Smith: The rules of respect in sport and life: Part 1

Published 11:00 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

By Dan Smith

In many ways my children were raised different than my father raised me, and my father was raised different than his father.

Culture, society, unwritten rules – whatever you call them – what is acceptable today was not always acceptable.

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Take respect, as an example.

I was taught many things by my parents, my friends’ parents, grandparents, relatives, school bus drivers, coaches, teachers, even people I did not know. As I grew older, many people told me the difference between right and wrong.

I had the greatest sense of motivation to do the right thing when my grandmother was cutting a switch off a plum tree in her yard, but usually by then it was too late.

There are many things I believe are respectful and disrespectful in sports, and life.

I believe when a football player makes a big play it shows great respect to the official, and the game, to hand or toss the ball to the official. Throwing the ball over your shoulder in the general zip code of the official does not count.

I believe it shows great disrespect for the game of baseball when you throw a batting helmet or a bat.

I believe you should always say “Yes ‘mam” or “No Sir.”

A man should always open the door for a lady.

I believe it crosses the line when a parent jeers another player on another team.

I believe it is very classy when parents applaud players on an opposing team, for whatever reason.

I believe it is poor sportsmanship when a coach tells his players they will not shake hands with the other team after a game.

I believe it is disrespectful to not stand and place your hand over your heart when the National

Anthem is played.

It is my personal belief to say a prayer at the beginning of every meal, special event, and

athletic contest.

I believe steel cleats are meant for traction on the base paths and outfield grass, not to intimidate or injure middle infielders while sliding. I believe it is disrespectful to yourself and anyone present to wear your pants so your underwear shows. This does not apply to children under age 3.

It is done, but a baserunner should never steal signals from the catcher and telegraph them to a batter.

I believe you should tell your grandmother, mother, mother-in-law or wife that was the best lemon pie ever, even if that may not be entirely accurate.

I believe it should be required to look a man in the eye and shake his hand.

I believe at least one parent should be at every practice and every game of their child. They know when you are there and it is important to them. If you are a single parent and you have two children participating, then you can not be two places at once, and you receive bonus points for doing the best you can for your child and encouraging them to be involved in extra curricular activities.

“Thank you,” and “You’re welcome,” should always be mandatory, especially in the customer service industry.

I believe social media can be a great avenue of information, and a weapon of great harm.

Children and ladies should always be served first.

A coach should always say, “We lost the game because I did not fully prepare our team,” and never cast blame on a particular play or player that resulted in the other team winning.

Profanity, is never acceptable by a player, coach, fan and certainly not an umpire or official.

I believe when you are wrong, admit it.

I believe you do not bunt in late innings to break up a no-hitter.

I believe you should never answer a cell phone in a movie theatre, meeting or church and carry on a conversation. If it is that important, leave the room.

Always thank a veteran for their service to our country, whether they be 84 or 24.

Never pass the ball with 2:00 left in the fourth quarter, when you are leading by 42.

Never leave your first string offense in the game, with 2:00 left in the game, when you are leading by 42

I believe it is respectful for players to take a knee when there is an injured player on the other team.

Always tell your children, your mom and dad, that you love them.

I believe I still have so much more to learn.