Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Why Fans Love Bad Behavior and Cheap Shots… 10

Posted on February 06, 2010 by JA Allen

Charles Darwin must have been imagining the Super Bowl when he devised his theory on survival of the fittest.  Only the strong make it to the finish line and only the most fearless claw their way to the top, reigning over inferiors.  The most colorful, the most aggressive and boastful are the ones we wish to follow as fans.  They are special, attracting attention for their bravura.

That, in part, explains why we are irresistibly attracted to bad behavior –– the bad boys and girls –– on the playing fields, the ice, on the tennis courts and golf courses –– the ones who are not afraid to try the impossible –– to test the limits, often going beyond boundaries set for them.  Because they go all out in their drive to win, we cringe but applaud those vicious hits that rip off helmets or result in some poor receiver landing on his head because the guy tackling isn’t afraid to lay his body on the line.

But when the aggressor steps over some shifting line in the sand, we all step back tsking and berate the player caught front and center in the media spotlight when moments before we admired his or her tactics.

Where exactly is that line of demarcation?  When does it cease being aggression in the spirit of the game and verge on the boundaries of physical assault?  More importantly, when do we stop applauding the actions of our sports stars and those aggressive maneuvers on or off the field of play? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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