Craig Playstead wrote an interesting piece for MSN Lifestyle, wherein he advocated parents teaching their kids to bend/break certain rules.
When he said "sneak snacks into movie theaters," I was on-board. When he urged kids to question teachers, I was nodding vigorously. When he explained the value of a white lie, I wholeheartedly agreed.
But when he said, "Bend the rules when playing sports," he lost all of my support.
Sports are about competition. But they're just as much about honor and respect for your opponents. Or at least, that's what they should be about. The problems start to arise when people place too high a premium on winning and ignore little things like decency.
It's why we were taught to line up after a game and high-five the other team. It's why you tell your opponent "good shot" after he stuffs a five-iron six feet from the pin.
Sports are not about "flicking the elbow in hoops when the other guy's shooting" or "holding the other player's jersey." I'm not naive enough to think this stuff doesn't happen or that it will stop happening at some point. People are people, after all.
But the guys who did these sorts of things were not liked, or admired, or respected much. They're the ones who try not to follow the letter of the law whenever possible, and who don't even know a spirit of the law exists.
11 hours ago