"If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that is a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life." - Tennis great Chris Evert
Sadly, that quote was lost on Canadian hockey fans last night after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. We've come to expect that scale of sore losership in some corners of the world. But we were blindsided by the behavior of the Vancouver fans, which served as another reminder that good sportsmanship and better fansmanship 'manners a lot'!
Whether one is a player or a zealous spectator, the manner in which you behave in the wake of the win or loss is a true mark of social grace and civility. For it isn't in the victory that we learn about ourselves, but in the losses and defeats.
Last night's rioting had an uncomfortable familiarity to it - losing one's self and common sense in the blinding lights of the moment.
We should all take note of the bad behavior in Vancouver, and remember that the next time our team is victorious, or flames out. As esteemed basketball coach John Wooden said, 'things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." If you haven't yet seen the article at KidsHealth.org about teaching our kids how to be a good sport (which I blogged about last fall), check it out.
Unbridled enthusiasm should never include disrespecting or demeaning someone else or their property. Emily Post writes that if someone 'can't take sports with grace and good temper, then don't go in for them'. Winners - don't gloat; Losers - don't sulk! Afterall, it really DOES 'Manner A lot'.