Great moments in sportsmanship

I have written before about my distaste when players even challenge the calls by officials on the field, let alone get into arguments with them and even resort to abusive language. This happens a lot in American professional sports. But what is even more appalling is when team managers (who in my opinion play far too big a role in American sports) go onto the field and argue with officials, with grown men displaying temper tantrums that even a child would be ashamed of. This was on display with a minor league baseball team, where the manager not only resorts to the most crude language against the umpire but ends up throwing equipment all over the field. And his team just sits on the bench and smiles indulgently, as if this is perfectly normal behavior.


  1. says

    Earl Weaver, the stuff of legends.

    I’m surprised there aren’t more such incidents today. Some umpires (e.g. Angel Hernandez, Joe West) are infamous for their bad calls. These are not calls of incompetence or bias, but rather calls made to draw attention to themselves. Umpires are trying to make themselves the centre of attention instead of being invisible.

  2. Mano Singham says


    Yeah, that incident was infamous and turned a lot of people away from supporting Australia.

  3. Roj Blake says

    @Holms and Mano -- “The underarm incident” was 100% within the Laws of Cricket at that time. Now, I know there is a lot of arcane sportsmanship talk around cricket but that is a different matter to following or breaking rules. A bit like the assumption a batsman should walk even if the Umpire gives him not out. Out is out, not out is not out, and that is the umpires’ call.

    Still and all, as an Aussie who lived in Christchurch from 2001 -2013, I always kept that one in reserve for when the Kiwis were yammering too long about Rugby. Always good fun.

  4. says

    mnb0 (#7) --
    For all the criticism directed at hockey for permitting fighting in the game, hockey has a history of giving out the most severe punishment for the abuse of officials or other players. Other sports should follow that example.

    Holms (#5) --
    Similarly, baseball players and fans get upset about “unwritten rules” all the time. They’re unwritten because they’re not rules, like bunting during a no hitter.

    I can understand objecting to a bunt during a 9-0 game, but complaining when the score is 2-0 and the game can still be won? Grow up. Seeing Curt Schilling get blown up like that was priceless.

  5. Holms says

    Sure, in the sense that it had been left out of the rules for being too obvious to need to be written in. Still colossal bad sportsmanship.

  6. Roj Blake says

    Not quite, Holms. Underarm was the original bowling style, later followed by lobbing the ball, also underarm. The first roundarm bowling was in 1822 and it wasn’t until 1828 that over arm bowling became a legal form of delivery. It is believed that last underarm bowl, until Chappell, was in 1921. It wasn’t removed from the Laws of Cricket, the game just evolved to advantage over arm bowling.

    Sportsmanship is fine for amatuers, but when you’re playing for sheep stations …

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