Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it. -Knute Rockne

So...this post is mainly sort of just a journal entry and random thoughts. It might be boring for you.
This past week or so, I’ve had many thoughts about sports…and the negative-ness involved. Anyone that knows me, knows I’d rather do almost anything than watch sports on TV. I like to attend sporting events, mainly to people watch, or be jealous of the cheerleaders. Well, these thoughts all started last Saturday, when Brett got home from reffing little league football. (I love that he does this, it is such a great way to make some extra cash!) Every Saturday he comes home, he usually has some crazy story to tell me from his day. About 2 weeks ago, was probably the most outrageous story I have heard from him so far:
I can’t remember what the play was, that part didn’t really matter to me (again, I’m not a sports fan). But Brett had made a call that everyone was upset about. Even the other refs were telling him that he made a wrong call. So Brett apologized to the coach that was most upset. He admitted that he made a mistake, but this coach had absolutely ZERO amount of forgiveness in his heart. Throughout the entire game, this man continued to verbally abuse Brett, telling everyone on the sidelines that this is the ref who ruined the game for them. So many horrible things were said to Brett and about Brett. This coach has no idea who Brett is…yet, he thought it was perfectly fine to say these things to a complete stranger. And also thought it was perfectly fine for these younger, little league kids to see him acting this way.
(sidenote: when Brett got home, he checked the rules, he was actually correct on the call he made, everyone else was wrong. Go Brett!)
Well, as coincidence would have it, Elder Holland told a story very recently, that reminded me so much of this football game. He talked about a boy, that went to a school out of state for basketball, and came back to Salt Lake to play against his former team. And just like Brett, this was a young man who was : "a Latter-day Saint, a return missionary, newlywed who paid his tithing, served in the Elder’s quorum, gave charitable service to the youth in his community, and waited excitedly for a new baby coming to him and his wife" (doesn’t apply).
Elder Holland continues to say: “What was said, and done, and showered upon him that night on his wife and his parents, should not have been experienced by any human being, anywhere, anytime. Whatever his sport, whatever his university, or whatever his personal decisions. His coach, turned to him and said “What is going on here? You are the hometown boy who has made good, these are your people, these are your friends. Aren’t most of these people members of your church?”
He then talks about what happened the day after the basketball game:
“One young man said in affect: ‘We pay good money for these games, we can act the way we want. We check our religion at the door.’ We check our religion at the door? YOU NEVER CHECK YOUR RELIGION AT THE DOOR. That kind of discipleship cannot be, it is not discipleship at all….No true disciple of Christ can check his religion at the door. We stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places.
It’s easy to be righteous when things are calm, and life is good and everything is smooth. The test is when there is real trial or temptation. When there is pressure and fatigue. Anger and fear. Or the possibility of real transgression. Can we be faithful then?”
All of this reminded me of a talk I heard a few years ago from President Uchtdorf. He said:
“I confess there are times when the lack of civility in sports is embarrassing. How is it that normally kind and compassionate human beings can be so intolerant and filled with hatred toward an opposing team and its fans?
I have watched sports fans vilify and demonize their rivals. They look for any flaw and magnify it. They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team. When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice.”
Just repeating in my head... When ill fortune afflicts their rival, they rejoice. This statement is so true.

I sometimes like to watch Kathie Lee and Hoda on my lunch breaks. Today they were talking about last night's game, the Packers and another team I can't remember..(they have really awesome uniforms though). They were even talking about the bad example that people are in sports. It's not just me that thinks this!! Whether it's the coaches that are ticked off, or the fans that think their life has just ended, sports is bringing out the most negative in people. BYU-Utah for example....I could not believe the horrible things that were said before, during, and especially after the game! It kind of just makes me want to cry a little bit. Like Hoda said "Where is the sportsmanship?"
I think that's why I like the Olympics sooooo much. You never see this bad sportsmanship going on (at least I don't). If an athlete is upset, they're usually upset with themselves, and they usually congratulate the winner. Why? because that winner has worked just as hard! It's not like they lied and cheated their way to win! Why can't sports be like this all of the time, not just the Olympics?
I could go on and on about this...but I think my point is made. I just want people to be happy, because sports should be a happy, positive thing.


  1. I whole heartedly agree with everything!! I married into a HUGE Utah family, so my children are destined to becomes Utes. But one thing I make sure of is that Andrew stays grounded and doesn't get too upset or worked up when it comes to sports. He said he used to be a lot worse. I just don't get it. It's a game!! There are many bigger problems in the world, being so emotionally involved in sports is a complete waste of time. Seriously, what does it accomplish? Nothing. They can be fun, but people definitely know how to push their limits. Last year at the Utah BYU game Andrew and his Dad had to break up a fight!! Are you kidding me??? Two grown men acting like 10 year olds, over a GAME! I feel embarrassed for people who get so worked up like that. And that coach... what an idiot! It's freakin LITTLE LEAGUE!! Poor Brett, and those poor boys who have that loser for a coach. Ha ha sorry this comment is long! I'm really not being very nice or Christ-like. I could just go on and on cause I totally have the same perspective as you when it comes to sports. When the brethren have to give talks about it in Priesthood, then you know it's a big issue. People just need to chill.

    Whew! K I'm done ;)

  2. You are right, Annika. People need to remember this. I happen to love sports and watching sports and I think sometimes a little smack talk is part of the fun. I never take it too seriously, and it really bugs me when people turn it in to something so personal and just outright mean.

    But I have to say...it was a really, really terrible call that the ref made in that packers game. ;)

  3. I completely agree with you! Having married an athlete has driven this point home even more for me. Now don't get me wrong, I love cheering for my husband and I love when the fans get into it and support their team but there is no need and no place for the negative behavior that can often be found amidst the support. When I first married my husband I quickly realized that some fans care more about the games and their outcomes and get more worked up about a call or players performance than the players themselves do! A lot of times in our games overseas the wives of the opposing teams players will come and sit with our teams wives and we watch and support our husbands together. I love how we are able to enjoy the games, support our husbands and still support eah other at the same time. I think in our society we have seen a huge shift from self mastery and control to giving into our emotions and unfortunately that's most evident in a sporting arena.