On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS December 31, 2012 #417 Coming up next…Kindness in 2013!
After further review…As we close the year of 2012 a book authored by my colleague Ed Horrell, “The Kindness Revolution” (Horrell Communications firstname.lastname@example.org) comes to mind. Horrell, an expert on customer service, talks about companies that “get it” and those that don’t. Let’s look at some organizations in the sports world in 2012 that apparently didn’t get it.
Did the leadership of the New Orleans Saints not “get it” when it used its disgraced “bounty program”, organized to reward players for injuring opponents and taking them out of the game? Did Penn State not “get it” when its personnel became aware of the persistent criminal behavior of former coach Jerry Sandusky? Did the National Football League leadership not “get it” when it believed that non-qualified game officials could just step on the field to officiate games played by highly trained professional athletes?
In Horrell’s book he talks about the “wow” factor in customer service. That’s what sports are designed to do: to create a “wow” for their fans. In the case of the Saints, they certainly had made their fans go “wow” when they won Super Bowl XLIV in 2009, but let that success slip away when their bounty program was uncovered. While you might think this strange, intentionally trying to injure an opponent can be defined as a lack of kindness. My take is that pro football is a gentlemen’s game and needs to be played with that in mind.
The child molestation issue speaks for itself. There certainly has been a heightened awareness of that crime during 2012, yet we have just scratched the surface of those perpetrators. The role that kindness plays in that atmosphere hinges upon our awareness of and compassion for those victims. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” aptly applies.
The issue of professional training of NFL officials became controversial in 2012, as the league and its game officials were negotiating a contract. Kindness disappeared along with the care that the league should have shown for the integrity of the game, which rests squarely in the hands of game officials. If and when “kindness” by a T*E*A*M is discarded, it is the game officials who must insure that the game is played as it is intended to be.
Will you step-up your kindness to others in 2013?