WIN WITH HUMILITY AND LOSE WITH GRACE This Is a Mantra for All Exhibitors
BY WALTER J. SOMMERFELT
“T he Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat.” This was the open- ing of the old ABC Television’s weekend show, “Wide World of Sports.” Before we had cable TV, sports coverage was very limited. To those who were sports addicts at the time, this was the weekly window into a variety of different sports; usually not the main ones of baseball, foot- ball or basketball. One week it might be track and field, and the next it might be cliff diving. Every week, you could witness a different sport and, of course, meet the win- ners and losers of those events. In general, winning and losing exists in life. No matter which sports you enjoy, there are always winners and losers. (Of course, in today’s society, there are various little league-type sports—soccer, baseball, and others—where they don’t keep score because they fear the children will not accept losing very well.) Human behavior is also a huge part of life’s equation. As everyone knows, each person is an individual with unique personality traits and behaviors. Psychology spe- cialists break down humans into four basic personality types: A, B, C, and D. In some circles, there’s a combination that’s classified as Type X, which is a combination of two of the four listed. There is also the Myers & Briggs Foundation, which lists 16 MBTI types of personalities. Keeping these in mind, it is very understandable why we see dif- ferent reactions from individuals to all that we experience in life. In the sports world, sportsmanship is a huge indicator of a person’s respect for the sports in which they compete. In the professional ranks, we see numerous examples of both good and bad sportsmanship. However, the number of people who are displaying poor or bad sportsmanship seems to be on the rise. Every area of the sports world seems to have suffered from some type of scandal or evidence of cheating and bad behavior. Even here, in our beloved world of purebred dogs, we have suffered scandals and bad behavior for many years.
The American Kennel Club has a Code of Sportsmanship, a copy of which is usual- ly found in each catalog at shows throughout our sport. The preface for this code reads:
The sport of purebred dog competitive events dates prior to 1884, the year of AKC’s birth. Shared values of those involved in the sport include principles of sportsmanship. They are practiced in all sectors of our sport: Conformation, Performance and Companion. Many believe that these principles of sportsmanship are the prime reason why our sport has thrived for over one hundred years. With the belief that it is useful to periodically articulate the fundamentals of our sport, this code is presented. The code then goes on to list 15 points, concluding with the last point: Sportsmen refuse to embarrass the sport, the American Kennel Club, or themselves while taking part in the sport.
76 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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