MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI -- It was a cold Wednesday night for football, but after the game, it turned even chillier.
When the final whistle blew and the teams should have lined up to shake hands, all but three or four of the losing team simply walked off the field in a textbook display of unsportsmanlike conduct.
Sure, it was close through the entire game, and it was only won in the final minute. The opposing team obviously wanted the win badly and was fiercely competitive. Neither, however, can be reason enough for such an arrogant, egotistical show. OK, perhaps arrogant and egotistical are too strong of words. How about infantile and immature?
This is intramural sports, not the National Football League. This was a weeknight, "you run this way, I'll pass you the ball here," draw the plays in the dirt, backyard ball, not the Super Bowl. Not even Monday Night Football.
Maybe I'm the only guy in the league (and please let me know if I am), but I'm not getting paid $1.3 million a season plus incentive bonuses. There are no endorsements, no paychecks, no salaries in intramural sports. I have to buy my own sports drink!
Here's a tip: intramural sports is about having fun - representing your command and having fun.
Play hard, do everything it takes within the rulebook to win, but the bottom line is to have fun. I'm no Jerry Rice or Ronnie Lott. I'd say about 99.9 percent of those playing have more talent than I, but very few like to play as much as I do.
Were my feelings hurt because the other team didn't want to shake my hand? Absolutely not. Was my team miffed because the other team failed to recognize and congratulate us on a game well played? Absolutely not.
Now I've been accused of being somewhat of a liberal and maybe a little too laid back at times, but I've learned that life isn't always about being the best or having the most. Every once in while you need a break from the monotony of life to have a little fun.
If you stress the little things, if you sweat the small stuff, life is not going to be fun. You will not be happy. You will not sleep well at night. You will have an ulcer before you reach the age of 30.
Intramural football is not something I'm going to lose sleep over. Yes, I play to win, but win or lose, I'm going to have a good time. Win or lose, you'll see me smiling when the final whistle blows.
Win or lose, you'll see me shake hands and let my opponents know they played a good game.
To the majority of the opposition, all you proved by walking away is that we are better than you on the field, and we're better than you off the field. To the few that did shake hands, "Good game."