Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ultimate In Sportsmanship

Sport is a competition, a battle if you will (but no disrespect to our soldiers intended), between opposing sides attempting to prevail. Not much different than many things in life...relationships, marriage, politics, war...but there is an ethos of respect generally involved for those participating and watching sport. For as much bravado, machismo and chest thumping athletes do on the field, the general course of conduct is that when a play is over, a game is over, or you are no longer involved in the play that your personal battle is over until the next. Football players help each other up after a tackle, hockey players shake hands after a game and so on. It is one of the most admirable aspects of the sport.

Well, I may have just seen the greatest display of sports(wo)manship ever on the news this morning. In a softball game between Western Oregon University and Central Washington University, Sarah Tucholsky of Western Oregon hit what would eventually be a game-winning three run home run in the top of the second inning. As Tucholsky rounded first she missed the bag and when she returned to touch it her knee gave way.

Unable to circle the bases, the rules stated she could not be helped around the bases by any of her teammates. So Central Washington Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the bases, letting one foot touch each of the bags until she made it home.

This is an amazing act of selflessness on the Central Washington players' part because not only would this actually affect the score of the game but it was still during the play of the game. Amazing. Acts like these reinvigorate the belief that we are still a respectful society. A big round of applause is necessary for the Central Washington team who managed to show us all what sports(wo)manship is truly about.

Ed. Note: For those of you wondering why I have been posting far less in the recent months on this blog, I just wanted to let you know that I am also now contributing at Unprofessional Foul. All of my soccer posting is done over there now and that is a big portion of what I post about. I am still posting here, but I just need to get things smoothed out so I can do both. So, check me out at Unprofessional Foul and all of the other great contributors over there.

[Photo Credit: New York Times]

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jolly said...

These are words to warm a parent's heart. But what does being a good sport actually mean? To many people, it means knowing how to win and lose graciously, but in fact, good sportsmanship encompasses so much more.
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