Important for fans to be respectful of all participants

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Like most sports fans, I’m passionate for the teams I take interest in cheering for, whether it be at the high school, collegiate, or professional level.
I want to see my favorite teams come out on top with the hopes they can reach the ultimate goal of winning a title of some kind.
Unfortunately, many fans who are like me are sometimes overshadowed by those who have no appreciation for the officials, athletes, and coaches.
They are blinded by their passion for their team and don’t mind doing the unthinkable of cheering for injuries. They also use filthy talk to challenge coaches and officials as well.
Recently, many fans of the Kansas City Chiefs took pleasure for cheering on the injury of their own starting quarterback. Matt Cassel’s injury forced him from the lineup, something many Chiefs’ fans had been wanting to happen so badly that they resorted to cheering after he suffered his injury while he was still on the field.
This type of sportsmanship could even be seen by some fans last Friday night in Vandalia during the Van-Far/Community R-VI football game with Bowling Green.
Early in the game, one Van-Far coach heard something from his own fan base and addressed it after hearing it.
Later, a small portion of Bowling Green fans taunted an injured Van-Far player near the end of the game while the player was still down on the field.
Van-Far Principal Cindy Pirch took advantage of the silenced crowd during the injury to address the crowd. She said “this is going to be a winning game for everybody.”
Pirch’s impassioned plea was only followed moments later by some more poor sportmanship by a small group of fans.
According to starsportsmanship.com, sportsmanship is “dependent on respect – respect for the rules of the game, for your teammates, coaches, officials, the other team, and even respect for yourself as a player or a fan. Sportsmanship is an awareness that on the field or the sideline, your actions, attitudes, and behavior affect everyone else, how they play, and how they enjoy the game. You help set the tone for the game, and you are a reflection of your team, school, and community. Chances are they all want to be considered stewards of good sportsmanship. They don’t want to earn a reputation as a bad-attitude team of poor sports. Bad reputations are hard to shake. Poor sports play and live by the “win-at-all-costs” mentality, and that can be dangerous. Stewards of good sportsmanship live by the “STAR” model: Stop, Think, Act, Replay.”
While I’m bothered by what fans do with professional sports, situations on the high school level bother me the most.
My hope and prayer is that all area school administrations and officials can work closely to provide the best atmosphere of sportsmanship as possible at every game. I think all districts should make sure they are having PSA announcers read the MSHSAA Public Service Announcements at every home game to remind the fans of what is expected of them.
My hope is for all administrators and school officials to address situations as they arise during contests and make sure situations are resolved before they escalate. With officials being at the game from both participating districts, this is something both sets of officials should take head on together as a team to quickly rectify any unsettling situation.
Any fans not following a request asked of them regarding poor sportsmanship should be asked to leave and perhaps escorted from the premises.
If these measures are done at every game, even at other levels, I think the spectating experience would improve while the players, coaches, and officials would receive the respect they deserve. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

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