This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.
I love sports, I can’t say this enough times over my two semesters as the sports editor. There is one thing about sports that I can’t stand though, and that is an athlete that has an ego that cannot fit through a doorway. Egos cause people to do crazy things and cause infinite numbers of problems. From professional athletes down to backyard baseball games and here at USU-CEU, there are egos, but there should be no place for them.
Confidence is key, and I will be the first to say that. Without confidence you get walked over and never get anywhere in life or in sports, but there is a difference between being confident and cocky. Merriam Webster’s World Dictionary defines confidence as “Having strong belief or full assurance,” while cockiness is defined as “arrogant or conceited.”
Now that we know the difference between the two, how does this apply to egos? Athletes have confident egos, they know that they are good and have self-assurance, knowing they are good, but can’t do anything without their team. Jocks (yes they are athletes as well, but are different) have cocky egos. You know what I am talking about; they think they are untouchable, can do anything and are God’s gift to the world.
Who would you want to have someone like this as a teammate or a friend?
People with cocky egos tend to do things that, well, simply get them in trouble because they are untouchable and can’t do anything wrong, or so they think. This list of people includes professional athletes, politicians, college students and even sports writers. Recently though, egos rule more and more because they are allowed and society finds them acceptable.
The saying that “history repeats itself” is true in all instances and never more prevalent than in this discussion. You really don’t have to look that far back to see this, but I would like to go back to World War II and mention a man named General George S. Patton. Out of generals in history, Patton certainly had the biggest ego, and everything was his right and privilege. Patton was so confident that he took the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily when General Bernard Montgomery was supposed to have that honor. Later Patton hit a soldier that was recovering in a field hospital. Because of his actions, he was put in charge of a fake army made of cardboard and plywood to make the Axis believe the landing was taking place farther south in France than the city of Normandy. Instead of having a hand in D-day, Patton got over-looked and is known for commanding a fake army. If being overly cocky could knock a man like Patton down, it can certainly do a lot to average people and athletes for that matter.
Now for the application to sports. No athlete (or jock) is that good that they are completely untouchable to the point that they can get away with anything. There are countless examples of this happening. Brett Favre was one of the best quarterbacks to play football. The end of his career wasn’t the best, but he was getting old. I bet he thought there was no way he would get in trouble for allegedly sending explicit texts and photos to a female member of the New York Jets news staff when playing for them. After that, there was a sudden falling out for Favre.
The same thing happens with other athletes. I can’t imagine that any of the baseball players that held records in the late 1990s or early 2000s that got caught using steroids ever thought they would get in trouble, or get caught for that matter. Now they are all being indicted by federal courts and have become publicly disgraced.
As college students that are starting to determine who we are and to create ourselves, remember being confident is good, but there is no need to get cocky. History has shown us that it doesn’t pay and eventually we will be the ones that will be hurt by it. So next time you are not going to do your homework, doing something that you shouldn’t or saying (texting included) something to somebody that you shouldn’t because you are an “untouchable” college student with a big ego, remember what the consequences may be.
This is why egos and confidence have been on the tee.