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home : sports : sports   May 24, 2016

1/21/2014 11:00:00 AM
LaChance: Playing the game the right way


Brandon LaChance
NewsTribune Sports Writer



Every other play in an NFL game sees a wide receiver holding his hands above his head — usually at a 30-degree slant — begging for an interference call.

LeBron James is considered the best basketball player in the world, but when was the last game in which he didn’t debate with the referee or a player on the opposing team on whether he was fouled or not?

I wonder if any fans have made a drinking game — water, Kool-Aid or Gatorade — where they take a drink every time he gives a referee a baffled look.

It should be two drinks on the plays James questions the ref after he dramatically flops to the ground like he was pushed by the Incredible Hulk.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman exploded in an NFC Championship post-game interview Sunday after he made the game-winning play against San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who had belittled Sherman as a player on the field.

Some say Sherman was classless, but he wouldn’t have been irate if Crabtree hadn’t been unsportsman-like.

With this said about professional athletes, I think it’s a testament to sports in the area to say no one would get diabetes from too much Kool-Aid if they played an un-sportsman drinking game at any local high school.

Student-athletes have shown fantastic sportsmanship this season.

In the countless games I’ve been to this school year I haven’t seen a single fight, no jawing to opponents, zero intentional fouls, two awkward looks at referees, one set of hands raised to question a call and only one technical foul —which was for not telling the officials who was starting in the second half in one of the first boys basketball games of the season.

The highlight of this stat list is I cannot count how many times I’ve seen a player help an athlete from the other team off the floor after a charge or blocking call.

Or how many times I’ve seen a player shake his head after a whistle, tell his coach what he thought and got back to the game with a clean slate for the next play.
There hasn’t been the thought of, “I wonder how many sprints that kid is going to run tomorrow at practice?” or “is he the Dwight Howard or Ndamukong Suh of the Illinois Valley?”

Instead, thoughts have been more addressed to athletes in the area teaching the pros how to play the games they play — maybe not the fundamentals, but the act of being a sportsman.

Princeton’s Garrett Duffin scored a game-high 21 points against Mendota in Thursday’s 65-52 home loss.

He was fouled hard almost every time he took the ball to the hoop and was called for a blocking foul when the whistle could have been for a Mendota charge.

Instead of getting mad or upset, he moved on to the next stage of the game, shook the hand of Trojans’ coach Jan Thompson when he congratulated him on a great game and then was self-less in his Prep of the Week interview (Jan. 17) as he stated he couldn’t have the season he’s having if it wasn’t for his team.

The Ottawa and La Salle-Peru boys bowling teams battled Saturday at the La Salle Regional for the fourth and final spot to advance to the Belleville Sectional.

Ottawa was out-bowled by the Cavs as it finished fifth, but there wasn’t hard feelings — only competitive sentiments.

A.J. Angelico and Nick Worley, who advanced to the sectional as individuals, said they respected L-P and gave them props for bowling great games when it was necessary.

“I have a few friends on L-P now and I get a little intimidated by them so I wanted to beat them bad,” Worley said in an interview after he shook the hand of L-P’s Nathan Stubler.

These athletes gave their all physically on the sports stage and mentally with sportsmanship, while still being competitive.

This is how games should be played.

Brandon LaChance is a NewsTribune Sports Writer. He can be reached at 220-6995, or sports@newstrib.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.












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That's all, yolks


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