首页  | 专栏作家

Being a good sport about it? 输得起

中国日报网 2018-10-23 13:59


Reader question:

Please explain “be a good sport about it” in this passage: “We’ll ask you to answer a few random questions. We can guess which sport you play based on these questions. If we get the answer wrong, try to be a good sport about it”.

My comments:

This means that if they make a mistake about your profession, don’t be so upset and angry that you’ll spoil the fun mood for everyone. Suppose you’re a pro golfer and they say you play tennis for a living, don’t be mad. Play along and try to let everyone, yourself included, have some fun.

In other words, show some sportsmanship.

I guess if someone is a well-known athlete, and if they’re mistaken for someone else, their ego might take something of a little bit of hit. That’s where good sportsmanship or being a good sport about it comes in. In other words, don’t be angry or anything like that.

I recall a story told by one famous Chinese actor who handles situations like this well. I remember the tale as vividly as if it was told yesterday even though the actor, who should be in his late 70s or early 80s, somewhere there, told us this story some 30 years ago, at a party in the home of a mutual friend. And he told it in answer to my question: “Do you often get recognized in the street?” He told us the following:

“One time in Harbin, I was recognized by a local resident. I was walking in the street when this man rode past me on a bicycle. Apparently he recognized me because he stopped, got down from the bike and returned to say hi.

‘Hello,’ he said. ‘Are you that person on television? That one who…” He pointed a finger to his head and got into thinking. Trying to be helpful, I said, ‘I am.’

‘You are?’ he said, sounding excited. ‘I mean you are so and so, that one who… you know who?’

‘I am,’ I said, assuredly.

‘You really are? You really are him, um, um, um, you-know-who?’

‘I am,’ I repeated.

‘Gee!’ he said, while getting on his bike again. I could still hear him mumbling to himself ‘This really is you know who’ as he rode away.”

That’s an example of being a good sport and being a good sport about being recognized or rather, on this occasion, misrecognized in the street.

Being a good sport is, in short, being gracious and accommodating, being able to take a joke, being able to still exhibit polite behavior even when things go wrong, especially when things go wrong.

This type of polite behavior is best exemplified on the sports field, needless to say. In the sports field, a good sport is someone who is not a sore loser, someone who grows bitter and angry. No, a good sport is instead someone who is able to gather himself up and say congratulations to the winner even though if hurts him to do so. I mean, even though losing hurts him so.

All right, no more ado. Here are media examples of people being a good sport in various situations:

1. Had UNLV coach Dave Rice driven past the Buffalo Drive exit on Interstate 215 earlier this week, a roadside billboard encouraging Rebels fans to buy basketball and football season tickets might have caught him by surprise.

There was a basketball coach featured on the billboard ... but it wasn’t Rice.

Pictured on the billboard alongside the slogan “COME TO OUR HOUSE!” were current UNLV football coach Bobby Hauck and former UNLV basketball coach Lon Kruger. Rice took over the UNLV basketball program in spring 2011 after Kruger left to become the new coach at Oklahoma.

How did the gaffe happen? Did a UNLV marketing staffer experience a momentary brain lapse? Apparently, that's not the case. Outdoor signage maker Clear Channel Outdoor Las Vegas took the blame for the billboard blunder on its Facebook page.

“We’re sorry Coach Rice! While waiting for a new vinyl to be produced to go up on the bulletin at 215 and Buffalo, we mistakenly pulled outdated generic copy from our warehouse to cover the blank space. Within a few hours of it being up, the RJ had a story posted covering the faux pas. That vinyl is already down and set to be recycled and more relevant copy will soon be posted in its place.

“On the bright side, this incident proves that people take notice of out-of-home advertising and that old vinyl still looks great! Still, we won’t be making that mistake again. Go Rebels!”

Credit the signage company for apologizing for its mistake. And credit Rice for being a good sport about it.

Said Rice to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday, “I’m the last person who would take himself too seriously. Hey, if Coach Kruger can help us sell tickets, great.”

- Billboard hawking UNLV season tickets features wrong basketball coach, Yahoo.com, September 5, 2013.

2. Brian McFadden has unveiled the results of his first hair transplant, after admitting his receding hairline made him feel “self-conscious and uncomfortable”. Taking to his Instagram page on Sunday, the Westlife singer shocked fans by posting dramatic before-and-after pictures. In a lengthy post, he shared: “The last few years my hair line has been thinning and receding due to my life style and the general stresses we go through in life. It’s been really making me self-conscious and uncomfortable so I decided to do something about it.”

The father-of-two went on to explain that an old school friend carried out the procedure, sharing: “I never thought the answer to my problem was the young boy who sat beside me in school!!! Simon my old school buddy is the man behind the magic. It’s such a small crazy world.” Brian, 37, also posted a video showing himself dressed in a blue gown as he prepared himself for the surgery.

Fans immediately rushed to offer words of support, with one writing: “I like how are being a good sport about it. Life is supposed to be like that.”

- Brian McFadden shows off the results of his first hair transplant, HelloMagazine.com, February 5, 2018.

3. Golfweek caught up recently with Chris Tidland, a standout at Oklahoma State from 1991-95, and he offered up what he recalled from his Western Amateur quarterfinal match with Woods that year.

How good was it? Well…

I remember everything,” Tidland said, smiling, “and I remember I lost at the end.”

Yes he did, but it remains a match worth remembering.

Tidland was actually four down to Woods with six to play in regulation in that quarterfinal at Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., and then got hot. So in the zone he was, Tidland didn’t exactly know what he was doing: He birdied his final six holes of regulation and didn’t believe it when teammates told him afterward.

It was an incredible comeback on Woods, punctuated by Tidland draining a long birdie putt of some 40 feet from the fringe at the 18th to force a playoff.

He did so in front of a partisan crowd – decidedly pro-Tiger aside from teammate Kris Cox and incoming Oklahoma State freshman Bo Van Pelt.

“Those two were the only two rooting for me,” Tidland said. “And then there was it felt like 10,000 people at the time, but it was probably a few hundred, they were all rooting for him.”

The extra-holes session ensued, with Woods making a mess of the first playoff hole and finding himself some 30-35 feet from the cup for par.

Meanwhile, Tidland was just inside Woods for birdie.

“I remember thinking, and you’re never supposed to do this in match play, ‘I might have two putts to beat him,’” Tidland said. “I was nervous, thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can two-putt right now, I’m so scared.’ “

With Woods, though, you never assume. The phenom drained the long putt, snapping Tidland back to reality. His smooth path to victory was no more, he two-putted and the match moved on.

The very next hole, Woods buried a 20-foot eagle putt to win the match.

The pair grew up together playing junior golf, so the shocked Tidland wasn’t truly surprised at the display deep down. Both essentially shot 63 in regulation on that day and have talked about the match since with a sense of awe.

And a bit of ribbing from Woods.

“He said, ‘You played the best round of your life and I still beat you,’ ” Tidland said. “Which is true.”

Tidland has an ace in the pocket, though. He was a key starter on the 1995 Oklahoma State team that beat Woods’ Stanford squad in a playoff to capture the NCAA Championship.

The 45-year-old said he tries to bring that one up as much as possible when he sees Woods, as it’s essentially the only time he’s beaten him in his life. He has at times joked with Woods if he wants a copy of the book (entitled The Last Putt: Two Teams, One Dream, and a Freshman Named Tiger) chronicling that title run signed by Tidland and the others from that Oklahoma State squad.

Woods’ response?

“Usually stuff you can’t print,” Tidland said, smiling.

Tidland noted Woods is a good sport about it all but will also bring up all the times he beat him. It includes that ’94 Western Amateur fight.

- Recalling an incredible almost-comeback against Tiger Woods at Western Amateur, GolfWeek.com, June 7, 2018.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)


Black eye? 丑事


Off the bat? 立刻


Hot take? 脱口而出的意见


Rattled someone's cage 让人恼火


Falling into place 水到渠成

中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序