By Kristin Troyer – Horizon Features Editor
Maybe this is just me, but I really don’t think Jesus would’ve chanted “U-G-L-Y: You ain’t got no alibi.”
Bad sportsmanship has no place anywhere, much less a Christ-centered institution like Hesston College. Unfortunately, bad sportsmanship does occur in our own Yost Center. As a fellow fan, I’m embarrassed. As a player, I’m insulted. Can we all just take a moment to set down our pom-poms and really think: Will they know we are Christians by our love?
Let me set the stage: I sit in the stands like any fan: I munch popcorn and complain about how the bleachers make my back hurt. The men’s basketball team is playing defense when it happens: The opposing player chucks a three-point shot too hastily and air-balls it. Luckily for him, some kind members of our own student section will helpfully remind him of his mistake every time he touches the ball.
The opposing team has traveled from northern Oklahoma. The players have worked hard to be collegiate athletes and will have a tough game against our own men’s basketball team. They get to be introduced and recognized for their hard work and journey to Hesston. Fortunately, the student section is polite enough to give them a warm welcome during starting lineups. Well, if you think standing up and facing the opposite direction is welcoming, then the Northern Oklahoma College-Enid players did get a warm welcome.
“But these are our opponents!” some argue.
Do you know what a synonym for opponents is?
Remind me… what did Jesus have to say about enemies? (Hint: Matthew 5:44)
“We’re just supporting our team!” others say.
I don’t know about you, but I play for a team much bigger than Hesston College, and my coach says to love everyone, especially your opponents.
They have to have noticed that the other team has scored four straight baskets. Do they really think calling out that guy’s bald spot is going to stop him from scoring four more? As a Hesston athlete, I wonder- am I really playing that badly that my classmates would rather cheer AGAINST the other team than FOR me?
Just think of the work it takes to compete at the college level, something fellow students seem to find insignificant. They see my teammates and I walk into breakfast covered in sweat after a 6 am practice. They see my teammates in walking boots, knee braces, and on crutches from injuries sustained running up and down the hardwood. Bruises, bumps, bandages- being a college athlete is no easy task. Is the girl with a broken nose and face mask on the other team the only thing you can notice?
Jesus said to love your enemies. That includes rival basketball teams.
In no way am I saying don’t go to the basketball games or don’t cheer. Please, cheer like Jesus.