If memory serves me correctly, I was not a competitive child growing up. I liked to play sports and had one meltdown in elementary school during P.E. When I got into music, I liked playing above all else, and I could care less about "challenging" someone for his or hers seat in concert band.
But when I started playing kickball a few years ago, something snapped. As in, people who are my friends off of the field are not my friends when we play against each other. Trash-talking, psych-out moments, complaining about calls, you name it.
I was expecting a throwdown yesterday when I played volleyball for DC9. Our team was made up of three full-timers (including my editor Audra), a walk-on player, and me with a fellow freelancer. Playing against the digital radio station Indie-Verse, I knew a couple of the players beforehand. When the ball was in play, my team's focus was trying to get the ball over the net and scoring. But when the ball wasn't in play, we were friendly and sportsman-like.
What a relief.
Matter of fact, when one of the players on the other team hurt his knee, we all helped him out and were thankful that he got back in the game after a few minutes.
After those guys and gals beat us 18-15, we all shook hands and hung out. I was glad that DC9 didn't come across as hungover wimps with no skills. And I was glad I didn't throw any hissy-fits.
Yet I reserve the right to protest any questionable calls in any sport I play in the future. It's just my style as an adult.