A Dream Of More Fair Play

NEW YORK -- Mark Calcavecchia disqualified himself the day after the Texas Open when he realized he signed an incorrect scorecard, raising some interesting questions.

Could it happen in any other sport that the outcome of an event be reversed by a competitor the next day because he realized an injustice had occurred?

Calcavecchia's act -- returning $10,817 in winnings and jeopardizing his spot in the lucrative Tour Championship where last place gets $ 48,000 -- stands out so dramatically because it seems so out of place in other sports.

What would be the reaction if it happened anywhere else?

Climb into the wayback machine and slip gently back through time to the morning of Oct. 10.

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees takes a good look at the replay of his game-tying home run against the Baltimore Orioles and realizes it wouldn't have left the park if a fan had not reached over the fence and knocked the ball into the stands.

"I was credited with a home run when in fact the ball should have been caught for an out,'' Jeter tells a stunned news conference. "In good conscience I can not accept the home run and therefore I request that Game 1 of the American League Championship Series be given to the Baltimore Orioles.''

Furious teammates shun Jeter.

Owner George Steinbrenner asks the American League for permission to put Jeter on the disabled list and replace him on the roster, arguing that Jeter is "just plain nuts.''

American League president Gene Budig refuses Jeter's request to reverse the outcome of the game saying: "There is no room in baseball for acts of conscience.''

Whip the old wayback machine to the morning of Sept. 8 when heavyweight boxer Bruce Seldon takes a good look at the punch from Mike Tyson that knocked him out only 109 seconds into the fight the night before and decides it really didn't hit him that hard after all.

"I know that many of the fans who yelled 'Fix!' in my fight last night against Mike Tyson feel that I did not put up a full effort,'' Seldon says at a hastily called news conference.

"After watching films of the fight and reflecting on the matter, I have come to the conclusion that the fans, Mr. Tyson and the sport of boxing were done a disservice by my half-hearted effort,'' Seldon said.

"Therefore, I will return my $5 million purse to Don King, whom I am certain will donate it to some worthy charity.''

The flyaway hair on King's head fairly sizzled with fright when told of Seldon's action.

"There is no room in the sport of boxing for this type of behavior,'' King said. "It's sets a dangerous precedent for honesty,'' he said, shaking his head and mumbling, "Only in America.''

Perhaps it's not all that bad in other sports. And perhaps golf sometimes gets carried away with its self-righteous image as a sport of individual integrity.

But what's wrong with some actual morality?