Friday, 25 September 2009

Noble gesture?

A story about a kid who stops at the 2-yard line rather than score another touchdown against some down on their luck school is being widely advertised on Yahoo. The breathless writing makes it clear that we're supposed to regard this kid, and the team, as some modern day hero[es]. It was a "noble gesture" even, according to the title! Near the story was a pointer to a different, but similarly themed, story about a kid with Down Syndrome who is brought into a football game late, when the game is out of reach, and given the ball and allowed, by the opposing team, to run it in for a TD.

Whenever I hear about these alleged "noble" gestures, or teams catching hell for scoring too many pts in a game, I always think there are lots of things more disrespectful than running up the score against someone or not letting a kid with Down Syndrome inaccurately believe that he's able to score a touchdown. At least in those cases one respects his/her opponent to take them seriously. More disrespectful, IMO, is being the kind of patronizing person who holds his/her opponent in such low regard that he'd condescendingly stop at the two yard line rather than bother to score. Or another example, perhaps, being the kind of person who would make a fool out of someone by creating a farce in which he's led to believe he's scored a legitimate TD when in fact he hasn't and everyone around him knows it.


ds.mama said...

Parents create those sorts of "farces" for their children (typical and not) all the time. It is a way to bring joy and build self-esteem. So why is that disrespectful in this case?

mijopo said...

Thanks for the comment. You're right that these kinds of farces happen all the time, and, IMO, it's always disrespectful to lie to kids and lead them to believe they've accomplished something they haven't. (I never "let" my kids win a game, for example, although I will add handicaps, and be clear about doing it, that make it harder for me and level the playing field.)

I thought it particularly disrespectful in this case because an entire stadium was in on it. Joy and self esteem based on misrepresentations of the truth are dangerous things upon which to build one's self perception as they remain under threat from the truth.