As a member of the fairer sex, a mother, and someone who never really played competitive sports growing up, you might expect that I would have no problem with Tim Tebow shedding tears after losing last night’s SEC Championship Game. After all, Tebow is an emotional guy and losing one of the biggest games of his career probably hurt him to his core, right? Wrong. At least that is not how I viewed his lack of composure. Since when is it okay (if you are over the age of 12) to break down and cry (in public) after losing a game, match or tournament? How is that not considered poor sportsmanship?
Tebow’s reaction last night reminded me of a similar outburst by Roger Federer, when he lost the 2009 Australian Open to Rafael Nadal. Federer, if you remember, couldn’t even speak he was so upset by the loss. I actually felt sorry for Nadal who wound up having to comfort Federer rather than fully enjoy and celebrate his victory. The post SEC Championship coverage both in the media and online (even made Twitter’s Trending List) focused not on Alabama’s complete dismantling of the number one team in the country, but rather on how Superman cried when someone finally stepped on his cape. Not really fair to the underdog, Alabama team. I am not saying that Tebow (or Federer for that matter) shouldn’t shed tears if that is what they need to do, just please don’t do it on camera immediately after the loss.
We’ve all heard, and probably repeated, the Tom Hanks’ line from the 1992 movie, A League of Their Own, “There is no crying in baseball.” Perhaps, that should extend to all sports being played by people who have reached puberty.
What do you think, is it okay for professional (or high-profile amateur) athletes to cry publicly after defeat?