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Sportsmanship is for more than just the athletes

from the rowdy-without-beer dept.
It was the fourth quarter with 2:36 seconds left in the game. BYU had just sacked the Notre Dame QB. We were all cheering of course. That’s that type of action we like to see. But, what about that action we don’t like to see? You know what I’m talking about. I think the thing that we as a crowd like to see least is when the ref makes a call against us, and in favor of the other team. When this happens, I'm not sure how many of us start to boo, but it sure ... makes a lot of noise.

And that is where I would like to start my subject. Two years ago when the crowd booed, it wasn’t too loud or frequent. It still bothered me. Last year it really drove me nuts as the booing increased, and this year the booing has returned. Why I don’t like this is simple, it’s negative reinforcement. We are booing our own team for their mistakes and we are booing the refs for doing their jobs. This is not good sportsmanship, and for any one of you who claims to be Christian, this is not Christianity. Have you noticed the new little motto of sportsmanship that is being advertised? It’s a not so subtle hint of what we all should be doing.

Ok, back to the game, the Notre Dame QB has just been sacked and is lying on his back. BYU football player, Brady Poppinga, number 49 was standing over the opposing QB. He bent over and put out a hand to aid the fallen QB and I could see the QB stall for just a moment as he considered whether or not to accept this help up from his opponent. The next second they were clasped, hand to hand, and sturdily they rose together to their feet. This, my friends, is sportsmanship. We may be at battle on the fields of play, but we are not enemies. We work together. Both opposing teams, and the refs, are doing their best to make this a successful event. So let me ask you now, are you doing your part to make this a success? I guess my plea is simply this, don’t boo, but instead cheer very loudly when things go our way.

What does it do anyways?

I have never really understood the purpose of booing anyways because it never changes anything. I have only felt that booing was justified a few times in my life, and that was when the ref's were very obviously prejudice towards one team or another. If a ref makes a bad call, chalk it up to the fact that we are all human and move on.

I have never ever heard of a ref stopping the game to say "Look, I hear that the crowd was really angry about that last penalty so I am going to take it back" or even better "Everyone here must be really bothered by that last call I made, so lets just have a do-over". Funny, but highly unlikely.

Give me a break!!

It’s a football game and booing the refs is all part of the sport. When the crowd boos the coaches they're letting them know that they didn’t like the fact that they did a running play on 3rd and 15. If you don’t like when people boo then don’t go to the game or wear ear plugs because you aren’t going to convince me to give up my God given right to boo!!!

Olympic judges falter

In the men's high bar competition in the Olympics the crowd booed mercilessly as Russian Gymnast Alexei Nemov received his score. I was watching the Olympics that day and was stunned to see his score. He deserved a much higher score than he received. The announcers were even more suprised than I was. The crowd booed for over 10 minutes and his score was altered, but not nearly as much as it should have been.

The crowd called the judges to repentance, judges are human beings and do make mistakes. The crowd is there to double check the referees, keep them honest.

I do agree though that this is a power that should not be abused, and like PimpMaster5000 I have been frequently embarrassed at how quickly our spectators are to boo at the top of their lungs. At BYU we live a higher standard than NCAA football and we should act accordingly. Not very often does one call change the entire outlook of the game, we should support our teams and rely on their skills to bring us to victory. I just want to emphasize how glad I was to see a receiver make big plays, and celebrate in such an electrifying way as to get the whole crowd on their feet.