A great moment in poor sportsmanship:
Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch mocks Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow with a “Tebowing” pose after he sacked Tebow during the first quarter. More photos from the Broncos vs. Lions game Sunday. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post) (via Image Viewer)
Seriously, I love this. I didn’t watch the game, and haven’t really followed the NFL’s thinking on this sort of thing, so I don’t know if Tulloch was penalized, or criticized. I’d understand if he were — he’s being pretty obnoxious.
But at the same time: He’s being obnoxious with great panache. And I think every real sports fan enjoys that. (Anybody else remember the Saints’ Joe Horn, after scoring a touchdown, grab a cell phone he’d hidden in the goal-post padding and flamboyantly pretend to call his mom? He was fined, of course.)
I know that in general we don’t want to encourage the kids, or whatever, to engage in unsportsmanlike taunting and theatrics — thus the penalties and fines. But maybe while that’s the only response to dull, run-of-the-mill taunting, there could also be some recognition for really outstanding taunting. Tulloch’s action here qualifies; it’s funny, it’s effective, and it even plays off an Internet fad. (He gets bonus points for claiming afterward: “It was no disrespect to Tebow.” Yeah, right!)
In other words, by officially recognizing Best Bad Sportsmanship from time to time, we could give the kids an example of superlative unacceptable behavior.