Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cheating In Sports

h_dss_logo[1] I typically start my day with Mike and Mike, streamed on delay in Denver on The Fan. I enjoy the hosts and it’s interesting to hear them talk about the previous day’s sports events. Today there was a huge debate on the Yankee game last night. I caught a bit of it, and saw Derek Jeter get “hit” by a pitch. Or actually, his bat getting hit by a pitch, but him acting like he got hit.

On the show, all of the athletes that were talking took Derek Jeter’s side. They said that cheating was part of the game. Faking a hit in baseball, flopping in basketball, adding something like silicon to your jersey in football so you can’t be blocked. Those are all “part of the game” and legitimate.

However the fan reaction, through emails and texts sent in to the show were completely opposite. People are disappointed, angry, and upset with Jeter. They say it’s not honest, not fair, he ought to be thrown out, he’s a bad role model, etc.

I think Jeter did the right thing. This happens in pro sports, and it’s accepted. This isn’t for fun; major league baseball (or pro football/basketball/etc) is business, and it’s for serious money. Winning matters to these guys. I’d go as far to say that it matters in college, for people that might go pro, or earn money for their school. And it matters in high school, for kids trying to get college scholarships.

However it’s not “part of the game,” as the pro athletes say. It’s part of the business of sports. That’s OK, and I understand it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

When I play baseball, or my kids play rec sports, I don’t think this should be acceptable. I think that the “game” deserves from honesty. Not everyone agrees, but that’s how I feel. I wouldn’t “cheat” a friend to get ahead, or get a win. I wouldn’t take a base if I didn’t get hit, and I wouldn’t even stand there and take a hit to get on base. It’s a game, and I think I need to earn my way through the game. If I step out in basketball, I’d call myself out. I don’t like getting over.

Not everyone I play with agrees, but I let them live their life, and play the game their way.

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