Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Bad Sportmanship

I attended the local high school's basketball game last night. It was a rough game on the home team, but they made it out on top. I know little about basketball, but I enjoy the game. The interesting part was that the first half of the game, it was a given that the other team was going to win. We didn't have a chance. But the second half turned around. Here's what happened: During the first half of the game, the visiting team was clearly more aggressive. I suggested to my boyfriend that perhaps the players should start wearing pads, because it looked more like football. Our guys had no idea how to play against that. In addition, the opposing team had a player that was 6'5", one 6'3", and a couple of others over 6'. Our team has one player that is 6'3", and the rest fall short of 6'. Needless to say, the other team just had the 6'5" player stand near the basket and drop the ball in. We kept getting fouled because, inadvertantly, our team would touch the ball in a desperate attempt to even get a hold of it while it was headed out of bounds, or the other team would barrel into one of our players and it would look like our players were holding them. It was frustrating as a spectator, to watch these kids go up against a much tougher team. They fumbled the ball, ran up and down the court in vain trying to chase the other team, and were generally exhausted and baffled. Well - the second half, our local team wised up. You see, aggressive behavior on the court only works when the other team either doesn't expect it, or tries to get you back. Instead, our guys used it against them, and started stepping out of the way and letting the opposing team foul itself. The visiting players got so frustrated, a couple of them purposely grabbed our guys roughly, fouling themselves and losing the game. Beyond that, while they were rough and intimidating on the court, the visiting team had not been taught to study their adversaries. After a few minutes, it was easy to see the habits of our team captain, and several other of our key players. I could tell you which ones were butterfingers, vs. who could pass behind their back and still maintain control. But the visiting team was too busy being bullies than to use their heads. Victory was a beautiful thing. Aside: another thing that frustrated me was the hecklers. Our school had a group of kids, in matching T's, who were there to chant and encourage their team, with little comment to the opposition. (I thought cheerleaders were supposed to do this, but apparently their only job now is to do wimpy dances and see how much leg they can show - and believe me, some of them shouldn't.) However, the opposing team had out-and-out hecklers. This group of misfits were loud, foul-mouthed, and yelled offensive chants at our team. I understand team spirit and supporting your school, but since when did it become vogue to ridicule and deride the opposite team? These kids were insulting the guys, calling them alcoholics, offensive terms referring to female anatomy, and cursing at them. I've got a rather foul mouth when I'm in a high-temper, and even to me, it was offensive. And it was LOUD. I couldn't believe they were not kicked out. If you said anything to them, they were smart-asses. What is up with this type of behavior in school? Where are the parents?