Honesty and Accountability in Super Bowl LVII

By: Tim Rickabaugh, Professor of Exercise Science

I was impressed by many things in Super Bowl LVII. The high level of effort from both teams right up to the end. The effective leadership from both head coaches to get the most out of their players. And the ability of the game MVP to play through a high degree of pain, bringing his team to victory. However, what I most admired about the game did not come to my notice until I checked in with espn.com the following morning.\

Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was called for defensive holding near the end of the game, and while the call was widely questioned, it helped the Chiefs to win the game. Instead of leading the criticism of game officials, he simply admitted the truth. “I was hoping he would let it go, but of course, he’s a ref; it was a big game; It was a hold, so they called it.” Being honest and humble in the ultimate spectator arena says a lot about Mr. Bradberry, both as a human and as an athlete.

Our culture seems to be obsessed with debating about who is the G.O.A.T. in every major sport. I have never heard any of these “greatest of all time” candidates be so honest and accountable when they make a mistake. It was refreshing to hear that an NFL player would rather admit making a mistake than blame it on the refs. James Bradberry may not have been the MVP of Super Bowl LVII, but he set an example for us all in being an honest, and accountable, human being.

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