bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Kid loses basketball shooting contest but complains until he wins

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One of the things I see regularly that really gets under my skin is this bizarre sense of entitlement that so many people seem to have developed, particularly young people. I don’t know where it comes from or why it’s so pervasive, but everywhere I turn I encounter yet another example of it. In a sports-related story, we had a good illustration of it last week at West Chester University. At halftime of a basketball game between the school and Shippensburg University, a student was given the chance to win $10,000 by hitting a series of shots. According to the rules of the contest, he failed to win, despite the fact that it appeared he had indeed won. Of course, he wasn’t allowed to actually lose…a national pizza chain picked up on the uproar that followed and came up with the money for the kid. Everyone was happy…except me, of course.

Jack Lavery signed a contract before he participated in the contest. The contract clearly stated that he had to make a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer, and a half-court shot within 25 seconds. He could have as many attempts at the first three as he wanted within the designated time, but had to make the half-court shot on the first try. This stipulation was clearly spelled out, not hidden in the fine print or anything. Lavery made the first three shots but missed the half-court attempt. Encouraged by the announcer and the crowd, he chased down his miss, ran back to half-court and tossed up a prayer that made it in. Everyone went crazy. When Lavery and his family found out that he had not actually won, they were none too pleased. Disappointment is understandable, since they thought he had cashed in, but the put-upon tone is brutal.

“This is really tough for me honestly. After all that celebration, they told me I’m not going to get it. I feel a little hurt,” said finance major Jack Lavery, 18. “No one from West Chester has even reached out to me yet.”

He feels hurt. Poor kid. He read and signed the contract. It was clear. His father said that he felt the school owed him the money because the announcer encouraged him to continue. So he assumed that this schlub who calls games at West Chester knew the details of the contract better than he or his kid did, even though they had read and signed it themselves. Makes perfect sense to me. Again, I get the disappointment. I imagine anyone would be bummed in that situation. It is the belief that the school somehow owed him something, despite the obvious evidence that it didn’t, that drives me crazy. Lavery took to Twitter with his foolishness, and so did many others who apparently agreed with him. Clearly happy to capitalize on some publicity, Pizza Hut decided to jump in and provide him with not only the ten grand, but also with free pizza for a year.

The lesson of this incident is, clearly, that you should complain loudly when things don’t go your way, even if you have no leg to stand on, and someone will hook you up. Not only that, but lots of similarly entitled people will rally to your cause. I can’t tell you how many people I saw post this story on Facebook with comments about how he was ripped off and how he really deserved the money. Honestly, I think I deserve the money for having to endure that silliness. Pizza Hut, you can send the money to me using my When Falls the Coliseum email address. You can keep your crappy pizza, though.

Bad sports, continued:

2) A college basketball game between Indiana and Michigan was postponed on Tuesday after a metal beam fell from the ceiling onto some seats in Assembly Hall. Fortunately, the accident happened hours before the game was to be played, so no one was hurt.

3) Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice appears to be in a great deal of trouble. He was arrested in Atlantic City last weekend after allegedly hitting his girlfriend and knocking her out. There is actual video of him dragging her out of the elevator while she was unconscious.

4) Three Oklahoma football players had to donate $3.83 each to charity after they ate too much pasta at a campus banquet, which was some kind of minor NCAA violation. Seriously.

5) Jillert Anema (his real name), the speed skating coach for the Dutch Olympic team, stated that the U.S. team was not winning the races because Americans spend too much time worrying about foolish sports like football. Yeah, that’s it. Well done.

6) Sergio Garcia was up against Ricky Fowler in a match play tournament on Friday in Arizona. He was 2-up going into the 7th hole. He had a seven-foot putt to make, while Fowler had one of over seventeen feet. For some inexplicable reason, Garcia conceded the putt, meaning they would each get credit for making it without actually taking the shot. Fowler had not yet made a putt that long this year, so this makes no sense at all. In true Sergio Garcia style, he went on to lose the match.

7) The U.S. and Canada played an epic hockey game in the Olympic semi-final on Friday, with Canada pulling out the victory in overtime. The Americans must have been spent after that effort, because they forgot to show up in the 3rd place game against Finland on Saturday, losing 5-0.

8) Adam Muema, a running back from San Diego State, left the NFL Scouting Combine without participating on Sunday, saying that God had told him that if he left, he was sure to be drafted. Yeah, good luck with that, buddy.

Good Sports:

1) A high school basketball player with Down Syndrome was signed to a two-day “ceremonial” contract by the Philadelphia 76ers this week. He was honored at the team’s game against Cleveland on Tuesday night after he scored fourteen points in his team’s final two games of the season.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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5 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Kid loses basketball shooting contest but complains until he wins”

  1. IMHO, Bad 5 should be a “good”

  2. 8 and 1. [Sigh] When will it end? Soon, you’ll have to change the name of the column to, simply, “Sports: Bad.”

    Agree completely about the main story, by the way.

  3. Mike – thanks for reading. I am not exactly sure of the point you are trying to make. You are saying it’s a good thing that the Dutch coach said that? Is that because you agree with it or simply because you don’t care for football?

    Chris – I don’t make the news…I simply report it. I have not done much of an analysis to determine if there isn’t that much good stuff happening in sports or if it is just not that much fun to talk about the good stuff.

  4. I shot from the hip but I was just thinkin’ we should be out skating instead of sitting and watching whatever we’re watching.

  5. The first sentence of your first paragraph and the first sentence of your last paragraph, before the list, sum up America 2014 perfectly.

    We used to have this thing called “parents” who would step in and explain to children how life worked when the children didn’t get what they wanted. Now, the parents lay down on the ground next to the kicking and screaming child and echo the motto of this generation, “It’s not FAIR!”

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