Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Best Thing About Sports: Manship!

by Al Butterman

There was only one clear winner of last night's big game between the Whozits and the Other Guys, but there was also another clear winner: Sportsmanship.  

After the game, while many of us switched over to a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond," (or some other wholesome program) some others of us were unable to reach our remote controls, and so we saw something amazing.  The head coach for the one team walked up to the coach for the other team, and what did he do?  Did he spit in his rival’s eye, or rip off his hat and deliver a vicious noogie to his fat bald pate?  No, he did not.  He shook the guy’s hand.  He nodded.  He even offered a bland pleasantry.  

I said to myself, "That's what it's all about, Bubba. That's what it's all about." (I call myself Bubba.)

And Bubba was right.

Alas, good sportsmanship did not always exist.  Back in 1972, after a particularly humiliating defeat, legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant stared down rival coach Vince "Dog" Dooley of Georgia and then punched him in the groin.

In 1968, John Wooden led his undefeated number-one ranked UCLA Bruins into the Astrodome, only to be upset by the upstart Cougars.  How did Wooden handle defeat, you ask?  He chased Guy Lewis around the court with a cattle prod, that's how!

And, who among us remembers the 1887 Harvard - Yale match-up, in which Walter Camp beat John Harvard to death with his leather jock strap?  I know I don't.

Luckily, none of those examples of poor sportsmanship occurred last night. Sure, there may have been the occasional accidental collision or misplaced elbow to the face, but there was also lots of friendly, some would say homo-erotic, pats to the derrière.  And, what about the time the camera caught two backups kissing behind the Gatorade stand?  That never could have happened without Sportsmanship.

So, in the days and weeks and months ahead, you will probably forget who won, or even who played in last night’s big game (It depends on how much beer you drank.  I not only forgot what teams played I also forgot what sport I was watching), but try not to forget these words once uttered by the great Amos Alonzo “Stag” Stagg.  He said, "They don't make jockstraps like they used to."

They sure don't, coach. They sure don't.

The Daily Brass is a parody blog devoted to Poetry, Literature, Reviews, Essays, Culture, and Zombies.