Wanna Fight About It?

For sports fans March Madness is a great time of year.  Basketball played at its highest level. Close wins.  Exciting upsets. Fierce rivalries.    This Saturday could feature all of the above in match up between bitter rivals Kentucky and Louisville.  But things are already heating up in the Bluegrass State between their respective fans.

According to WYMT 53 Mountain News, a Wildcat fan and a Cardinal fan got into a fight at a Georgetown (KY) Dialysis Clinic on Monday   The TV station’s web site gave this account.

“He just happened to think UofL would beat UK and he started to run his mouth,” explained dialysis patient Ed Wilson.Wilson also happens to be a self-proclaimed die-hard UK fan. “That’s what started it.”

But Charles Taylor, who was waiting to get hooked up to a machine saw things differently. “I didn’t talk to him about the ball game. I was talking to another guy about the game,” The UofL fan exclaimed. “He was meddling. And told me to shut up and gave me the finger!”

Both men admit they were in the zone, but never anticipated there’d be a power forward.

“I wasn’t gonna take no more from him,” UofL fan Taylor said.

UK fan Wilson explained “I’m sitting there hooked up to a machine and I can’t do anything.”

So, offended by Wilson,Taylor took action. “I went up to him and I hit him, ” he said. “Didn’t hit him that hard, but I hit him.”

By the time police arrived, the fight was over.

“I’m sorry it even happened,”Wilsonsaid. “Hopefully, he won’t come at the same time as me anymore.”

How about a flagrant foul on that one?!  Are you kidding me?  Two older men on kidney dialysis fighting over who’s going to win?  It raises (again) a more serious question.  What has happened to civility?  In sports?  In society?  In politics?

It seems in recent times there has been a rash of “incidents.”  We’ve seen it on the tennis court. The football field.  And the basketball court.  And at all levels.  From parents fighting at kids soccer games, to ugly chants from students at basketball games, to professional athletes either fighting with each other or the fans.

All of this is far cry from our first President, George Washington who when he was 16 hand copied the 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation. They were based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first rule is: “Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.”  Suppose President Washington would apply that to basketball rivals?

It’s bad enough when we see such disrespectful attitudes and actions in the world, but even worse for those wearing the name of Jesus to engage in rude behavior and hurl unseemly epitaphs at opposing players and fans.  And that would be true whether in the sports arena, on facebook or at the dialysis center!

While we may have strong options about our favorite sports team,  political candidate, or religious beliefs. Christians are called to a higher standard. One of kindness. Courtesy. Civility.

“Love has good manners,” Paul penned in 1 Corinthians 13:4.

So, this week-end, enjoy the games.  Cheer for your favorite team. Savor the victory, if you are so fortunate to see your school win.  Be remember to be nice. To be a good sport, win or lose.  And show the spirit of Christ.  Yes, even about something as important as a basketball game!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Civility

4 responses to “Wanna Fight About It?

  1. Elsie Simpson

    Good one Ken! I keep asking where the sportsmanship is! But that seems out the door with sports anymore. Best thing is to stay home and watch it on TV – it’s safer.

  2. Linda Bauhn

    Good comments Ken – this is something that should apply in all areas of our lives. Everyone needs to read and abide by this. Too bad we live in such an uncivil society.

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