Paul Cronin

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio…..?

Hard lately not to think about “heroes”, whether they be in bridge or in any other endeavor. And that brought to mind the title line above, from the movie “The Graduate”. And the poignant line following it – “A nation turns its lonely eyes to you”. And when, like the Beatles in “Let It Be”, “I find myself in times of trouble”, I think of….heroes. Like Bobby Jones in the 1925 U.S. Open, calling a penalty on himself for causing his ball to move while he was addressing it. No one else saw it move ….his partner tried to talk him out of it…..the officials insisted that it was totally up to him to make the call. He made the call, and penalized himself one stroke. That resulted in a tie at the end of the tournament, and a subsequent playoff which he lost. He lost the U.S. Open! Do you think he ever regretted that action? Probably not, because in the next U.S. Open he called another penalty on himself when his ball, in a strong wind, moved a half turn on the green as he lifted his putter head  to place it behind the ball. To me, that’s being a…….hero. Doing the right thing when no one is looking,  especially when you may pay a big price for doing so. 


Howard Bigot-JohnsonSeptember 10th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Well I call that sportsmanship of the highest order. Sacrificing glory by owning up to an inadvertent transgression demonstrates a level of integrity and honesty so rarely found in sportsmen today.


paul croninSeptember 10th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Hello HBJ,

Would be interested in your thoughts as to why that kind of sportsmanship is so rare today.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonSeptember 10th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Hi there again ,
Well over here we read about diving in football ( to win penalties ) , feigning injuries to get players sent off , hassling referees …..not to mention doping in athletics and cycling, cricket ball tampering , player baiting , and so on. Well where there is big money , there will be many who to choose to bend or ignore the rules.
With drug testing the more thorough the tests become , the more devious the methods used to get around them. Remember Lance Armstrong the US cyclist ? Tip of the iceberg.
So yes sportsman ship is a dying feature in most sports including bridge.
I hope your article inspires players to move in the right direction.

Amir FarsoudSeptember 12th, 2015 at 12:41 am

Perhaps if we stopped allowing, and even encouraging unethical behaviour, it might help.

Paul CroninSeptember 28th, 2015 at 12:35 am

Hi Amir,

Can you give some examples of where we

(i) allow unethical behaviour ?

(ii) encourage unethical behaviour?

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