Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good Sportsmanship

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook an obscenity-laced tirade against a particular Dallas Cowboys fan. Said fan had told my friend to go fuck himself, after he had offered him his hand to shake and told him, "Good game," following the Redskins' victory Sunday night. The harsh words reminded me of a completely different scenario I experienced in 1999.

It was Sunday, September 12, 1999. I went to Babes Billiards (RIP) on the banks of the mighty Wisconsin (Avenue) in NW DC to watch the Redskins' season opener against the Cowboys. I was eating and drinking and hootin' and hollerin' and otherwise carrying on. The Skins were getting it like a big dog; they led 35-14 after three quarters. I had been yucking it up with a Cowboys fan at a nearby table; I wasn't ugly about it, and he took it all in stride.

Some friends of mine wanted to leave and do something else; they were saying that the game was all but over. I told them it wasn't over; there was another quarter to play, and I intended to watch it. What followed was perhaps the worst meltdown in Redskins history. I don't recall precisely how the game went, but I do remember that the Cowboys scored three unanswered TD's in the fourth quarter, then went on to win it in OT, 41-35.

The Cowboys fan enjoyed the fourth quarter immensely; he got the same kick out of it that I had earlier. When the Cowboys scored their OT TD, he walked over to my table, offered me his hand to shake, and told me, "What a game!" I agreed, shook his hand, and told my friends that I told them the damn game wasn't over. The Cowboys fan asked me what I was drinking. I had been surfing the taps, so I told him I thought I might be on Killian's. He went to the bar, bought me a pitcher, then bid me good day and left Babes. I never saw him again.