Tunney Side of Sports – Coming Up Next … What Price Integrity?


    After Further Review … The theme of a business conference to which I am invited as the keynote speaker is “DOING THE RIGHT THINGS.”  Certainly the attendees – the best in their field – did the right things to get to the top of their profession.  Being skilled in your job merits recognition.    However, are you willing to do things right (meaning ethically), as well as doing the right things?


    The question was answered emphatically in the Verizon Heritage Golf Tournament playoff recently.  Golf professional Brian Davis sank an 18-foot putt on the final round to get into a tie with the (then) leader Jim Furyk.  Davis and Furyk then went to the 18th tee for the playoff.


    Both drives were in the middle of the fairway with Davis’ ball being “away.”  Davis’ approach shot went left, bounced off the green and into the sand  - a place called Calibogue Sound.  The ball, while  playable, settled among some reeds and twigs.  Furyk hit his approach shot onto the green.


    Although Davis’ ball lay off the green, Furyk was away and putted first to about 4 feet from the pin.  Davis, after careful consideration, hit his shot onto the green, but then hesitated as he climbed out of the Calibogue Sound and summoned the rules official.  What was Davis doing?  Well, it seemed that “out of the corner of my eye,” Davis had brushed a loose twig, in violation of rule 13.4 – “moving a loose impediment during take-away,” but no one saw that violation – except Davis!


    Davis called the foul on himself and “After further review” (of the TV replay), the rules official concurred – “Violation 2-stroke penalty.”  Davis now lies 4 with Furyk lying 3.  Davis concedes.  Furyk putts for par, wins the Verizon Heritage and $1,026,000.  Davis, in second place, gets $615,000 – a difference of $411,000!  Davis called the violation on himself!  Is integrity worth $411,000?


    Would an NFL wide receiver who just caught the winning touchdown pass as time expired come back to the referee and say, “Excuse me, but I pushed that defensive back before I caught the pass, so take away that touchdown?”  Or an NBA player intercepts the ball, breaks away and scores the winning basket as time expires.  However, he blatantly “travelled” so he asks the referee to disregard his winning shot and lose the game?


    Are you kidding me?  Never would happen! Was Davis’ self-penalizing gesture one of sportsmanship?  Maybe.  More importantly, it was an act of character.


    Will you respect the rules in the game of life with a Davis attitude in mind?


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