Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writer (@trelyday03)
This is a serious question that is pertinent to every sport, at every level of play. Quite frankly I think it’s become vastly overrated, and the people that fall back to it are just sore losers. Sportsmanship; the gold standard of athletics across the world. If you show good sportsmanship, it is essentially assumed that you play the game with respect, dignity and humility. That being said why is it that if you “run up the score” you’re a poor sport? Then again what really qualifies as “running up the score?” If you run up the score, you’re a bad sport, well sportsmanship is totally overrated to be honest.
The only reason I bring this up is because after the Chiefs routed the Broncos 33-10 on Christmas Night. Social media deemed Andy Reid and the Chiefs classless for sending out Dontari Poe with under two minutes left, and the game well out of reach to put one final stamp on a joyous Christmas for Chiefs fans. My question is how is this classless? Was it classless when the Broncos stomped the Chiefs in Denver 38-3 back in 2012? Or was it classless when the Steelers molly-whopped the Chiefs 43-14 on Sunday Night Football back in week 4? The double standard of social media. Maybe they didn’t like it because a 340 pound defensive tackle is a better quarterback than their actual quarterback.
In my opinion there’s really no such thing as running up the score. You play to win the game right? Where in the rule book does it say I have to stop scoring? Besides 33-10 isn’t really that bad, the Chiefs as you can see have been beat worse. Sadly enough people don’t share my ambition for beating people into the ground, figuratively speaking. We live in a world where coaches get suspended, and teams get banned from tournament play just because they win a game by 100+. Even then that coach tried so hard to not score, the other team just sucked. That just sends the worst possible message to kids. It tells them you’re not allowed to be better than someone, and if you are they want you to half-ass it so the other team isn’t beaten too badly.
Once you reach high school all bets are off. If you suck, you suck, and we can’t hide the truth from you anymore. There’s a reason there are no more participation trophies once you reach high school. No more hard feelings, it’s all tough love. I for one am all fair game for beating teams into submission. Whatever sport you play, you play to win the game. I’m not here to make friends. If you get beat by 50 that’s your fault. Your job is to stop me, and if you can’t do that well then, get better. Don’t ask me to take my foot off the gas just because you’re not good enough to beat me. I know some of think I’m a cold, heartless person; well I probably am, but I really don’t care.
Sportsmanship only goes as far as respecting your opponent. Yes, you should respect every opponent you face, but that doesn’t mean I have to go easy on you just because my team or I’m better. So let’s just all take a step back and reevaluate the definition of the word sportsmanship.