Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers and Sportsmanship

Well today is Father's day here in the States, and I have been contemplating the different gifts that a father can bestow on their children.  A father is not just the guy that makes sure that the power bill is paid on time but from my experience has the ability to get you to the other side of adulthood, and offer a perspective that a mother on average is unable to fulfill, even after you reach adulthood.  One of the big areas that I see fathers affecting their children with is sportsmanship.  Regardless of an athletic sport or just moving chess pieces, sportsmanship is crucial to most past times and for that matter most of life. 

Now I did play little league baseball and soccer when I was a kid, and I enjoyed playing baseball.  However I did not follow through with it afterwards in life.  I was more interested in camping, hunting and fishing more than general athletics and I lettered in Band in High School. (Lettering in Football would not have been hard for me at my school actually.  It was a terrible team when I was there and I was a tuba player in Marching Band, and some on the tuba line did quit and joined the defensive line while was there.)  I did play Lacrosse in college which was just out of pure fun.  I cared less if we lost and I was on teams that we did, but the fun of hitting someone else with a stick legally outweighed the score of the game, when we were keeping score.   I still watch a fair amount of sports but where I really learned sportsmanship was when I was playing board games with my Father.  Most specifically this:

That's right, my first foray into war gaming was Axis and Allies.  I remember many a game played by the two of us.  I learned the most about sportsmanship from these games than any other place.  My father would soundly beat me every time for the most part.  I would range from being in tears all the way to snippy at times playing him.  Here is the difference though.  Mom hated the game, but she would always ask how we did.  After every loss she would give my dad a cross look, as if telling him "Let him win for once."  He would reply verbally "He is getting good, I almost lost to him today."

I can't tell you how glad that he would always play to win and actively beat me.  It taught me humility and most importantly to be gracious in victory like he always was.  One thing that I did not learn was to be more gracious with rules disputes.  I really do have a hard time being amenable when I am disputing a rule that I know is right.  Since then I have shown frustration quite a few times after a game which I do regret quite a bit in retrospect, but I don't consider myself a bad sport, and given the atmosphere it can be different for me.  I take tournaments not nearly as seriously as campaigns for example.  Which leads me to the bad sportsman out there.

I certainly do understand being frustrated and short with people at times, and I very much try to avoid it at all costs.  However as this thread from Warseer shows there are people who really needed to be taught good sportsmanship:

I would assume that most of these stories are crap, but like many stories that are too absurd to be true, I am sure that there is a kernel of truth to be sure.  I have seen dice being thrown, I have seen people who have packed up in a huff, and I have seen people carry on a rare occasion.  I can tell you that my father would not have put up with that crap at all from me.  People are people and you do eventually find a few jerks in your life.  Hopefully they do learn what good sportsmanship is and practice it, but I do wish that they had a father figure like mine who would have taught them good sportsmanship practices.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bashing GW is just getting too easy.

While in the process of moving, I noticed that I have sold over half of my collection that I had in boxes.  The good news is that hopefully those miniatures will see the light of day with someone who will appreciate them.  The bad news is that I am compelled to sell them as opposed to using them for what I originally was planning for them.  I guess that is a good thing that I sold all of my current models given my lack of enthusiam for the game and the company in general.  This is really for both 40K and WFB. 

I could write several articles as to how I hate what the current management have done to a company that I have liked and have done business with in the past.  Looking at the bloggers that I do follow, there is plenty of people who have what seems no end in sight of rants ranging from the failings of finecast to the annual June price hike from the wisemen in Nottingham.  I am sure that there will be plenty more to come in the future. 

However that is getting to be booring for me overall.  I have tried to limit the "I hate GW" rants on this blog for the most part as of late.  Don't get me wrong, I have a bevy of complaints about GW, including their foray into finecast which I really have been silent about.(which I may still do a Finecast rant for several reasons)  I may do a rant from time to time, but I have other issues to deal with now-a-days than the obscene prices and the apparent lack of quality and service that you get from GW.  The only hope is that the current management get sacked and a massive re-organization of the company.  I may start paying more attention after that if it ever happens. 

Perhaps this is my real life interfering with my hobby life.  Right now I am focused on other issues and my other hobby that I can do actually.  As of right now I really can't even paint unless I figure out a new arraingment at my new place.