Ed Driscoll



Old standards of sportsmanship have been dying for a long time. Ages ago it was considered cool for a player scoring a touchdown to flip the ball nonchalantly to the ground and run, head down, off the field. Then came ball spins and other tricks, dancing, prancing and in-your-face taunting. The sublime, indeed, had turned ridiculous.

After the [Terrell Owens Sharpie incident], NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent a memo around the league clarifying that if a player has objects that are not part of the uniform on the field or sideline he will be given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Everyone knew it also would mean a fine, something Owens escaped because no one had anticipated a player being quite so boorish.

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Fans have a stake in it because this kind of stuff doesn’t enhance games, it diminishes them. When sportsmanship goes, the sport is cheapened.

The way to end the nonsense is to skip a fine and suspend [New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn] for a game.

How big a grin do you think Horn would be flashing if he were sidelined next Sunday against Jacksonville with the 7-7 Saints’ playoff hopes on the line?

Sitting a star like Horn, or any starter, would affect the whole team and the outcome of the game.

I agree. I don’t necessarily want to return to the old days of coolly flipping the ball to the ref after a score, but I think there’s a balance–I don’t want to see the NFL become the XFL, either.

UPDATE: Don’t hold your breath, sports fans. Horn will be fined $30,000 by the NFL. No suspension planned.