A few years ago I read a wonderful book called It’s Not the Winning That Counts by Max Davidson, which is a collection of stories about good sportsmanship across a variety of sports. It’s an inspiring insight into the different motivations the players had for not just focusing on a win and captured the best aspects of sport, proving to be a moving and inspiring read (seriously, check it out).
Recently German footballer Aaron Hunt performed in manner which would earn him a place if Davidson ever does a second edition.
Hunt who plays for German club Werder Bremen broke into the box and took a tumble, prompting the referee to point to the spot.
Hunt got to his feet and rushed over to the ref, which is usually what happens when a player wants the offending defender to go in the book, but Hunt was shaking his head to tell the ref that he’d actually just lost his footing and there’d been no foul.
The penalty was overturned, and Hunt was thanked by his opponents. Luckily it didn’t bite him in the ass later on and Bremen emerged 2-0 victors.
I find it really cool that he would jump up and own up, because it seems that nowadays the vast majority of players would just take the penalty no questions asked. I’m not going to go into a massive “state of the game” rant, but diving seems to be on the increase and I always find it depressing when you see a player go to ground when he could have probably kept going. It’s lazy, cynical and unsportsmanlike.
Hunt deserves the praise that he is receiving and this is the kind of example that needs more trumpeting while diving should be cracked down even more.
I’m writing this because the other day I watched some of the Arsenal game and there was a pretty pathetic dive from a Bayern Munich player who clutched his face like Mike Tyson had landed a right hook. I was watching it with my flatmates, one of whom is a rugby boy and has the standard distaste for the round ball game.
Personally, I’ve always found the slagging off of the other sport a bit bizarre, I mean, you can like more than one sport- I love both football and rugby, and I also have time for a bunch of other sports- MMA, cricket, American Football, snooker, darts.
Yes, rugby has better sportsmanship on the whole, but rugby fans don’t spoil that with the childish, usually sexist/homophobic attacks on football. The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, and there’s room for both games.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.