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If you are not cheating, you are not Trying

September 6, 2010

The headline of the note is a very common saying in the world of sports. How true? I believe I first read Steve Waugh (former captain of the Australian Cricket Team) quote it in 2002 or 2003. He was the perfect man to have made this statement in defense of his team mates to not walk away from the pitch even after edging the ball to the wicketkeeper and for sledging in the gentleman’s game. The manner in which he wore his baggy green, his ‘never say die‘ attitude, his captaincy and calm just reflected how badly he wanted to win every ball,over, session, day and match. His hunger for success drove the Australian cricket team from shambles in 1992 to the greatest of all times.

In cricket, the integrity of the player is often questioned after he claims a doubtful catch or does not walk. In tennis, one has started questioning the tactics of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic to take injury breaks when the momentum of the game is against them? In F-1 Lewis Hamilton has a similarity with Michael Schumacher in this aspect. Schumi would do anything to cheat and so did Lewis after the Australian Grand Prix 2009. Maclaren made it to the headlines for using ferrari data to improve their car in 2007.

In football, Jose Mourinho became infamous for the pushing of an opponent defender because his defence zone was not ready. Maradona is infamous for the ‘hand of God’ goal and Materazzi for initiating the ‘Headbutt’ from Zidane.

People always forget their desire to win. With the technology around, one does wonder, how stupid they are being to become a disgrace in the annals of history. The acceptance of the media criticism they would attract for their decision How come none notice their intense desire to win?

One accepts the above willingly only to respect his team mates and the team he represents. When you wear that jersey even for a high school team, you wear it to win at any cost. You swear an allegiance to your team mates and to bring them victory no matter what it takes. Your sole duty is to help your team win.

The sportsmen of today are professionals and earn money for bringing victory to their team. Every victory they bring to their team makes them more famous. It is competitive to be the best sportsman. You can read books to be a good engineer or lawyer but to be a sportsman needs the zeal that drives the adrenalin in you everyday to win your national colors or school colors. When these colors are bestowed on you, the others put their trust in you.

Major sports have 11 players. To be one of these 11, sportsman give up more than 11 years of their childhood to earn those colors. After adorning these colors, they do not earn the right to put their moral values before the team’s motive.

I am writing this to make a public apology to my School of Mechanical and Building Sciences football team for being a jack ass by walking out of a football match because the referee cheated through out. I aint one of the above greats but that was the last competitive sports match I played and now I miss playing it.

I knew I was the best penalty shootout keeper in the university and no way could the opponent have won had the penalty shoot outs happened immediately after the game.The bloody referee wanted it next morning putting forward the excuse of bad light. It was the same light in which he made us play for more than 30 minutes. (20 was extra)

Mohith,I knew, you had the confidence and so badly wanted to try the penalty shoot out next morning. Sorry for not having you let it your way. I did not want to insult my temple.

I am writing this now because, even 2 and a half years later, I can not let that game pass out of my mind. It still bothers me. Did I put my interests ahead of the team or what? God knows, I was just trying to stand up for what I believed in. Even after having everyone’s approval of being good in penalty shootouts, I have started doubting it now.

I did not achieve anything but only lost a place in the finals for my honesty. But in all the annals of sports history, I have yet to find a person who could achieve the opposite result after defending his morals. It is impossible I think.

Anyways, I want to thank my team for supporting me then. I hope we could have played the finals and won it. Sorry blokes.

The headline is only applicable to the world of sports.

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