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Letter: Some fans need lessons in sportsmanship

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This is an open letter to the Luverne Cardinals football fans.

First, let me state a few facts. Luverne's head coach, Todd Oye -- a class act. Luverne football team -- tough competitors, good sportsmanship. Luverne football fans -- a large section of these fans do not deserve to watch paint dry.

The No. 1 rule in sportsmanship: When there is a player down, you do not cheer, whether this is for your own team or the competition. You show respect and let the trainers, coaches and EMTs (if necessary) do their jobs; you do not stand and cheer. I was astonished at your lack of character.

I had the privilege of sitting on the 50-yard line of the game on Friday night. To my left were four 10-year-old boys from Luverne. The words that came out of one boys mouth were some I don't think I have heard come out of someone so young. They were disrespectful. They had no idea you don't cheer when injured players are down, that you don't swear or spit into the wind. When myself and the gentleman in front of me ask the vulgar boy to stop the swearing his reply was, "I'm sorry, I learned to talk this way from my dad." And the pride that family must feel.

However, in the span of time it takes to play a football game, myself and the gentleman in front of me taught these boys a few things about having good sportsmanship. Did they still cheer for Luverne? Absolutely! They should be proud. But, they learned to be respectful. Now, I'm thinking that some of the Luverne fans need to track down those boys and learn something useful. It only takes a few minutes to teach right from wrong. Proof positive with those boys.

Now, to be fair, there were many Luverne fans that were respectful, and we thank you. To those that were not -- shame on you. I hope that when you have a child playing in an athletic event and he or she becomes injured, you will not hear opposing fans cheering. It will break your heart.

To Todd Oye and the Luverne football team, I wish you luck in the rest of your season. To your respectful fans, I hope you enjoy the rest of the ride. To the disrespectful fans, the paint-drying quarterfinals start in a week.

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