off..

7 of 8 times this personal celebration "Watch me!" resulted in the other team getting good field position and a touch down as a result. Negating the original TD which was celebrated..Net gain ZERO for the team..!

  • Personal show boating over what's best for the team
  • Taunting the other teams players
  • Fans acting like Jerks to each other

Sportsmanship is hard to find in football these day.. Other sports too!

The good news is Disc Golf to this point has not morphed into this mind set yet.! As players of the game, its important to remember why we play, and what we love about the sport. We as a group can protect the game by being ambassadors of the game, the course, the club we represent. Protect your sport!

Speaking of which..."Who would you nominate for Disc Golf Sportsman(person) of the year for 2007 from your city?"

********* In My Opinon ***************************

for Chattanooga, TN - I would say "Jeff Viggers" his love of the game, the respect he shows others, his cheerful presence is always a pleasure to share a round with..! Thanks Jeff!

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Comment by David Barish on January 9, 2008 at 3:17pm
I agree that sportsmanship has been sliding in a lot of professional sports in recent years. My theory is because we protect players too much. They make a lot of money and nobody wants them hurt. In the 1960's if a hitter would have put on a show after hitting a home run a pitcher like Bob Gibson would ring his bell the next time at bat. My theory is that there should be no penalty for excessive celebrations in football and there should be no penalty for rearranging the celebrating player's DNA the next time he is on the field. This "tough love" would eliminate a lot of the garbage.

The above is a bit tongue in cheek but I still feel we allow bad behavior because of the way we coddle pro athletes. Division I football is basically minor league football. These guys are on TV and many hope to play pro and they act like they are entitled.

Disc golf, like regular golf, is not plagued by a lot of overt bad sportsmanship. Sure, there are mental games going on out there. However, nobody is taking a marker out of their bag and autographing their disc for the camera or doing an in your face dance after a big putt. You don't see that on the PGA either. Big shot and a little fist pump and that's about it.

Even if disc golf got want we all want--exposure, I don't expect to see that kind of hijinx. You would get about the same thing you get from ball golf. Some are more colorful than others but nobody will be doing a touchdown dance.
Comment by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun on January 4, 2008 at 4:18pm
Good point, Ben.

In disc golf you are not only responsible for how you act, but for how well you compete. (Since your team is you.) In those other sports, not only are you part of a seemingly anonymous mass of spectators, nothing you do can affect the outcome of the game.

Combine the anonymity with the powerlessness, add in some alcohol, and . . . bang!
Comment by Ben Calhoun on January 4, 2008 at 12:22pm
I'm sure some disc golfers also are the 'jerk' fans at other sports. I think it's the calm, single-player nature of the game, being out in the park that doesn't allow for that to happen at disc golf events. Thank god, or I'd never compete.
Comment by Bill on January 4, 2008 at 11:10am
Thank you Scott for stating what I've discovered is probably the best part of disc golf-- the sportsmanship. Yes, there are those who will call ticky-tack things in a close tournament but thats understandable. Those same people, however, are just as likely invite you out for a beer afterwards. Disc golfers are simply some of the best people I've ever met, hands down.

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