The Lost Art of Sportsmanship

It can be a funny thing how blog posts are conceived in my mind.  This morning on my way to work… I was listening to Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN radio.  One topic that they discussed briefly sparked some thoughts in my mind… the topic… sportsmanship.

So I began thinking about some Scripture that I could share as it relates to sportsmanship.
A verse that I often sign next to my name is Ephesians 5:2.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.
He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

I instantly thought of that verse… but then I thought… no…. I use that verse all the time… there’s a better one.
Then one word came to mind… ambassador… we are Christ’s ambassadors… and I thought… where is that Scripture?
When I got to work… I did my devotions first thing… my Scripture reading today… 2 Corinthians 4 and 5.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says…  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 

It doesn’t always work out that way… but I thought… okay God… I get it… I get what you’re saying to me today… I am your ambassador.

Sportsmanship is an art.  These guys… turn unsportsmanship into an art… pretty funny if you ask me.

However… as Mike and Mike were saying this morning… have fans gone too far with their heckling?  In a day and age where fans in Philadelphia have been known to throw batteries onto the field.  Spike Lee has ceased being known for whatever it is that he is famous for (directing movies) and has become known for being a Knicks fan that heckles the opposing team.  Baseball fans have been known to cause trouble in bullpens across America by heckling opposing pitchers.  When is enough… enough and where is the line?

Google the word “sportsmanship”… then click on images…. this picture appears on every page…
I have seen this kid’s shirt photo shopped many times to be a supporter of many different teams.  It’s a sad picture… a sad story… of what sportsmanship has become… or more like of what sportsmanship has not become.

Who’s to blame?  Is it the athlete?  Is it the fan?  Is the coaches of America’s youth?  Is it parents for not instilling sportsmanship values in their children?  Let’s face it… the days of Barry Sanders…
scoring a touchdown and handing the ball to the official are long gone.  Barry used to say… when you score a touchdown… act like you’ve been there before… and like you will be there again.  Instead today… we have to put up with things like this…
I’m not blaming the athletes.  We’re all responsible.  But as believers… and I have a confession… I struggle with sportsmanship as a fan… but as believers… we are Christ’s ambassadors… all the time… game time… or practices… in the stands… or on the field.   One quote that popped up as I went through google images for sportsmanship was what I would like to leave you with today… “One man practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundered teaching it.” – Knute Rockne

Live for today… by practicing sportsmanship.

What is the greatest act of sportsmanship you have ever witnessed?

The Lost Art of Sportsmanship

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