NFL coaches show lack of sportsmanship

by Ashlynne Macan | Staff Writer|

NFL coaches are supposed to set an example of sportsmanship for their players and youth alike. Apparently a couple of coaches missed that part of their job description.

Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and Jim Schwartz, head coach of the Detroit Lions, ended up in a scuffle at the end of their game when the 49ers beat the Lions on Oct. 16. Harbaugh shook Scwhartz’s hand aggressively and gave him a rough pat on the back then ran towards the locker room. Schwartz took off after him and they ended up in a small shoving match before players on each team could pull their coaches away.

What kind of display is this for college students who love to watch Sunday Night Football? The altercation seemed to stun some fans.

“[Sportsmanship] goes hand in hand with chivalry  . . . and it is reflected upon good character,” said student Juan Mendoza in his reaction to the coaches’ scuffle.
Apparently, Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz used to work together in the earlier years.

Harbaugh coached Schwartz when he played for the Baltimore Ravens at the start of 1998 according to ESPN.com. The two have some sort of history on the playing field, and maybe that could have been a part of why Harbaugh shook Schwartz’ hand “a little too hard,” stated ESPN.com. Maybe this could have been done just for entertainment, just to make things a little bit more exciting considering some people watch hockey just to see the fights.

“I’m a little disappointed . . . when feelings are involved in a high stakes game and a lot of effort and a lot of passion are put in to whatever you are doing, people tend to take it personal,” said student  Bryan Toledano.

Toledano explained that sportsmanship is important because it does play in to everyday college life.

Think about it, even if you are having a bad day you can’t take things too personal because sometimes things are done unintentionally. Imagine a game field, let’s say it is the student union. If on this playing field, someone said “hello” to you, normally, they would not chase after you to shove you, if you didn’t say “hi” back. They would just keep walking, say “oh well” and keep going.

This scuffle showed just how “professionals” could be inappropriate. Even though neither coach was fined, “there should be rules,” said student Breanna Cardenas.

Cardena explained that her family members play soccer for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), and that they have rules for sportsmanship. “There is no gloating, you can’t be cocky on the field, and if you get angry or upset you can’t take your jersey off and throw it on the ground or else they get in trouble,” said Cardenas.

There should be consequences for these coaches’ actions, they should at least be fined. They make a mockery of themselves on national television and do not have to pay anything for such actions. College students learn that they can do anything they want and get away with it.

“Sportsmanship, isn’t something that everyone has, but it is definitely commendable when it is displayed,” said Toledano.

Sportsmanship plays in everyday life.  It helps build character, shows professionalism and establishes a positive attitude towards competition.

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