Emmett Tyrrell

 The "fans" I saw in Detroit had no idea what is properly expected of spectators at an athletic event. They are not the participants, and frankly they should only be marginal to the event. They are watching an athletic event, not participating. Their cheers might hearten their team and dispirit their team's opponents, but the "fans" are not the athletes competing. In fact, the potty lumps of humanity that I saw taking the punches from the NBA's finest did not look as if they would pass for athletes at a tiddlywinks tournament.

 The athletes that rampaged in last week's football game and the NBA game also are completely oblivious to the standards of fair play and sportsmanship that govern sport at its best. This is because neither in college sports nor in professional sports are such values promoted.

 Doubtless there are coaches and athletes who strive to make things better, but they are overwhelmed by the idiotic coaches and athletes who spread the poppycock of "win at any price." Among other things sports -- at least sports as conceived by the ancient Greeks who began organized sports -- are about noble values, "the virtues" as the Greeks called them. Winning was prized, but only if the rules were adhered to. The fans and the athletes who rampaged in Detroit would find such talk epicene, if they knew what epicene means.

 Well, tough guys who think they win by thwarting the rules ought to take their game out to Iraq or Afghanistan, where the play is rough, too. There, the tough guys who make their own rules, of course, are not on our side. They are very rugged, but time and again they have been getting beaten by the tough guys who do play by the rules, the tough guys that represent the "Coalition forces."

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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