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Winning: Is it worth all cost? Print
Guest column
Thursday, Mar. 08, 2012 -- 1:00 AM

Too often in the news and rumored around the world, we hear about incidents of bad sportsmanship to the point of people physically fighting with other parents, players, and coaches. When did giving it your best and playing as a team become not enough? Has winning become that important?

When I was younger, I played at the highest-level possible of soccer, and I can’t remember a time when sportsmanship and effort were not number one. Yes, you won’t find a more competitive person but not at all cost.

Sometimes it’s better to lose

Now we see slogans on teams’ shirts saying, “Losing is not an option.” Is it okay to lose? Are we putting such an emphasis on winning that it doesn’t matter how we get there?

I would rather be on a team that loses but gives everything they have and never quits than on a team that disrespects the game to win. At least the losing team can hold their heads high. Sometimes, the team that lost actually was the true winner.

Unfortunately, our society is stuck on determining a winner and loser instead of just having fun. Only around one percent actually make it to become professional athletes, yet we treat them all like they are the next Michael Jordan or the next Aaron Rodgers. Who’s to blame for this?

Professionals setting good example

We could blame the media for glorifying winners or even blame the recent baseball players that have been caught using steroids to try to win. In reality, professional sports are setting a good example that winning at all cost is not okay.

Look at the Detroit Lions. They had a great season and great record but all we are hearing about is how dirty they are and that their best player shows the worst sportsmanship. The NFL players have made a statement by not electing him to the Pro-Bowl. No matter how good you are, respect for the game and its players is more important.

Start with ourselves

If professional sports are making the statement, why can’t we? Where did the sportsmanship award go? Truly, to make a difference, we must start with ourselves. We must hold back our opinions, show support, and honor effort and sportsmanship.

Let the coach truly coach. Be the role model for your children. Model self-respect and respect all. After all, Jesus was the best model of respect for all of us.

Matt Beisser is the principal at St. Dennis School, Madison.