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Monday, January 26, 2009

Sportsmanship...you either have it or you don't

You have probably heard about the Covenant-Dallas Academy girls' high school basketball game in Texas last week. Covenant just barely eked out a win. Final score: 100-0. Yep! Covenant was ahead 59-0 at the half and managed to 'hold-on' for the win.

One spectator who attended the game said Covenant continued to make 3-pointers even in the fourth quarter and that the Covenant spectators and an assistant coach cheered wildly as their team closed in on 100. One of the Dallas Academy school parents said "I think the bad judgment was in the full-court press and the 3-point shots. At some point, they should have backed off." Another said some parts of the game looked like a Covenant lay-up drill.

Perhaps the Covenant coach felt 'humanitarian' and his team did not score after it reached 100 with four minutes to go in the game. Either that or Dallas Academy defense stepped it up a notch.

The flagrant violation of 'sportsmanship rules' created a media sensation and the next day, red-faced Covenant officials apologized and offered to forfeit the game to Dallas Academy. Imagine that... scoring zero points and winning. I can picture the ESPN post game interview with a Dallas Academy player... "It was a real team effort out there tonight."

Well, that, apparently didn't come to pass at last report. What did happen, however, is even more interesting. The Covenant coach sent an e-mail to USA Today and other news media outlets saying he would not apologize "for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity. I do not agree with the apology or the notion that The Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed. We played the game as it was meant to be played." I wouldn't be surprised that, at the buzzer, the fans and team did hold up those big "We're Number 1" foam fingers as they flooded the court. Actually, I'm embarrassed for the Covenant girls, especially if they took the victory seriously.

Delightfully, the coach was fired.

Reminds me of the time I beat my son, age 6, in a basketball game of H-O-R-S-E, 5-zip. He just couldn't match my five dunks... and we played fair and square. I felt pretty good after that one.

Hey... It's nuts out there.

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