THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
Maybe "again" isn't fair. However, more often than not, these stories find themselves coming from the archives of youth, high school, or collegiate sports (or whatever you would consider anything that does not include the term "professional").
It's no secret I hold collegiate athletics in very low regard based on the way our society blindly devours the infinite issues they constantly feed us. If you need another reason for this, examine the College Football Championship that took place at the beginning of January between Alabama and Clemson.
In short, this was a rematch of the same two teams from one year prior. Alabama won last year, and they were looking to repeat and post an undefeated season. They had also won four out of the last eight championships in the sport.
But this year, Clemson stunned them and walked away with a 35-31 victory in the final minute of the game.
Now, Clemson is no saint either. Coach Dabo Swinney has done some pretty ridiculous things this year too. But the point of this story is to call out Alabama for saying it was the fault of the officials they lost this game, rather than their ability to outplay their opponent.
Defensive back Hootie Jones went on record and was reported as the point-person regarding Alabama's opinion that the officials blew the game for them. The ridiculous drivel he spewed was met with nothing more than normal, rational people chalking it up to him (and all of Alabama) being a sore loser.
Credit goes to Kevin Scarbinsky of Alabama.com for writing an article that stood up for morals: Scarbinsky called out anyone who agreed with Jones and who actually thinks the officials were responsible for the loss. And if you happen to scroll through the comments of that article, you'll note that there are a lot of people in this world that need their head examined.
The fact of the matter is that officials rarely, if ever, cost a team a victory. For every one call that could subjectively have gone a different way, there are a plethora of events that truly affected the outcome of the game, which amount to whether or not the teams actually executed on the field of play. For every questionable pass interference non-call, there was a false start that could have been avoided. For every pitch just slightly outside the strike zone, there was a batter who couldn't move a runner over to score on a sacrifice fly.
The sign of a good sport is never blaming anyone else for a loss except yourself, even when you might think the game was taken from you due to a bad call. You have the ability to overcome any obstacle, to train harder, to practice longer, and to be better than you were that day. Make that known to the media and the public, rather than showing your immaturity.
Baseball player, umpire, coach, fan; professional musician; founder, President & CEO of The OSIP Foundation, Inc.