FanDuel - WFBC

May 13, 2009

The most unsporting moments in sport's history: A nice little collection of ten or so fine examples of sportsmanship at its worst and the consequences that followed. There are one or two that I would have changed but basically it is a pretty cool compilation.

posted by Athlexic to general at 03:40 AM - 9 comments

The Black Sox got *honorable mention*? Along with Tonya Harding, that's an odd choice to not make the top 10, although I guess most of them were more along the lines of an on-field/court incident, such as the head stomping (holy crap, hadn't seen that one!), whereas the Black Sox and Tonya Harding were pre-meditated, longer running incidents.

posted by hincandenza at 05:52 AM on May 13

They need to make a top 10 for each sport. An overall top 10 is highly inadequate.

They could start with baseball, cycling and figure skating and fill those up right quick.

And we need to look at the officiating too, not just the competitors. We could start with Olympic judges.

I'm just so glad to know that whether a team sport or an individual sport, contact or non-contact, it makes no difference, unsporting conduct will always be in plentiful supply.

posted by beaverboard at 06:19 AM on May 13

The official word is that Tonya Harding didn't actually organize the attack, she just helped cover it up.

posted by Athlexic at 07:12 AM on May 13

Not in this article, but did anyone see the video of Ivan Lendl taking out JM? Not quite up there with the greatest material, but damned funny. Reminds me of playing racquetball with my brother.

posted by Athlexic at 07:18 AM on May 13

The cricket incident is interesting. Admittedly, I know hardly anything about cricket, but that sounds like good strategy. However, it seems that everyone is in agreement that it was a lousy move.

posted by bender at 10:01 AM on May 13

Lendl didn't mean to hit him like that. He was aiming for his mouth.

posted by JJ at 10:58 AM on May 13

And we need to look at the officiating too, not just the competitors. We could start with Olympic judges.

You couldn't be more right, beaverboard. Sometimes the officiating in the various sports is nothing short of treasonous. I have seen baseball, NFL and NHL officiating to be absolutely horrible. And the Olympic judging can sometimes be downright offensive.

posted by CountSpatula at 12:57 PM on May 13

I think for something to be an unsporting moment it has to have happened between players or competitors during play.

Ergo, I think the Black Sox scandal should be considered unsporting since it resulted in deliberately poor play. In theory, the Reds wanted to win on their own merits and not because the other team through the series. Throwing a game, much less a series, isn't very sporting.

On the other hand, Ron Artest running into the stands to attack a fan wouldn't count as an unsporting moment - merely a criminal moment - because it was between a a player and a fan. Albeit the wrong fan.

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:15 PM on May 13

The cricket incident is interesting. Admittedly, I know hardly anything about cricket, but that sounds like good strategy. However, it seems that everyone is in agreement that it was a lousy move.

One of the factors - perhaps the biggest factor - as to why it stunk so much is because it was basically impossible for New Zealand to win at that point, anyway. The batsman facing that delivery bats at number 10 - in cricket you have to use all 11 players to bat in an innings, and your strongest batsmen, the top order, bat at 1- 5/6 normally. Your all rounders, wicket keepers, and bowlers are usually from 6/7 - 11. The number ten spot is the second worst batsman in the team, and will be pretty much a no-hoper facing a top-notch bowler.

Getting a six is hard at most grounds, and back in the early eighties it would be normal for a whole match to go without one being scored; even at friendly grounds you might only get a couple in a match.

So you've got a good strike bowler, a lousy batsman, and virtually no chance of getting the required runs. Australia didn't need to bowl underarm to win. And that's part of what made it such poor sportsmanship.

(An additional factor is that Australian cricket has long nurtured a huge chip on its collective shoulder about the Bodyline tour, which was also completely legal if considered unsporting. Bit of an about-face there...)

posted by rodgerd at 10:17 PM on May 15

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