Spirit of the Game. It’s something that has intrigued and repelled me from ultimate. At its best spirit makes me believe in humanity, at its worse it makes me think planet of the apes has already taken place and I am not sure if I am human or ape but I know I want to fight.
Thankfully, I’ve evolved from my apeish adolescence, and have taken on a pursuit of spirit of the game. The main reason I’ve come to appreciate SOTG, is after witnessing the players who showcased spirit under the highest stakes. When you see spirit woven into the very fabric of the game, it is hard to ignore and eventually even a ultra competitive ape like myself can adopt it.
People said SOTG would wilt with observers, they said it would go extinct with refs, it has not. It is and always will be up to the players to nurture it and keep it growing in adverse conditions. SOTG is even more powerful when there are refs and there is money, contracts and the very future if the sport on the line.
So what is Spirit of the Game?
For me spirit comes down to respect. Respect for your opponent, respect for the game and respect for yourself. All three of those could be discussed in detail but I think a little introspective can embellish them to the proper extent.
If sport represents life then perhaps in one way life can follow our sport. In a world that seems to increasingly resolve confrontation with violence, I wonder what what would happen if we all had a bit more SOTG.
We all play by different rules with different goals created by unique creeds and diverse backgrounds. And just like in sport, in life there will be fouls, bad calls, crazy emotions where hate binds and success blinds. It is in those hardest moments where having a small bit of SOTG can have big change. Who knows with enough SOTG maybe humanity can realize that deep down we are all on the same team.