Golden Whistle

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS September 24, 2012 #403 Coming up next…Golden Whistle

After further review…Our local television station KSBW, with support of the agricultural giant Taylor Farms, is promoting an award called “The Golden Whistle”. Inspired by the recent appearance of former Baltimore Colts lineman Joe Ehrmann, (1973-1980), KSBW is seeking nominations for presenting its first recipient from the ranks of local coaches who epitomize and teach good sportsmanship. Ehrmann’s book “Inside Out Coaching” is a manifesto for coaches who stress the values of good citizenship, strong scholastics, as well as the discipline and dedication that create good athletes. The Golden Whistle award has generated great enthusiasm within the community.

Perhaps Ehrmann should send his book to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano, who instructed his defense to be aggressive as the clock ran down (less than 5 seconds left) in a recent NFL game with the New York Giants. Giants QB, Eli Manning, called a “kneel down” on the last play of the game with the Giants ahead 41-34. Manning had stepped-up to the line of scrimmage and announced to the Bucs defense that “We’re taking a knee”, meaning the Giants had no intention of advancing the ball on that last play. The Bucs defense responded aggressively on the snap, dumping Manning and several Giants linemen on their backs.

 Giants head coach Tom Coughlin stormed across the field and chastised Schiano, a rookie NFL head coach, shouting “We don’t do that in the NFL!” Indeed, it is customary in the NFL to allow the final seconds of a certain victory or loss to run out uncontested. That’s not to say one “gives up” when behind in the score, but abides by the spirit of the rules. NFL rule 12-2-7, Page 67, addresses “unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture” which accurately describes the Giants in that situation. Granted, football players are taught to be alert at all times both before and after the whistle; yet, football is played with emotion and physicality and is still a gentlemen’s game.

Teaching young players in any sport should imbue them with skills they can use throughout life.     Former NFL coach Herm Edwards taught his players to “play hard, play fast, and play smart”, but     within the structure of good sportsmanship. That’s what The Golden Whistle award is promoting.

Will you help others learn that character counts in sports as well as in life?

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