Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winning At Any Cost

I understand why these athletes want to cheat the system. There is an incredible amount of money that someone could earn if they were able to perform at a superior level. Evidently some athletes are willing to sacrifice their future well being for the immediate benefits of drug use today.

Cheating is not worth the cost of your reputation and your health. The Bible states that, "… if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5, NKJV).
Perhaps one of the reasons that cheating is so prevalent is the fact that some cheating is acceptable in sports. For example, if a baseball player traps a ball off of the turf in the outfield he may pretend that he really caught the ball. Sometimes he may not really know if he really caught it, but most of the time he does. The baseball player is not penalized for pretending to make the play. Cheating is common in sports like baseball.

The only professional sport that I know of where cheaters are severely dealt with is golf. In golf the players call rule infraction penalties on themselves even if no one else notices. For example, Jeff Sluman once disqualified himself from a tournament because he believed that he may have violated a rule the previous day by making an improper drop.

Could you imagine baseball under those conditions? The umpire calls the runner out at first and then the first basemen confesses that his foot really was not on the bag. Well, that scenario will probably never happen in our lifetime, but I wonder if baseball did play with that level of integrity if there would not also be a rise in the level of sportsmanship and honesty. Perhaps we would not have to strip our athletic heroes of their awards, titles, and accomplishments.

" A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold." (Proverbs 22:1, NKJV)

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