Kyle’s Kommentary: The true meaning behind respecting the game

By Kyle Kercheval

The age-old idea of “respecting the game” ranges from respect towards coaches and officials, to opponents and fans, but most importantly, teammates. While Herm Edwards’ words “you play to win the game” hold true, the relationships and the “family/brotherhood” mentality that is formed among teammates is ultimately much more important, and will live long after the numbers on a scoreboard.
While the appalling issues surrounding Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin are rather old news, team chemistry and respect will live as long as athletics itself.
Knowing the severity of the dysfunctional Dolphins dilemma, I can safely say that problems to this extent would never occur or even be thought of in Legend athletics, but issues regarding respect and comradery between teammates most likely exist in some shape or form.
It’s been two years since I’ve worn an LHS jersey, which weakens my perspective on what goes on amongst student athletes in the locker-room. However, I know, as it is in any high school, there are teams within teams.
Whether it’s a team of one player and an ego, or that one group that thinks they are better than the rest of the team, these posses do nothing to benefit the overall chemistry or moral of the team.
Obviously, there will be some guys/girls on the team that you enjoy hanging around with more, but that gives no one an excuse to belittle, poorly treat, or exclude another player or group of players from the comradery in the locker-room, on the field, or in school.
Coaches can do all they can to preach the idea that “we’re all on the same team.” But what it honestly boils down to is the integrity and character of the players who make up that team. Whether or not they will really do anything for anyone on the team, or merely act like they care. That choice is internal.
Divided by skill, by age, by pre-existing dislike, it makes no difference. Nothing should get in the way of an athletes respect for their teammates. If any team wants to seriously become a team, that “band-of-brothers” like mentality has to be present.
Everyone must stick together through the highest highs and lowest lows, through every buzzer beating defeat, and through every walk-off homerun.
Every other person wearing the same uniform you are is as important to the team as yourself. You can’t do it alone and your teammates are the greatest tool for advice, strength, support and especially, winning.
As you take the ice, the court, the field, or your mark, fight for your brothers/sisters, the guys/girls you go to war with. You never know when it will be your last.
At the end of the day, all that will matter is how you represented each other, and the name that’s on the front of your jersey.

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