This last weekend I observed a game between a juggernaut and the tiny tim. The history for one side multiple conference and state championships, the other side has never one a game in its 16 game history.
The teams played the first game of the year with the juggernaut winning as expected 43-1. This weekend’s game figured to be more of the same. However, the juggernaut coached in a surprising move began pulling his starters 4 minutes into the game after leading 14-0.
As the coach went to sub out his last starter for the tenth girl off the bench, he did it slightly out of the technical order. You see, to sub you normally have the player go “check-in” at the scores table and they wait for the game to stop, the coach yells sub, and the player is waived on. But with the events going so quickly and the team jumping out to a 14-0 with no effort, the dead ball made him think, let me make this sub. So, he yelled “sub” from the bench and told the girl to go check-in. The ref held us his hand signaling to not allow the ball in to play and signaled with the other hand for the girl to come onto the court. The whole transaction took less than 3 seconds. Well, an assistant coach thought it was taking too long, so he remarked, “You can’t do that! The player has to be at the scores table.” To which the juggernaut coach replied back, “I’m trying to help you out.” Which, let me give you a little back story. After the 43-1 dismantling the coach wrote a letter basically crying about the score. So, the juggernaut coach very cognizant of this was doing his best to keep the score close.
Well, he leaves his 5 bench players in the rest of the 1st quarter and the whole 2nd quarter. At halftime the score was an unimpressive 14-8.
At halftime the juggernaut coach, athletic director, and JV coach had a chat and discussed the issue in the 1st quarter with the subbing and the incident from the 1st game. After some encourage the juggernaut left the starters in for most of the 3rd quarter and opened up a 38-8 lead. The 4th quarter he allowed his subs to play again. The game ended 44-20. The teams walked to their benches and shook hands. And then it happened. The losing team had to make a comment.
“We don’t appreciate your cute comment about trying to help us.”
“I’m just trying to help you out. You wrote the letter after the first game and I am trying to help you out by keeping it close this game.”
“We don’t want your help, run up the score on us.”
“You wrote a letter complaining about me, obviously you don’t mean that.”
The athletic director and JV coach are now in the middle of their 3 coaches and our girls coach trying to allow cooler heads to prevail.
“Look, the game is over, it was a good game, no hard feelings, lets shake hands, say good game, and be on our way.”
“We’re not going to do that, when he is making these cute comments about trying to help us out!” shouted the team that just got dismantled.
The girls coach saw there was no reason to stick around and left the situation
The losing team continued their remarks to the athletic director. Much to their chagrin the juggernaut’s AD had no nasty comments to say. The JV coach then pulled the AD away and said it’s time to go, for there is nothing here to gain.
Once outside many statements came to mind, this being the most obvious. “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
It makes me think this, sportsmanship is a two way street. If you want me to be nice, you must be nice. If I play my less skilled players, don’t press them with your best players. If I am trying to end the by running the clock, don’t call time outs. If you expect me to run the clock out to end the game, then you run the clock out to end the game too. If you don’t want me to fast break, then you don’t fast break either.