When I played Little League my Dad was careful to explain that competition is good and winning is great, but how you play the game is what people remember. There are plenty of examples of professional and collegiate athletes and coaches who seem to have forgotten the concept of sportsmanship. Tonight I watched Dick Jauron, head coach of the Buffalo Bills, call a timeout while Nick Folk, the Cowboys rookie kicker, was kicking a 53 yard field goal to win the game. Nick then proceeded to kick another 53 yarder to win the game (again).
I saw the same tactic used by Florida Coach Urban Meyer and relished watching Wes Byrum, the Auburn kicker, nail his second attempt to give Meyer his first defeat at home. Meyer is lauded as a coaching mastermind and when I see him pulling lame stunts like that it’s a sure sign of desperation.
About the only thing that would have been more enjoyable in both circumstances would have been to have the coach call the last second timeout right before the opposing team’s kicker swings his leg and have the field goal attempt fail. Then since the attempt didn’t count (thanks to the timeout) the kicker gets a second try that sails through the uprights to give his team the victory. The first time that happens maybe these coaches who resort to such lame tactics at the expense of sportsmanship and their own reputation will think about all the ramifications instead of jumping on the “anything to win that there’s not a rule against” bandwagon.