Giving it your all is really what matters

One of the most amusing things I've encountered when going to sports events is watching the fans.

The majority of them that attend games are, for the most part, knowledgeable enough about what they are watching so that when they are cheering for their team, they don't embarrass themselves by saying something ignorant. But there are always one or two bad apples out there, the so-called "experts" who probably wouldn't know what a football or basketball looked like if they hit them on the head.

Playing high school sports is a privilege and the students playing those sports are out on the playing fields because they want to be. They are not getting compensated for it, it is strictly enjoyment for them. When fans in the stands sometimes yell mean things at them, I want to hurl. Why? There may be players out on the field who may not be as physically gifted as those on the other team, but there is no questioning the effort. Nine times out of ten, the person in the stands doing the yelling probably has more ability than the athlete they are directing their venom toward, but probably has no more ambition and drive than a three-toed sloth.

When taking a tour of the new entryway at Spainhower Field the other day, it really struck me as to how much work the newly-founded Orange and Black Foundation did in making the display look first-rate. Kirksville has struggled recently on the football field, but the entryway reminds us of past Tiger football -- teams that played with pride and effort.

Obviously, you play sports to win the game and the joy one derives from winning is indescribable. However, when a player leaves the field of battle knowing he did everything he could to help him team and held nothing back, he can hold his head high and walk proud. That may be more than that loudmouthed fan in the stands can say.