11-22-2007, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Ugh! Another thread on running up scores and sportsmanship...
What is the fundamental ethical value of the sportsmanship of not “running up” the score? A value is not to hurt the opponents’ feeling. Inflicting unnecessary pain is sheer evil.
But does it really apply here? Surely some of Pats’ opponents were embarrassed. But why? Two teams compete. Their jobs are to perform to the maximum level. If one team falls short, what is the origin of this embarrassment? Fragile ego? Vanity?
Misplaced pride is all I can think of. (like what Randall Gay insinuated?)
An athlete with integrity will just have to face his own deficiency, learn from the opponents, and improve. Tom Brady is a winner because he hates losing. When he lost, he didn't ask the opponents to go easy on him the next time. He tried to get better and revenge.
If I were the CFO a company and screwed up the book, should the CEO hide my mistake and not report to the SEC just to spare me some embarrassment and a bruised ego?
If I were an engineer and made a big mistake in designing the ceiling of tunnel that could fall and kill people, should the fault be hidden, out of consideration for my feeling?
In Tom Brady’s EEI interview, there was nothing indicating that he was out there to intentionally hurt the feeling of the opponents. Instead, he sounded like an athlete who loves and respects the integrity of game so much that he just has to perform (and enjoy) the game to the maximum level he is capable of. Isn't the objective of the game is to score?
If an ice skater invents a new jump-spin move that blows triple Lutz-triple toe out of the water, should he/she not show it off in a competition, lest it be embarrassing to all other skaters for being lesser? If Lance Armstrong could outdistance the pack by a km, should he have slowed down to avoid embarrassing others?
What is more importance? Integrity, performance, progress, and innovation of the game, or the “sportsmanship” of misplaced pride? This not to mention the need to honor the contract between the League and paying customers like poster hallfamebrady, who have every right to expect seeing the athletes they want to perform on the field. If a team decided to forfeit the game and the Pats notched a W without playing the game, the ticket holder would be entitled to a refund. To the customer, the primary objective is entertainment, the win/loss record is a by product.
The 07 Pats offense is blazing a new ground that puts the game in an unfamiliar territory. I think BB is torn between the pain of blowing big lead (like 18 pts), considerations for coach like Jauron, and respect for the wish of his "enfant terrible" Tom Brady who works his ass off the whole week and expects to enjoy a full 60-min of football. It’s probably a compromising deal between him and Brady to let them play at least 3 Qs. I am sure that if a team phoned in, saying they quit, Tom Brady would beg them to come and play, or he would go crazy on Sunday.
Some posters have written that the Pats do call off the dog, but their cut-off threshold is higher than the present conventional wisdom. I agree completely. Without any research, I guess that the acceptable threshold for calling off the dog is after 3-3.5 quarters. The Pats are still doing that, but because the point/minute efficiency of their current offense is so high, the cut-off score is just inevitably higher and unfamiliar. Everyone hates it; just like there were times when people hated steam engines and locomotives, telephones, airplanes, electricity, radio, and the Internet.
BTW, on other teams' message boards, there are many fans spewing hatreds for the Pats' running up of the score. The interesting thing is: by clicking on their old posts, I found that the same hateful posters had their score predictions for their team games to the tunes of 40-50's to 0-10s. Hm...