There's been a lot made of Mike Gundy's latest refusal to take part in the AFCA's idea of a pregame handshake between teams on opening weekend as a show of sportsmanship
. It should be noted that CMR is totally behind the idea, but Gundy has openly refused the idea fearing that a brawl may break out should the teams meet before kickoff.
My take on the whole matter sort of sides with Gundy, but not for the lame ass reason he's listed. While Gundy says he fears a brawl, what he's really saying is that he's getting his troops amped up and he wants nothing to do with anything that will quell that fire he's trying to light inside them. He wants his players amped up and ready to hit from the time the football gets kicked off. While that energy COULD lead to some type of altercation, an altercation is more than highly unlikely. Those kinds of things only happen when USC and Clemson play each other and any time a team from Florida plays another team from Florida (see: Florida vs. Florida State, Florida vs. Miami, Miami vs. Florida Atlanta, etc.).
I don't side with Gundy, but I see his ulterior motive in not bringing his players down. I side with the fact that TRUE sportsmanship happens AFTER the game when one team leaves as a loser and the other as a victor. Think about it. How many times did any of us when playing little league sports shake hands BEFORE a game?
However, after the game, it's customary for the teams to high five and say "good game" to the other squad, regardless of whether or not they actually felt that the game they played, or the game the other team played, was good. When you can take that loss like an adult, hold your head high and wish the other team well, you've practiced TRUE sportsmanship.
What Gundy's gotten himself into is a mess where he looks like the villain in a shitty PR stunt by an organization trying to do something to gain attention. The AFCA has concocted this idea that doing this will somehow make the sport look better, when we all should know that, yes it's just a stupid handshake, but no, it means jack shit.
We already have a pregame handshake between the captains of the different squads at the coin toss. We already have the coaches go out and talk to each other during warmups. We have all of these things in place already and now the AFCA is asking for some type of PR stunt in the middle of opening weekend?
You want to see true sportsmanship, then go watch any game after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. We played Arkansas that year and not one player on the field put their own agenda above that day. In fact, that's the day I cared the least about UGA football and the day I cared the most about being lucky enough to attend an event of such magnitude.
So, don't side with Gundy, but in my opinion, don't side with the AFCA either. If they want sportsmanship, they should request something that actually puts the sport on the back-burner. The best way to do that is make both teams swallow their pride and wish the other team the best for the rest of the season.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, Stupid People, UGA Football