A tale of two football games I attended. I had a sideline pass for both games.
Coaches, I encourage you all, if you don't already, to follow the example of Game 1. We need overt examples to help bring back some of these noble traditions of class and sportsmanship. If you coach another sport - follow it as well!
Game 1: Public HS vs Public HS
Player is down on the field and it looks like it could be a serious injury.
Opposing team - every player and coach drops to one knee whether they are on the field or sideline. All players take off their helmets and hold them in hand. All look in silence toward the player down on the field. All in the stands - the opposing fans - standing in silence.
The player is finally helped off the field. All players put helmets back on, stand and all coaches, players and fans give - the opposing player - a very loud standing ovation.
An outstanding display of overt class and sportsmanship.
Game 2: Catholic HS vs Catholic HS
Player is down on the field and it looks like it could be a serious injury. I remembered the example of Game 1 stated above and knelt to say a prayer.
Neither team pays any attention what-so-ever. Coaches call players to discuss strategy.
Player is helped off the field. His own team - maybe, maybe 10% of his coaches and teammates clap. A majority of their fans clap.
The opposing team - not a single coach, player or fan clapped.
The solution? We need to show overt class and sportsmanship. We need to transform the culture of sports.