Navy’s Blue Angels can teach us a lot about sportsmanship

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115414422188.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jon McGinty’, ‘The U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, formed in 1946, paid their first visit to Rockford for the Rockford AirFest 2007.‘);

Most team sports require hours of practice and training if the team expects any level of success. They also need a degree of cooperation and unity among members to achieve that success.

The Navy’s Blue Angels flying squadron obviously has reached that highest level. The six pilots and their crews that make up the team that performed last weekend at Rockford AirFest 2007 was something to behold.

Their precision timing was impeccable. Their discipline was awe-inspiring. Their ability to work together as a team was an example for any professional or amateur sports franchise to try to emulate. From the pilots and their support crew, down to the Blue Angels announcer, each team member, whether the stars of the show or not, knew exactly what was expected from them, and they delivered flawlessly.

Today’s sports stars should take a cue from these guys. There wasn’t any grandstanding or showboating. No egomaniacal tyrants. No one individual thought he or she was greater than the whole group combined. Together, they worked as a team to achieve their common goal. They did it to a degree greater than I’ve ever witnessed by any athletic team, at any level.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if that could somehow carry over to the NFL, MLB and the NBA? I know it’ll never happen, but it’s nice to know it can be done. Thank you to all the members of the Blue Angels crew for showing us what it truly means to work together as a team, and what can be achieved when you do.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the June 6-12, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!