"For when the one great scorer comes
To write against your name;
He marks-not that you won or lost;
But how you played the game."
First of all, DO NOT get me started on the horrid Performance Enhancing Drugs, (PEDs), that are undermining all of Major League Baseball, (probably other sports too). Every record broken by these "druggies" should either be stricken from the record book or huge asterisks, (or maybe a picture of a syringe), placed beside their names. Roger Maris is still the home run king (61 homers in 1961) with the Babe right behind him and Hank Aaron's 755 career round-trippers is still the tops, with the Babe's 714 second. Fair and square, Barry, Mark, Alex, Sammy and all the others! Fair and square!
Here's a true story on real sportsmanship. It was in 2008 at the Washington State 4A Tack & Field Championship races, that a lady by the name of Andrea Nelson, ran in the state 3,200 meter race-garnishing her best time ever. However, much to her dismay, her best time ever still was a few fractions of a second behind the winner, who happened to be the defending state champion.
However, within a few minutes after the race, the judges made a ruling that left everyone stunned. The first-place winner was abruptly disqualified due to the official's believing that she had taken three consecutive steps on the inside line of the track, which was against the rules. As the announcement was made, practically everyone was upset at the ruling because for all intents and purposes, this lady had clearly won the race, fair and square!
At the award ceremony, Andrea received the first place award but it certainly wasn't the way she wanted to win the state championship race. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Andrea hopped off the podium and went to the first-place finisher, took her medal off and placed it around the neck of the disqualified first -place runner, hugging her and telling her she was the one who deserved the medal. After Andrea gave her medal away, something phenomenal happened-the second-place winner decided to do the very same thing. She took her medal off and placed it around Andrea's neck, giving Andrea the second-place title. Then each of the top eight medalists, one by none, placed their medals around the necks of the ladies in front of them.
The next day, in several video replays, it was discovered that it was not the feet of the disqualified runner that had inadvertently taken those dreaded three consecutive steps on the inside of the track. She was the real winner after all. Andrea Nelson had done what she thought was right and despite giving up the chance of being the State Champion, she decided that doing the right thing was more important than being Number One!
So, with that being said, this column writer wishes the very best to all our area sports participators this coming school year. Work your hardest, try your best, hold your head up high, believe in yourself, learn to handle both victory and defeat maturely. Parents, remember that every kid out there participating is someone's son or daughter. Give them the respect they deserve. And remember that coaches and referees are out there trying their best. I'm sure if you think you can do better, there's probably room for one more to get involved. Have a great season!
That's how I see it....let me know how you see it at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-327-4640. Give me a "V."