On the Importance of Good Sportsmanship

Staci makes me go to her cousins’ house for most holidays.

While most people talk, my twelve-year-old son Thomas and I play video games against Staci’s cousins, Ken and Joe.  Ken and Joe are my age.

Ken and Joe always beat us, not because they’re good, but because it’s their games we’re playing.

So last year I brought a brand new game, NBA Live, figuring that if we were all starting from scratch, it would be a fairer game.  Ken unwrapped the cellophane from the game package and we started playing.

At first, all four of us were equally bad, struggling to make passes and shoot the ball.  But by the end of the first quarter Thomas and I had rapidly improved.  And by the end of the second quarter, we had a twenty-point lead.

In the second half, Thomas and I got even better.  We were throwing down mammoth dunks, doing behind-the-back passes and blocking shot after shot.  Ken and Joe could barely dribble the ball.

By the end of the third quarter, our lead was 43.  Thomas and I were high-fiving and congratulating each other on our mad skills.

When our lead stretched to 84 in the fourth quarter, Joe paused the game.  He walked over to the trash can and pulled out the cellophane.

“This isn’t the kind of cellophane they wrap video games in.”

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“And this price tag says $9.95.  You can’t get this game for ten bucks.”

“You can’t?” I lamely asked.

“You just grabbed one of your own games from home and wrapped it in Saran Wrap and put a price sticker on it.”

I looked from side to side.  Then I looked down.

“You did, didn’t you?” Joe asked.

I didn’t have the heart to add that we’d be playing it almost every day for the last three years.

Ken and Joe tossed their controllers on the couch and left the room.

I figured that would be as good a time as any to teach my son a lesson.  So I did:

“Never be a sore loser like Ken and Joe.”

49 thoughts on “On the Importance of Good Sportsmanship

  1. Dude, next time go the extra mile and buy a second copy of the game. You don’t get to be a winner by half-assing it.

  2. i thought you would also give him advice that next time make sure to wrap a game properly so that it looks brand new !!😉

  3. you and Thomas must have also practised being bad at the beginning…what a sinister father…your son must be a pretty good actor though🙂 training him up to be a politician?

  4. I bet when you do things you think WWRD – “What Would Rat Do?” And then you do it.

  5. Ken and Joe were losers for not noticing that you had placed a sticker over the 2007 in the title.

    Next time you visit, you should settle your differences once and for all by playing the hottest game out there – Massa’s Tickle Fight 2010.

  6. That is a very important lesson to learn in life. And that’s a trick I shall definitely try.
    THANK YOU. SO SO MUCH.

  7. Completely awesome! Sore losers couldn’t take the joke? C’mon! It’s a video game!

  8. hahahahaha, u get 1 star for tricking them, another one for your acting skills, another one for acting like you didn’t know, a fourth one for winning, and the last one for teaching your son a valuable life lesson, hahaha

    5 stars you got right there😄

  9. I hope you keep trying variations of this until they learn their lesson.

    You rock the house, dude!

  10. But, was the icy silence in the car ride home worth it? Yeah, I bet it was. Next time, don’t be so cheap. Use cellophane and stickers from a more recent game, wrap professionally, and play poorly for a longer period of time. Then, go for the jugular. Sigh. You must have eaten too much HAM.

  11. Hey, how else will they learn? If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying, right?

    (Of course, if you get caught cheating, you’re not trying hard enough…)

  12. I like how you made US believe it was a new game with the way you phrased it. I wish my dad taught me life lessons like that.

  13. “when confronted with a lie, the thing to do is deny,deny” a great human once said that(yes I did just make that up).you should’ve stood your ground and acted hurt by the accusations of cheating.how dare he!

  14. You wanna really tough, contemporary game? Play “Obama’s 2010, Battle to Create a Broke-Dick Country”!

  15. Reminds me of the vacation when my sister and I memorized all the Trivial Pursuit cards and crushed our parents the next night.

  16. On the one hand you did a bad thing trying to trick them into believing this was a brand new game. Of course anyone who can’t tell Saran Wrap from a celophane or shrink wrap wrapper only has themselves to blame if they get tricked.

    But on the other hand you and your son deserve the chance to be just as skilled, if not more so, at the games you play with them. If you’re always playing their games and don’t have the same game at your house to practice on then they should be willing to play some of your games to. Yet it doesn’t sound like their upset because you and your son tricked them. It sounds like their upset because they didn’t get to have the edge.

  17. I can’t believe a couple of grown men would pout like that. What a bunch of losers!!

  18. Pig and Rat are featured on a strip called One Big Happy. Or did you already know that?

  19. Really? Dan, you really needed to bring politics into it?

    Love how you and your son beat them at their own game, Pastis.

  20. That is freaking hilarious. Sounds like the advice D-Day from the movie “Animal House” told Flounder. ‘Don’t get mad, get even”!!

  21. Hey Rachel, don’t blame me. You Obamanuts set the precedent in earlier posts. I’m only following your lead.

  22. OMG! That is SO funny! Boys and their toys! Why do guys have to be so freaking competitive? The plastic wrap was a great touch, though, really.

  23. My sister did something similar. Jeopardy was broadcast in the morning and then the same episode was re-run later in the afternoon. She watched the morning broadcast by herself and the afternoon episode with her husband and answered almost EVERY question, even the final Jeopardy. Hubby was going crazy wondering how she knew all that stuff, ha!

  24. 😄
    That reminds me of a story my roommate told me. She and her brother had this really old Jeopardy video game, and she played it over and over until she memorized all of the questions (there were only like a hundred in the whole game). Then she kicked his ass.

    He’s ten years older than her. He was much less amused than she was.

  25. Ok, I gotta throw the BS flag on this one. Ten yard penalty.
    If it was a three year old game, you could buy it for $9.95 if you could buy it at all.

  26. I just had the same thing happen over at my folks place yesterday, Mary, but with Family Fued and in a shorter span of time. We’d just finished watching a rerun a couple hours before and had changed channels to watch something else. When that was over Family Feud came on on that channel, same exact episode. I realized this and was correctly giving the first survey. My mother asked how I could know that and I told her we’d just watched it earlier. Either she’s getting old or hadn’t paid much attention the first time around. Probably the latter cause once she realized it was a rerun of a rerun she changed the channel.

  27. I don’t see what Dan sees. Where did “Obamanuts” inject politics for him to “follow your lead.” ?? Can someone point it out to me?

    Excellent ploy, Pastis men! Those cousins have been cheating all along by only playing the games they own.

  28. The moral of this story is that if you’re going to run a scam, do the research first.

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