Fans showed poor sportsmanship

A friend of mine sat down with me for a few minutes to discuss the need to remind people about sportsmanship.

At the time we were both enjoying a high school basketball game in which both teams are a local favorites.

While there were a few outburst at this game, the fans were good spirited and no vulgar or extreme outburst were made.

Now don't get me wrong. It's OK to cheer, and we all speak up when a call is missed or a bad call is made.

However, there are times when people say some things that are not OK. They scream at other members in the crowd and those across the way, and in the worse cases they yell at the kids on the court.

I understand it is an intense and emotional commitment to watch and cheer for your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews play sports. But shouldn't the focus of sports be on the bond of friendship these youths will develop while being a member of the team? Should the focuse be individuals working together winning and losing, creating memories in which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives?

It troubles me to think of what message we're setting for these impressionable and developing future leaders with negative outbursts at games.

For example, there was a display of poor sportsmanship at the start of the National Football Conference championships this weekend.

Nationwide, NFL rivalries run deep and mean, I am guilty myself of not liking a team, and being extremely vocal about why I don't like it. We are all guilty of this in some form or another, though the fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco took it one step too far.

The national anthem began. As the singer began the camera switch to show players on the stadium screens. San Francisco players were cheered, New York players were booed.

Call me old fashioned, but you do not "boo" during the national anthem, even if you're booing something else. It's a revered and time-honored song celebrating our great nation, and it deserves some attention.

This was a public and national display of poor sportsmanship, which I will say almost prompted me to root for the Giants.

I might not like your team, and you'll know why. But you won't have to hear it when the anthem starts. I'll be busy looking towards the flag — with my hat off, my hand over my heart and my lips sealed.

I love watching a good-spirited competition as much as the next fan on a local hardwood court or field. Though I would like to remind everyone why we are there. It's not to be heard or be right, it's to support the people that are playing the game.

Thomas Garcia is a writer for the Quay County Sun. He can be contacted at 461-1952, or by email:

tgarcia@qcsunonline.com

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