College Sports

My knowledge of universities outside of California is greatly due to their sports teams.  Like many sports fans, watching college teams play has a certain emotional investment that watching professional teams does not always evoke.   People, for the most part, enjoy watching college sports and it gives universities recognition that they certainly wouldn’t receive if there were no sports.

The first issue I’d like to address is that of whether or not colleges should have sports.  I could not imagine school without sports teams.  I just can’t see the cons of having sports teams within a school.  I guess the financial burden can be abundant, but not always, some schools make money off their sports teams and the schools benefit tremendously.  Being a student athlete requires a lot more than being a student and an athlete.  It requires time management, prioritizing, being healthy, and being smart.  These are all things that an employer looks for when hiring a new employee. If the only benefit the student receives is being more attractive on the job market, that’s still a great, but in my experience the benefits reach far beyond this.  And for the schools, it gives their student body something to have pride in.  School spirit and coming together to cheer your school on to a victory is a great way to build pride in your institution. This is why I agree with Brands, “Integrated View” of sports in the institution. The student athletes should be given academic credit for balancing these two very important aspects of health, sound body and mind. Like Brand states, if playing an instrument, which is essentially performing an intricate skill, is considered academia, then why isn’t pitching a baseball? Both require great time and practice, both have careers outside of the university. For some, sports are not intellectual, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be.  Yes, the stereotyped, “dumb jock” may have some truth to it, but not every musician is Mozart, the kid who plays the drums in his parents garage is still a musician. Is there a difference in the level of understand between the punk kid and Mozart, of course! Same as there is a difference between the dumb jock and quarterback at Yale. There is no question that sports are a beneficial component of schools, are they essential?  No.  Not essential, but definitely motivate athletes to go to school who may not have necessarily been interested in going to college otherwise.  I can honestly say that my first priority for going to college was to play Division 1 soccer.  It was the next step for me in my athletic career and getting a Bachelor’s degree was an amazing bonus.  It sounds naive, but I didn’t realize how important school was for my future, I excelled in sports so that’s where I wanted to put my time and energy.  I think this could be a considered a con for many of the universities, that students are present only to be athletes, but at least they are there when they otherwise wouldn’t be. And for me, I am now coaching, making money off my investment of being an athlete and learning the sport at the university.  Did I receive any academic credit? No, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Akron Men's Soccer winning National Championship

Akron Men’s Soccer winning National Championship

Student athletes are a different type of student, they are students, they are athletes, and they are the school.  I remember going on a recruiting trip to the University of Iowa and one of the ladies on the team told me, “we are the school”, when speaking about the athletes at the university.  I think she was on to something.  These athletes get the school recognized in a public forum.  People who never attended college or are not interested in academics can still be interested in the university.  That being said, fans have a reason to buy paraphernalia and these sales benefit the schools as well.  Like I said in the beginning, I would never know what Auburn University was if Cam Newton didn’t go there, or Akron University if they didn’t have one of the best men’s soccer teams in the entire country.  Sports give these places something for the public to connect with.

The schools make some money off their sports teams, if not directly from game attendance, indirectly from their memorabilia sales.  Even if they didn’t make money off the athletic department, they are investing in their students and making them better, well-rounded people preparing them for the real world.  There are, however, some schools that make tons of money off of their athletic teams.  From TV contracts, to video games, to all sorts of media, schools can and do make a lot of money off certain teams and athletes.  The NCAA insists they are protecting the athletes by enforcing the laundry list of rules required for compliance.  The NCAA felt like a big lists of “no’s” to the athlete.  The entire premise of it had an almost big brother feel, controlling what we all do so what does not receive any benefits over the other.  WHAT?!! How does that make sense?  I am fairly familiar with this issue, not only from hearing about it on ESPN, but my dad has always been a proponent of allowing these athletes get the benefits they deserve.  Taylor Branch also argues that athletes should not be punished for receiving “benefits” and I would tend to agree with him.  Why can’t the NCAA and the schools find a way to control and distribute the financial benefits to those that deserve them?  If they stopped spending all this time, “protecting their athletes” from agents and started teaching their athletes how to deal with the media, it might just prepare them for the next phase of their professional career. Maybe if the NCAA taught the athletes how to cope with the abundance of money and gifts thrown at them when they become a pro, many of them would not go bankrupt after their multi million dollar careers.

College and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly, they are a great fit, but they could use some serious restructuring.

The Greatest Title Ever

As an accomplished female athlete, I am more than thankful for Title IX.  Without Title IX, my identity would be something completely different than it is today.  Today, I am a Division 1 soccer player, a semi-pro soccer player, a marathon runner, a triathlete, a Kinesiology master’s student, and a coach.  Sport has formed me into the individual I am; teaching me all the valuable life lessons that one needs to become a well-rounded person.  As you can probably tell, I take pride in my athleticism and I am thankful that Title IX gave me the opportunity to express this pride.

I have to admit, I also take great pride in my feminism.  I am a female and I am proud of that as well.  I love getting sweaty and dirty and getting bruises and scraped knees.  I like having battle wounds/scars to map where I have been in my athletic career, but I also love being feminine.  I can put on a dress and high heels and look, relatively, normal.  I feel that I have been blessed with the best of both worlds.  Lucky for me, these days having a slightly athletic build is deemed attractive but there are women who are less fortunate than me.

Postow addresses the masculinity in sports and whether or not, women refrain from participation because of this.  She speaks about four different types of masculinity, 1) sports characterized by physical aggressiveness, power, and effectiveness 2) sports in which the attitude of aggressiveness, competition, stamina and discipline combine in a focus on winning and setting records 3) sports that serve and have served as a vehicle for masculine identification and 4) sports in which certain masculine biological advantages such as strength and speed are factors.

I believe that only the third definition of masculinity deters females from competing in sport.  Being feminine is generally important to women, whether that’s because it is an innate feeling or because society tells women to be pretty and feminine, it is something that the majority of women think about. There are many examples of females being ridiculed because they “look manly”.  Many advertising agencies only sponsor the “attractive” females for their ad campaigns, only reinstating the preconceived belief that society wants their females feminine.   Antiandrogynist is typically a concern for both genders, neither males nor females wanting to be confused for the other, especially because of looks.  This may deter some females from competing in athletics, but it certainly does not deter all, there are plenty of women who compete at a high level, often risking their outward feminine appearance in order to be the best they can be.

The other side of this is that it is considered a compliment to be told you play like a guy if you are female, but it is shameful to be told you look like a guy.  The same goes for males.  A common insult on the soccer field after hitting a weak shot is, “why don’t you hit it with your purse next time?” Despite these comments and others like it, I still believe that equality in athletics is moving in a positive direction.

The other types of masculinity may have, at one time, discouraged females from competing but as long as the females are competing against other females, those factors shouldn’t be an issue.  Postow does suggest that women and men do not need to segregated and for some sports, this may be true, but for the majority of sports if we did not segregate, there would be a lot fewer females competing because they would be forced to conform to the men’s game.  I like the segregation.  Women and men may be competing in the “same game” with the “same rules” but men and women often play those games differently than men. It is not better or worse, it is simply different.  We(women) change the way the game is played and really make it our own. We change it in order to play to the strengths that we have.  Some may argue it’s not as exciting, but I would argue that it is a more intellectual approach to how the game is played. We can’t just win with brute strength, we have to strategize, therefore, beating the opponent both physically and mentally.

As time moves forward, societies view of female athletes is changing.  It was not that long ago that women couldn’t vote, we have come so far to create equality in our society and sports are not only equal on paper but they are starting to be respected equally.

Aesthetics in Sports

As human beings we are pleased by aesthetics. Initial attraction is generally sparked by aesthetics and how something looks to us. To be honest, when first reading the topic of discussion for this week, “aesthetics in sports”, I thought they were referring to the athletes themselves and possibly the way uniforms look, but I have to find out this is not the topic of conversation at all. The discussion is about the different types of aesthetics of sports, and whether or not, sport is a form of art.

According to Best, there are two types of sports. Purposive sports are, “ones in which the aesthetic is relatively unimportant and where the means to the end are many and varied,” and aesthetic sports are, “ones in which the aim essentially involves

the aesthetic, ”however, I found one flaw with this distinction. There are some sports that are both. The sport of boxing, has the purposeful goal of a knock out punch and if that occurs, the content of the rounds leading up to the knock out-do not matter. However, if no “knock-out” occurs, the athletes are then judged on their performance and the aesthetic in which they performed. This and other combat sports are the only sports that I can think of that do not have a clear distinction of either purposeful or aesthetic. He claims that his argument “shows that in sport the two concepts are certainly intimately related, but it also shows that they are not entirely co-extensive.” The example of boxing does not trump the argument of the division between the types of sports but it does put a wrench in the division. I find myself doubting that there is such a clear distinction, that there is a lot more overlap between the two types that best lets on. Ultimately, in the “aesthetic” sports if they do not complete the required task, no matter how aesthetically pleasing it may be, it will not count, so in this sense, it is also a purposive sport. As far as purposive sport, the only thing that matters in them is completing the task, no matter how pretty or ugly it may be-here, he is correct that there is a distinction, but I cannot agree that the aesthetic sports are not purposive as well.

Best is adamant that sport cannot be regarded as art, but I disagree. Boxill exemplifies why sport can and is considered an art form and his arguments are more concise and convincing. Best claims, “Even if one of the aims of sport is beauty, it is not the sole aim,” Boxill counter argues this with, “while athletes may aim at beauty, it is not the sole aim, nor is it the sole aim of the artist”. I could not agree more. I pride myself in being an athlete, but I also pride myself in my creativity and often time these things go hand in hand. They are both forms of self-expression and even if what I produce isn’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing, it is still my form of self-expression. Some days, my performance feels ugly and harsh because that’s how I am feeling. Some days my art feels harsh and angry, because that’s the way I am feeling. Other people’s interpretation does not determine my intention or the aesthetics. Art is not always beautiful, take Marcel Duchamp’s Urinal art, although it may be considered beautiful by some, its message was the main purpose of the piece. Sport may not always be beautiful, however, it most certainly can be, and it is almost always a form of expression.

Sports are aesthetically pleasing otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a deep-seated interest and joy in watching them.

Society and Performance Enhancing Drugs

In all honesty, when the topic of performance enhancing drugs comes up, my immediate reaction is to say-“it’s bad”. I’m not sure if that initial reaction is due to how I actually feel about the drugs, or if it’s what society or the ideology of doping, has instilled in me. Like all controversial subjects, keeping an open mind and hearing all sides of the story before coming to a conclusion is essential. After I take a step back, I am now unsure how I feel about the subject.
Looking back at the documentary, “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and seeing that there are other professions that use performance enhancing drugs in order to be the best that they can be, I feel different about the subject as a whole. I don’t see the drugs as bad or even immoral(only immoral because they are attaining and consuming them in the wrong way). What I mean by this is like when an individual knows they did something wrong, and they don’t fess up but they justify it to themselves as, “well, they never actually asked me directly about it; so I didn’t lie.” If you’re going to use performance enhancers, be honest and upfront about it. I realize players can’t because it’s a banned substance, but these people going under oath and saying they didn’t, just kills me. Jail time is better than admitting to using these drugs?
Society must really hate athletes who dope. We put them in the same place as murderers, and rapists because they are LIARS? Sport is sacred to society and tampering with the purity of God given talent and allowing it to get beaten by science is unfathomable. I think this goes nicely with Gardner’s conclusion that “our primary concern regarding performance enhancing substances may be that athletes would unjustly gain an advantage over the intended purpose or test of a sport”. The test is to find the most physically and mentally superior individual and have them be the winner. Taking these substances eliminates that test or challenge. If individuals are going to alter themselves in order to unjustly gain an advantage over the test, then shouldn’t we change the test? It seems logical, but the idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth because the consistency in the test in sport is somehow comforting. I don’t want it to change and I don’t think society wants their sports to change either.

Beyond what or how society feels, it is interesting that the athletes themselves succumb to the pressure of something they have grown up to know as wrong. The advantage that one gains from using these drugs is not necessarily the issue. The issue for me, is that no one else knows they have done what they did in order to achieve that advantage. They do it in secret, they lie about it, and when society believes in an individual that is larger than life and comes to find they are not, it is a disappointment. There is no real solution to this issue, because if banned substances become unbanned, how far will the athletes take it? It could lead to serious health issues for athletes and the general public, but if they don’t regulate them than athletes will continue to try and fool the system. The health issues is not something I believe is an issue under the regulation of a doctor, but it would be my concern that because everyone is on “even-playing fields”that athletes would now take extra enhancement to again gain that advantage. This is my main concern, but I will compare to alcohol. It was illegal at one point in time and people still broke the law to get it. Fears of people being drunk all the time and the health issues deterred alcohol from being legal. After the legalizing of alcohol, there were still people who didn’t drink but there were also people who abused the privilege. I believe the legalization of doping will have a similar outcome, some not using it, some using it responsibly, and others abusing it.

Society can be a judgmental beast, enforcing its narrow-minded opinions on all those to fall in line. Is this a case that may be being overlooked because of our ideology? Should we take a step back and truly weigh the pros and cons to possibly come up with a new solution? Yes and eventually, whether society likes it or not, our take on performance enhancing substances will change.

Performance-Enhancement

 

I will preface my discussion with this story.  This weekend the team I coach traveled to Arizona to play a conference game.  We took the bus on this three-day excursion and the men’s team was also along for the ride.  As I was doing the readings for this week I had to stop because unfortunately carsickness took over and I needed a break from the comput

er screen.  I looked up and asked the men’s coaches whether or not, they would use performance enhancing supplements, thinking it would start an interesting conversation about the topic, where I could be the devil’s advocate and try and probe to get them thinking.  Boy, was I wrong.  I am not sure if I hit a nerve or if they didn’t like getting questioned, but the nice conversation I was anticipated turned into a one sided yelling match about creatin. YIKES.  Thank goodness there are no more road trips this season and I know now not to try and have an intellectual discussion with overly competitive men.

Before the yelling match ensued, I was able to ask them each if they would use performance-enhancing drugs.  They had mix answers, some saying, “no, never” and others saying, “yes, if I could get away with it”.   Interesting.  The younger crowd said no and the older said yes…now why is that?  The older coach spoke about how players now are much better athletes and he attributed this to diet, strength and conditioning, equipment, basically advancements in knowledge and technolog

y, which I tend to agree with.  This raises the question that Simons brings up regarding allowing the advancement of knowledge and technology to be implemented but not performance enhancing drugs and where we draw the line.  He also talks about the records being broken for performances and that if they are taking drugs; they are not achieving the same things on eq

ual playing fields. So if Henry Aaron set the homerun record with a wooden bat and Mark McGwire set it with an aluminum bat, regardless of drugs, wouldn’t the homerun record still be on different playing fields?

I would definitely say they are not on equal playing fields, but I also believe the record is still valid.  In terms of equal playing fields, I think it’s safe to say that if Mark McGwire or Sammi Sosa played in Aaron’s day and they were as fit as they were when they played, that they would have not only set the homerun record, but it probably would’ve been a lot higher than 70; but those guys didn’t play back then, they play now were everyone has advanced and everyone is on equal playing fields as far as technology and knowledge, just like Aaron was on an equal playing field within his time.  What I am trying to say is, it doesn’t make sense to compare players from different eras because of the advancements of the game and athletes, but because the athletes advance on a relatively similar scale the records they set are valid due to the advancement of the athletes around them.

This brings me to performance enhancing drugs.  My initial reaction, like many others is to say they are absolutely wrong, and then I think if we are allowing these other performance enhancers in sports, then why not drugs as well?   It is not as if these drugs will take an average Joe to a pro, but it will take an accomplished athlete to an elite athlete.  I believe there will come a day when drugs will be allowed, but right now is not the time.  Athletes are still developing and growing with “natural” enhancements but as soon as that plateaus, there will be a place for safe or controlled substances.  For now, performance-enhancing drugs will remain a taboo subject and only time will tell how people react towards it in the future
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Competition

Competition is what breed’s success. That’s not to say an individual is a “loser” if they are not the “winner”, that’s a very short-sided view of competition and success. They may be the winner or loser of the particular event, but there are benefits that go beyond face value; health, friends, taking instruction, working to achieve something, these all benefits from being involved in competition.
Dr. Stanley Eitzen claims there are only two positive consequences to competition where I claim there are innumerable amounts. He says, “The two most common reasons given for competition are that it is a strong motivator and it pushes everyone to strive for excellence.” I cannot deny this statement; competition does cause people to strive for more and is an extremely good motivator. IT comes across a bit snobbish in the article, as if, this alone isn’t a good enough reason to be competitive. Wanting the best for yourself and believing that you are capable of more is not a bad thing. How would society advance if no one strived for more at any point? The answer is, it wouldn’t. Society needs competition and competitors, even if their best is not the best; they are achieving excellence in their own right.
Joan Hundley wrote an entire article about “The Overemphasis on Winning: A Philoshical Look”, she writes about how society has made winning too important, and it is essentially damaging sports. Quite frankly, I think Joan needs to cool her jets. She makes some good points about how certain athletes act unethically in order to “win at all cost” or how sports are not about play anymore, which is a sign of the deterioration of modern society. I pick up what she’s putting down about too much emphasis on the winning aspect of the game often loses sight of the real joy of playing, but Joan is overlooking that

winning or losing the game is why we play. The emotional evocation from sports comes from putting everything you have into it and achieving that greatness or failing. How can you really enjoy success if you don’t know what it feels like to fail? The heartbreak of getting scored on in the last second, the absolute elation of the three-pointer swishing in at the buzzer; that’s why sports are enjoyable because of the emotional investment. If there was nothing at stake, than no one would have

an emotional investment. The more that’s on the line, the more winning is essential.
Getting the result should not waiver our moral obligations. Praising the winner, rather than the “better person” is one of Dr. David Carr’s statement’s regarding the separation of the athlete’s character and abilities. His statement “qualities of moral character and athletic or sporting prowess cannot always be expected to coexist in the same individuals.” This is offensive. I cannot allow this statement to go unnoticed. There is no justification for such an outlandish claim. McEnroe is his example, where McEnroe may have been outrageous, he was never immoral; Nancy Kerrigan- she was immoral, but she was punished and banished for her behavior. There may be some athletes that are not always the most moral of people, but they are generally punished and not cheered on, they are the one’s people don’t recognize as “great”.
Competition is an essential component of sport and play. It adds an emotional element, creates a driving force in individuals, and weeds out the immoral. SO KEEP ON COMPETING.

The Good Foul

My goodness, according to Pearson, the deliberate foul is a mortal sin. The harsh words she had for deception rubbed me the wrong way. I almost stopped reading after she questioned whether, strategic deception was unethical or not. HOW COULD BUNTING THE BALL IN A BASEBALL GAME BE UNETHICAL???!!!! Don’t worry; she concluded that, “Strategic deception is in no way designed to deliberately interfere with the purpose of athletics.” Phew. Baseball would be even more boring if there was no strategic deception. Can you imagine?

Now for deliberate deception; the worst of all the deception!!! At least there are different degrees of wrongdoing, because we all know that every foul cannot be created equal. For instance, missing the ball in soccer and kicking someone, pure accident, still a foul, but not too bad. Then there is tripping someone, on purpose, so they can’t make the next play. Intentionally, and a foul, and depending on the severity of trip can lead to harsher consequences then a free kick. This too me, is within the confines of the game because the trip wasn’t intended to hurt the opposing player, it was just intended to disrupt the play. It shouldn’t be done too often, but once or twice in a desperate situation is understandable. Now, the third, punching someone on or off the ball. This has the intention of inflicting pain and not in any way that is permitted in the rules. This is no longer playing the game and calls for ejection. Pearson says the last two are violations that result in no longer playing the game. For me, only the last one results in no longer player the game.

In the author’s defense, deliberate rule violation is not something that should be implemented until there is full understanding of the game or sport. For instance, my fiancé coaches youth soccer in the south bay and he gets very upset (trust me) when other coaches encourage time-wasting and deliberate rule breaking. As a developmental coach it, he feels that coaching 8 year olds shouldn’t be about winning and losing the game with gamesmanship. He prides himself in developing good soccer players that understand the game and play it to play, not to win. That’s not saying he doesn’t want to win, because obviously that’s the point of competing, but he wants to win playing the game without bending the rules. I agree that gamesmanship and deception are mature aspects of sport and are not intended for all audiences. Without full comprehension and respect for the game/rules, using deceit is irresponsible and disrespectful.

Pearson and Fraleigh have similar ideals about intentional rule breaking; thankfully, Fraleigh is more lenient about the whole situation. The “good” foul, or the “smart” foul, “professional” foul; are all terms referring to the same thing. Purposefully disregarding the rule “in terms of the rational self-interest of the violator”(Fraleigh). Like I mentioned previously, athletes who truly understand and respect the game should only commit these fouls. Youth and beginners are not knowledgeable enough to properly distinguish between the different types of fouls and therefore, should not commit them. I am an advocate of the “good” foul for athletes who truly understand and comprehend the sport and it’s rules. To not understand and to foul, is simply disrespectful; but too truly understand and to foul is simply brilliant.

Sportsmanship

What is “sportsmanship” anyways? There are many different interpretations of the word and yet, it always seems like the loser has sportsmanship. In my experience, sportsmanship is often a term awarded to the team who loses. “Well, at least they were good sports”. I can confirm this claim based on the fact that every year for the Big West Conference the “Sportsmanship Award” went to the team in last place. It was as if the conference was saying, “thanks for trying”. Ouch. According to Peter Arnold in, “Three Approaches Toward an Understanding of Sportsmanship” there are three types of sportsmanship. The first type is “social union”, suggesting that athletes play by the rules to “promote a sense of community”. The second is “etymological” (big word, I know) which is a sense of utilitarianism- this suggestion was a bit unclear but I gather that it means playing the game fairly is more important than winning the game. The last is “altruism” which suggests that sportsmanship is acting or believing that the well-being of your opponent is genuinely an important issue. I will dissect each type more in depth and try to develop a more concrete definition for sportsmanship.
The first approach, suggests that sportsmanship is an idea of sport as a social union. I, wholeheartedly agree with the idea that sport is a social union. People always say, “Soccer is a small world” but my agreement with that statement does not mean I agree that that is sportsmanship. Just because an individual enjoys having group friends that like to do the same things as they do, doesn’t mean they play fairly or respect the game. This does not explain any type of sportsmanship in the way I understand the word.
The second approach, states that sportsmanship is a kind of justice as regards sport that has pleasure as its aim, meaning that sportsmanship is having fun because you were involved rather than because of the outcome. This section was a little confusing because the author went back and forth on his definition. To a certain extent, playing the game fairly and competing with honor is sportsmanship, but Keating goes as far to say, “Fairness of play is the pivotal virtue in athletics.” Fairness of play is A pivotal virtue in athletics but it is not THE pivotal virtue. For example, if a player on the opposing team takes out one of your teammates, it is often encouraged to “get her back” take down their number and let them know that if they are going to take down one of you, they will have to deal with all of you. This conduct is not sportsmanlike for the other team, but it’s certainly honorable to want to take care of your team. Fairness of play is A pivotal virtue in having sportsmanship.
The third approach suggests that sportsmanship is largely to do altruism or the “good and well-being of another.” Arnold references a story in this section about Meta Antenan, a long jumper who asked for her opponent to have a longer rest period in order to recover from her previous event. For me, this is not “altruism”. If I am going to beat someone and be labeled “the best”, I want to compete against the best and beat them when they are at 100%. In this case, the actions of Antenan were not done for the concern or well-being of her opponent but so she could clearly state that she won, and beat her opponent. This interpretation is flawed, there are too many reasons and examples that refute the claim or refute the intention of the claim.
Sportsman is playing fair, it is being concerned for the health of the opponent, playing within the confines of the rules, and competing with dignity and pride. All of these things exemplify sportsmanship but not one is the sole definition. It is also safe to say that teams can be winners and play with sportsmanship, although we often, inappropriately, give the sportsmanship accolades to the losing team. Having respect for the game to play it with passion, honor, and heart is sportsmanship and each of it can be interpreted differently for everyone.

Gamesmanship

Gamesmanship: “Pushing the rules to the limit without getting caught, using whatever dubious methods possible to achieve the desired end” (Lumpkin, Stoll and Beller, 1994:92).  Gamesmanship is entirely a real thing. According to “formalism”,” the various derivative notions of a game are to be defined exclusively in terms of its formal rules.” According to formalism, a player who engages him or her in gamesmanship is not actually playing the game.  In fact, according to Fred D’Agostino in, “The Ethos of Games,” the claim of not following the rules means the player is in fact not playing the game.  Rather than Morgan’s approach to the same claim, “It is surely more correct to say of the cheater that he or she is playing the game unfairly than he/she is playing the game at all.” To me, only the true professionals and the true students of the game can incorporate gamesmanship to win the game.  It is easy to get lost in the game and to obey the rules but it takes a master to use the rules to their advantage to win the game.  For example, in soccer, gamesmanship is something that is hated be the opponent is praised by the winning team.  I have been on both sides of the ball and it does change the dynamic of play and the game, but if winning is the ultimate goal, sometimes “gamesmanship” is an essential component to the win. Gamesmanship can occur in many different ways including what one refers to as a “professional foul”.  Intentionally pulling a player down in order to stop the play from progressing.  This can result in a card, but it is acceptable because it is essentially taking a bullet for the team.  The individual becomes somewhat of a hero because of the selfless behavior.  There are many examples of gamesmanship that obey the rules of the game but violate the ethos of the game.

         The ethos of the game are, “the conventions determining how the formal rules of that game are applied in concrete circumstances”.  In a soccer game, often times, when a team is winning they will shield the ball in the corner rather than playing anymore.  There are many examples of this behavior including walking to the ball that goes out of bounds or kicking the ball out of bounds as far as you can.  These are all instances that obey the rules of the game but are using the rules to change the game in a way that will advantage their position.  It is not playing unfair or not playing, but playing the game to the fullest.  Having mastery and full knowledge of the game allows players to use the rules to their advantage.  It may seem as if these players are no longer playing the game in it’s conventional way but in reality they are playing the game to win or achieve the result they desire.  This brings up the question of what is more important, winning or playing the game correctly?  I believe this is an individualistic ideal, meaning, everyone feels differently about this question.  Some people rather play their worst game and win, than play their best game and lose.  It comes down to how competitive and how bad the individual wants to win.  Myself, I rather win- winning is ONE of the reasons I play.