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

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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