Good Sportsmanship Through Total Humiliation
By Stu Burguiere
It was late in the game as Wisconsin quarterback Jon Budmayr dropped back to pass deep in his own territory, scrambled left to avoid the rush, and noticed wide receiver Jared Abbrederis streaking deep down the field in single coverage. Budmayr threw it as far as he could, and it was a good thing, because it cleared the outstretched fingertips of Indiana’s safety by only about four inches. Abbrederis caught the ball as the leaping defender fell to the ground and walked in for a 74 yard touchdown.
It was a spectacular play, but not because it won the national championship, or even one of the thousands of meaningless bowls sponsored by car rental companies. It was spectacular because it made the score 76-13. This wasn’t a run up the middle. It wasn’t a screen pass that the receiver broke for a long touchdown. This was a highly ranked Wisconsin team, beating up on an overmatched Indiana team by mercilessly airing it out even though they were already leading 69-13 deep into the second half.
Wisconsin went on to win 83-20 but if you listened to analysts afterwards you would have thought they murdered a litter of kittens just born at the local nursing home. “How could they do that? Where is their sportsmanship? How disgraceful…running up the score like that. Damn kitten murderers.”