by: Rick Howard
Aren’t we always espousing the benefits of sports, such as how sports develop sportsmanship? Isn’t part of why we’re so excited to fill the talent pool that we also are creating citizens who will positively contribute to society?
Well then, what about the Super Bowl? What better stage to show our young people that sportsmanship matters!! In youth sport, aren’t we always encouraging the end-of-game line up and handshake with the other team? Don’t we often comment that the mark of great athletes and sportsmen is that it is difficult to distinguish who won and who lost at the end of the game? Aren’t we often upset when we hear that teams cannot conduct themselves properly during this time-honored tradition?
Look, I understand that emotions run high in the Super Bowl. Endorsement potential is huge. Popularity can skyrocket. But why can’t our professional athletes, in the biggest game of their lives, walk the walk?
If we want our young athletes to value sportsmanship and if we continue to expose our young athletes to talent above theirs in order for them to benefit and succeed, then can’t we ask athletes at those levels to remember who is looking up to them, who is going to emulate them in their youth games, and who’s impressionable eyes are on the Super Bowl?
Let’s bring back the team handshake with style. That would be a better focus for our aspiring athletes than a half-time show (it was a great show, though, but there are concerns about the half-time show if there is inclement weather during the Super Bowl at Giants Stadium). How great would it be for kids to see their favorite athlete displaying good sportsmanship at the end of the game, just like the kids are asked to do? And, if we ever are fortunate again to have brothers participating as players or coaches, wouldn’t it be great for their parents to meet them both at midfield and congratulate them together on their outstanding accomplishment, and for the brothers to congratulate each other for their success, win or lose?
Fill the Talent Pool with sportsmanship at ALL levels of play!!