It only just occurred to me that the admonishment to ‘be a good sport’ has little to do with showing athletic prowess and a whole lot to do with someone cajoling someone else to do a thing that the other person has no desire to do. What a to-do!
Perhaps this little guilt trip was meant, if the person saying it to me had any thought about it at all, to encourage me to discover that I actually enjoyed those activities (sports or other) under consideration once I willingly participated. Maybe those who said it even thought I had a hope of becoming skillful, adept, if I just faked a bit of enthusiasm until I got more properly involved. Cynic that I am, I harbor some doubt as to the former and, let’s face it, find the latter somewhat laughable. I can’t think of anything anyone would trouble me to do by telling me to Be a Good Sport that would be necessary to my survival or the rest of the world’s well-being, so it seems pretty plain that I was being chided to do that thing in order to please the person who was scolding me.
If, by not wishing to participate in the present extravaganza (whatever it may be), I am not a Good Sport, then it seems to me a bit like when those demonstrators and activists and yes, politicians, who cheer on their personal causes by insulting and tearing down and attacking their opponents rather than by simply extolling the virtues of the cause and letting it win converts and participants by its own evident excellence, and said promoters are then utterly mystified and stunned that others don’t flock to the cause willingly. You may well surmise from this that I never did buy into the value of group-think much, and in turn, haven’t ever warmly embraced the ‘popular’ activities. You can call me a meanie, a wimp, a curmudgeon, whatever you like, but please don’t label me a Poor Sport for having different wishes and tastes than yours. It’s just not sporting!