I’se still watchin the Olys fer Davey, so’s he said I could post some more and what I wanted to natter on about was Sportsmanship.
Now, don’t be gettin exercised ‘cause I used sportsMANship. I mean it in what they call non-gender specific terms. Man is what we’re called, as in huMANs. That be our species name, like dogs, or bovines, not referring to the presence or absence of the pink handrail, so’s you understand, do’n’t you know. The gals can be sportsmen too and usually are better at it than the men.
Sportsmanship means goin into a competition with some respect for the people you’re competin against. Of course you want to beat them like a gong and be Number One, but you also know they could just as likely turn the tables and tap you one upside the head till you hear the ringin in yer own ears.
I was in a darts tourney down to the Branch a buncha years ago and some lad from Actinolite come up to compete. Now, I’s never heard nor seen him play and he was awful good. Doubles around the board to warm up fer shitsakes. I stayed off the hops just so’s I could have a half a chance and he beat me like a drum in the Orangemen’s Day parade. When it was over he shook my hand, looked me in the good eye and said I played well then thanked me for the contest. He didn’t point at me an laugh, when he coulda, or done some parade lap around the tables, lookin all Rocky Balboa. He was a gentleman and a sportsman about it. I think it comes down to respect.
Now just to get to the Olys, nomatter what sport yer talkin about, that means you’re probably one of the best in your country, even if your country is one of them ‘stans out there in the middle of nowhere. The Olys attract the best there be. That Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili who died on the first day, was one of the very best lugers from a whole country. You nor me could do the luging as good as he could, even if we practiced a hundred years. Even some gal from Turdistan who come 43rd in the Fancy Skatin is a thousand times better’n you and me will ever be. We forget that sometimes and that leads to people behavin like arseholes.
Take the Gals Hockey. Sure, we shellacked the Slovakians, but we still shook their hands and the crowd gave them a great big round of applause when it was over as the Slovakians did their very best and that’s all you can ask for. Same with the speed skatin, or the Gals two-man bobs. The Canadians always paid lots of respect to the others and even the crowds would applaud the teams which didn’t quite have the snuff for the stuff.
Then the Gals Hockey game with the US and Canada for the gold medal comes up. The US is guarandamnteed a Silver even if they don’t do more than lace’em up and skate about for an hour. But we go and beat them and take the gold medal away.
The Suomi’s come out, in Bronze and you’da thinked they’d won the Lotto 6/49. They were proud to be the third best Gals Hockey Team in the Whole Friggin World and the crowd and the Canadian team all gave them a great big round of congratulations.
Then the American Gals line up. Durin that medal ceremony, I had never seen so many people with the pouts on, ever. You’d a thinked we killed all their cats and then run over their kids with a backhoe. Silver means they’re the second best at gals hockey in the WHOLE FRIGGIN WORLD, but no, that wasn’t what they wanted so they stand there like they just heard the rabbit died.
By the way all that fuss about the underage Canadian Gals Hockey havin a pint and smokin cigars at center ice after the medal ceremony? The reason they made that bad choice was they weren’t old enough to know it was wrong. Or none too smart.
Last night, with the Mens 5000 meter team relay speedyskatin, all the lads on the podias were congratulatin each other without so much as a pout or a pissy attitude. Koreans, Yanks and Canadians all proud to be there, ‘cause they know they’re the fastest sons of bitches on blades, in the whole friggin world. That Yank, Apollo Mahi-Mahi Ono had a big proud smile on his fiz gettin the bronze to add to his wad of gold medals, knowing that his team and himself busted their ass and damn near did it.
Or at the Gals Curling final. Cheryl Bernard misses one in the extra end and Sweeden gets the gold. Does Cheryl Bernard toss her broom in the crowd and spit at the Sweeds? Hell, no. Cheryl knows her and her rink are the second best gals curlers in the whole friggin world and is gracious and damn glad to be there. That’s what you call sportsmanship. You could even call it classy. Which the American Gals Hockey team sure wasn’t.
There’s a time when you win and there’s a time when you lose in any competein’ event. You might not get some ribbon and some piece of hardware, but you’re still the best just by gettin there. The best in the whole friggin world.