West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Fair Play

Today, I would like to discuss "fair play."

Unfortunately, we live in a contemporary society that places "winning" far ahead of such virtues as sportsmanship, character building, and yes, fair play.

Oh, we hear a lot of lip-service from many proclaiming the importance of such values. But in the final analysis, in the midst of competition, the more devious character-traits arise to the surface from these same individuals: "Win at all costs; anything less is failure. "

Of course, yours truly, along with a few others out there, disagree. Allow me to share a true story about fair play, and how it follows you through life. It was told by Ed Marion.


One day while playing golf, I met a man named Mr. Tate. By the third hole, I learned his story involving fairness. Mr. Tate and his partner owned a thriving insurance agency which they sold to a big insurance company. They stayed on as consultants and also did some selling.

After a couple of years, Mr. Tate and his partner became bored, and decided to start another insurance business on their own.

The big insurance company said they couldn't, claiming Mr. Tate had made an oral agreement that he and his partner would only sell for them.

Mr. Tate never made such a deal and said, "See ya in court."

The judge ruling over this legal action stated that an oral agreement was just as binding as a written one. But there was no real evidence to back either party's claim. So he decided to go with his instincts. Here's what the judge had to say:

Yes, fair play is the best policy in school, in sports, and in life. Whenever you are faced with a tough decision, think Mr Tate's story, and you will be reminded that - "Virtue is always its own reward "


"Work keeps us from three basic evils: boredom, vice, and need "
-- Voltaire

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Updated March 25, 1999