Snappy Sportsmanship

It’s no secret that I’m not much of a sports fan, and that’s an understatement. I do, however, go to a lot of sporting events. In fact, there have been weeks when I have witnessed, and even cheered, at more games than I have fingers.

Why would someone who never played sports, and doesn’t really like sports, go to so many sporting events? The answer, of course, is that I have four grandchildren in the area who play basketball, baseball, volleyball, football, soccer, and golf. And we have two in Tennessee who are also into sports.

Having not grown up in a sports oriented family, it’s hard for me to understand the importance placed on sports by so many. I’m not blind to the benefits of working together and striving to win, or the personal discipline needed to excel, but my lack of love for sports probably causes me to overreact when I see poor sportsmanship on the field, and parents who forget it’s just a game.

While sitting in the bleachers at a football game on a recent Friday night I was appalled that a group of fathers were not only cheering on their boys, but yelling for them to hurt players on the other team. I know football is supposed to be rough, but I’m pretty sure there would have been some really angry men if their sons had been intentionally injured.

And then there was the time Carter’s soccer team was playing a team that is known for it’s “aggressive” style of playing. Why they play the way they play was made obvious when the coach was ordered off the field by the referee.

The boy who was to keep Carter from scoring not only played “aggressively”, but constantly attacked him verbally. After the game Carter told us of an interesting exchange that took place on the field.

After telling Carter that he sucked at soccer, but Jesus still loved him, Carter responded, “And you may be a bully, but Jesus still loves you.”

I do enjoy watching the grandkids play sporting events, and I’m proud when they do well. But Carter did especially well that afternoon.

God Bless, Rick

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