"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Decline of Sportsmanship

Reid Collins has written the best analysis I have yet read of what was behind the recent brawl at an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, for the American Spectator online. Collins points out the general decline of sportsmanship in American life during the past few decades, and identifies a concurrent deification of athletes. It is an excellent reminder of how much our society has changed in the past half-century. Read it here.

2 comments:

Robert Champ said...

Collins's article is persuasive, but I am surprised he didn't mention alcohol consumption, in which many fans freely indulge. I suspect that alcohol was behind the "basketbrawl" that has been played ad infinitum on television, and that it has been behind other instances of disruptive fan behavior.

What the players did in the Indiana-Detroit game is inexcusable, but no one can say they didn't have provocation. On the other hand, what provocation did the fans have? When fans fill up on beer and lose their inhibitions, anything is likely to happen.

I dread the thought that American fans may be turning into sports hooligans of the type we have seen in England and elsewhere. One of the best, and what should be one the first, ways of stopping it is to ban the sale of alcohol at sporting events.

S. T. Karnick said...

Very good point, Robert. Alcohol is a fine thing, but excessive consumption of it creates nothing but problems. Both in public and private it is quite toxic.