Service of Good Sportsmanship

November 9th, 2020

Categories: Good Sportsmanship, Politics, President, Sportsmanship

I think the term “good sportsmanship” is redundant. But can there be too much?

Sportsmanship was paramount at the all-girls school I attended for a dozen years, as I’ve written about previously. Sports were a big deal there. In the day it had more gymnasiums than any other school in NYC.  The two teams–the reds and the whites, as I’ve written previously–bellowed cheers before each game rooting for the opposition.

This was sportsmanship gone overboard.

Lots of people are thinking about sportsmanship these days. Dan Rather tweeted: “Sportsmanship is being joyous in victory, without gloating. And it is being sad in defeat without being a sore loser. It is a standard I hope we can ultimately achieve.”

A photo of a letter that one-termer George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President, left in the Oval Office for Bill Clinton, [photo below], reflects a gentler time than 2020. Healing, handshaking sensibilities are ridiculed by many today–having nothing to do with the pandemic. I miss the spirit behind this example of elegant, magnificent sportsmanship. In case you can’t read President Bush’s letter in the photo, this is what it says:

January 20th 1993

Dear Bill,

When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know that you will feel that, too.

I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

Good luck–


How do you define sportsmanship? Can you share good and bad examples? Is sportsmanship old school–an anachronism?

Downloaded from Facebook posting


8 Responses to “Service of Good Sportsmanship”

  1. David Reich Said:

    I wouldn’t expect any semblance of “sportsmanship” from the current president.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I wish I could disagree with you. It would represent a huge step in healing the country which I fear is the last thing he’s interested in doing.

  3. Amanda Ripanykhazova Said:

    I liked what Seth Myers said about his pathetic pretence for dancing at the last of his death rallies before the election result. He DID look like a cockroach’s desperate struggle to escape from a glue trap.

    We should expect the level of sportsmanship exhibited by that cockroach?

  4. JBS Said:

    Bet Trump didn’t leave that message!

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    ….and he probably won’t in future!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    It’s a shame that he won’t surprise us all and leave with head up high–my goodness, how many people can say they have been President of the United States? And he garnered 70 million votes!–but I don’t think he wants to gain a different type of admirer than the mask-less masses who praise him at his rallies which he might were he to behave in a gracious way.

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    Good sportsmanship? Whazzat?? It would appear we are in for a 2 1/2 or so month tantrum, which stands to cost the taxpayer millions for failure to ease the Presidential transition, as has been customary for nearly 250 years.

    No sense fighting it. Let the brat have his way, then hand him the bill, January 22. Won’t pay? Then freeze all his accounts until he does. Jail not recommended since it only soaks the taxpayer further.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Thank goodness this transition will be less crucial than most because, as the saying goes, Joe Biden knows where the men’s room key is at the White House from his previous eight years as VP.

    He knows also how an efficient White House should run and as he plans to discount many of the executive orders made by DJT, his staff does not need updates re the current administration‘s activities for seamless follow up. In addition, if I recall, DJT didn’t fill many of the WH positions. He didn’t need advisors as his gut directed him. Clearly 70+ million people were fine with that.

    That said more and more businesses continue to board up in midtown Manhattan. I wish the public knew what management at these companies did. Brands like At&T, FedEx, Just Salad, Shake Shack and others related to corporations are behind walls of wood.

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