High Fiving Your Opponent

Ultiworld columnist Benji Heywood wrote on his personal blog about  one of the big plays from the ESPN3 coverage of the College Championships. In that play, Ohio State’s captain (and Callahan winner) Cassie Swafford congratulates Washington’s Alysia Letourneau on her layout catch.

Benji points out this moment and writes:

I’ve seen a disturbing amount of clips recently where someone makes a great play but lands on an opponent, and is too busy celebrating to check whether that opponent is OK. I’ve seen many examples of slightly unpleasant self-congratulation in the face of a defeated opponent. I don’t like it. I love to see players respect each other’s efforts.

I’m merely arguing that being an asshole is not related to how competitive you are. I know uncompetitive people who are hugely unpleasant, and I know incredibly competitive, world-games-attending, happy-to-play-physical guys who nevertheless maintain an admirable attitude. How you choose to treat your opponents is indicative ofwho you are, not how competitive you are.

So if you’re a nasty, misanthropic heap of neuroses, fine. But let’s not pretend it’s because you’re ‘competitive’. And let’s not give your team-mates the impression that they need to treat the opponent as an enemy in order to get psyched up, just because that’s how you play.

  1. Sean Childers

    Sean Childers is Ultiworld's Editor Emeritus. He started playing ultimate in 2008 for UNC-Chapel Hill Darkside, where he studied Political Science and Computer Science before graduating from NYU School of Law. He has played for LOS, District 5, Empire, PoNY, Truck Stop, Polar Bears, and Mischief (current team). You can email him at [email protected].

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