"Sportsmanship Watch: With Missouri leading Colorado 48-0 in the fourth quarter, Chase Daniel was still on the field and still throwing. Who cares if Missouri was mad about its loss the previous weekend? The Tigers' behavior in the fourth quarter against Colorado was bad sportsmanship. The football gods will now punish Missouri."
-ESPN's TMQ on 28 Oct 2008
I've had this discussion a few times with numerous sports enthusiasts (also known as "friends") and we can never seem to agree on this subject. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only guy that feels this way about it. PLEASE, if I am not alone let me know. Here it is: I, Dean Walker, would like to get my hands on the guy who decided that "running up the score" was bad sportsmanship. And before you all get your collective panties in the proverbial bunch, hear me out.
I haven't played any sort of organized sports outside of flag football since high school. I played soccer up until my junior year and was moderately involved in some basket ball and baseball as well. Our soccer team was the only remarkable program our school offered outside of girls' softball. Our football team was dismal, our basketball team was laughable, and our swim team got more publicity than our baseball team. One thing that I did take away from playing those sports and being on the teams that I was on is that I would have much rather been spanked by the teams BEST players all game than their scrubs in the last 10 mins of the game before they mercy'ed us or whatever. I saw the mass substitutions at the end of the game as a pity gesture which, to me, is more unsportsman-like than keeping the starters in there and scoring a bunch. I wanted to be able to say we got our butts kicked by their best players instead of "Yeah, so they sent their scrubs in with about 10 minutes to go but we still got killed."
The way I look at it, if you're down 45 points in the 4th quarter of a football game, 9 points in the second half of a soccer game, or 60 points in the 4th period of a basketball game you have no business whining about sportsmanship. I pity nobody who asks for pity. Those people are whiners and just annoy me. Get off the field/court/ice or whatever surface you "play on" and stop sucking. You are obviously outmatched by your opponent and should not even be in the same venue as them. Look at Washington State and USC. Who wants to see 2 quarters of USC running the ball and STILL SCORING?? (they didn't throw a single pass in the 4th quarter) I don't. I want to see a 50 yard 1-handed-grab in the end zone. Washington State fans: where are you? If there are any of you out there, what would you prefer: 2 quarters of a boring ground game or some sweet passes and grabs, even if it's against your team.
I'll be the first to tell you that I'm a Michigan fan and will be buried in my Maize and Blue. I will also be the first to admit that our team blows this year. We're terrible, plain and simple. We didn't (and still don't) stand a chance at beating the class of the Big 10 this year and I am heartbroken that we probably won't make a bowl game this year but if we are down by major points in the fourth and the opponent throws a TD and then goes for 2 you will not hear a single complaint from me.
If I don't belong on the same playground as you, show me. Keep scoring, keep pushing and shoving, and prove it. Piss me off and make me want to beat you more next year. If you don't belong on the same playground as me, I'm going to let you know and let you know hard. I'm not going to "take it easy on you." I'm not going to put in backups, bench warmers, scrubs, whatever. I'm going to make you earn every yard, every hit, every catch, every goal, and every basket. Colorado wasn't going to get any better by studying Missouri's backups on film. Nobody prepares for a game by looking at the backup quarterback's pocket presence, the third string defensive back's 40 time, or the backup punter's longest punt in last tuesday's practice. People, quit catering to the weak.