Monday December 22, 2014
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Well! Well! Well!
Somewhere between fifty and sixty years ago I quit watching baseball, mainly because I was disgusted with something that was happening all throughout pro sports.
One example: When I was young if a catcher or baseman interfered with a runner he was not only ruled wrong, he was kicked out of the game for poor sportsmanship. Then came the changes in pro sports that let basketball and baseball become contact sports, and football become legalized assault. I quit watching pro sports before I was 35, and only went back to basketball for a short time because the Suns were doing so well.
And at last, after so many years, pro baseball has re-instituted an unwritten law that was washed away in the era of "anything goes as long as we win."
At last, at long last, one change in one rule. If a catcher interferes with a runner then that runner is safe.
The only thing I disagree with is the reason given for doing it — safety!
Safety my backside! What's wrong with going back to the original meaning of sportsmanship, and I quote:
"Being fair and generous in one's behavior or treatment of others, especially in a game or contest."
What's the use of winning when all it means is that you cheated better than the other bunch of cruds?
You know something? I can remember well when professional football was almost unheard of, a little backwater sport where the ball snapped, there was a cloud of dust, and the ball advanced five feet. You'd see a little of it on the weekly newsreel in a movie house and you would wonder why anyone bothered.
Baseball was king, and the announcers were so hard on anyone who even looked like he was cheating that no one out of that field dared to do it. It was almost entirely an eastern sport, though; no teams west of Saint Louis. And everyone had a team, or two — one in each league.
When teams were moved to California baseball began to change. I was overseas a lot, and every time I came back some rule or other was being ignored. Finally, it got so bad I just quit watching. As for pro football, the minute anyone began to watch it on TV the whole thing became winning. And basketball, which was strictly small time stuff, showed up on TV and winning became everything there too.
Result? I would guess that one out of every four people of my age who used to listen to radio and enjoy sports quit when it hit TV and the poor sportsmanship came along. I know that over in England in 1969 when I got there, not one of the 21 men in my small outfit cared for pro sports, not even one.
Right now I know nothing about sports except that I would certainly watch it again if if were an actual "sporting" event, where good sportsmanship came first, instead of Corporate America dressed in snow pants, helmets, pads, and cleats.
What will happen in the long run? You tell me. What do I know?
This is REALLY interesting!
I expected to see a rush of comments on this subject, but not one soul has said a word. Amazing! Could it be that the interest in sports has waned so far that no one really cares about them anymore?
I am a NASCAR fan. When my kids were in HS We went to all the football games even tho my boys didn't play our friends kids did. I don't like sports if I don't know anyone playing.
Only Go-kart, car, and truck racing.
I was never much on NASCAR, but I can tell you that when they opened a stock car track in New London back in the 50's I was out there with everyone else. Was fun to watch.
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