Sports and Politics

 By Oliver Geronilla

I join BO in congratulating Mayor Helen De Castro for winning another term as Bulan’s chief executive. This “resounding mandate,” as Mr. Gilana astutely phrased it, will give her ample time to collaborate with Bulan’s crème de la crème in close consultation with her “mga padaba na kabungto” in bringing about meaningful change in our town, to continue all the laudable projects she has spearheaded, and of course, to address the issues that have been left unsolved if not overlooked.

The election fever is over. Yet, some are still “feverish.” I hope both losers and winners can go through this “stage” without angst or grudge for it’s time to buckle down to work. There will be election protests, doubts, accusations, etc, but I wish these won’t spoil the true essence of election as a democratic process.

In sports, there’s a great tradition where athletes play fair and square and handle both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity. That’s what we call sportsmanship. Ideally, it should be a code of behavior that should be followed not only by athletes but also by politicians and their supporters. As they say, “sportsmanship is a distinctive trait that defines one’s character and mettle.”

How about in politics?

Well, Jun Asuncion gallantly set the tone by positively responding to the post made by the PIO. That’s what we call local diplomacy at its finest. A few expressed the same view; and as expected, others dissented. It’s no surprise that a nebulously phrased comment from who-is-it of Timbuktu created a stir because of his bitter and unfounded disparagement. Boy, that’s what we call dirty politics.

Winners should always bear in mind to be cordial and munificent. Victories should be acknowledged without mortifying opponents; being quietly proud of success and letting victories speak for themselves are virtues worth keeping and observing. Good sportsmanship, when practiced in politics, dictates finding ways to compliment our “opponents”—even if we win by landslide.

Losing, of course, is difficult to come to terms with. It takes time. So, it doesn’t help when people incessantly “jeer” at the losers or their team after the “game” is over.

When we lose, we sometimes take it out on our opponents, blame election officials, or even our own party mates. The best thing to do is to take it in stride. When we lose, we ought to lose with class. So, here’s my unsolicited advice for the losers and their supporters: Thank those who supported you, congratulate the winners promptly and willingly. That shows maturity and courage. And for the winners and their supporters? Be true to your words through and through.

                                       

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2 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Oliver Geronilla's Column, Politics

2 responses to “Sports and Politics

  1. “In sports, there’s a great tradition where athletes play fair and square and handle both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity.” Oliver Geronilla

    In my view, politics never had this tradition of sportmanship. And sport is no more sport when politics plays with it. But it would be a good thing to try to handle victory and defeat in politics with grace, style and dignity.

    But as I observe, it is much easier for the election loser to maintain grace, style and dignity. For one thing, the public understands any misdemeanor after a lost fight and the loser disappears shortly thereafter anyway.

    For the winners, it’s much more difficult to show grace, style and dignity in our country where, with time, many of them end up committing corrupt practices, scandals of all sorts, etc. Has anyone seen grace and dignity in Arroyo, Ampatuan, etc…?

    For the re-elected corrupt politicians, these GSD qualities are no longer applicable anyway even before re- election.

    But politics- or election- could be like sport. How?
    Well, take away money (direct vote-buying as in local municipalities) and let the voters focus on skills and competences of the candidates.

    For both winners and losers, I guess it’s easier to maintain this GSD after the election because no one has lost huge amount of money.

    This is why sport begins with GSD and ends with GSD.

    Again, money robs the people and politics of their senses, the reason why we have a lot of nonsense.

    In any case, it’s really time soon for the elected and re-elected to “buckle down to work”.

    We hope to see this buckling down to work with GSD in the Administration of Mayor Helen De Castro of Bulan soon.

    jun asuncion

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