It's pretty shocking that the simple concept of sportsmanship is such a complicated and twisted affair. Maybe it's because I used to play other sports, but it seems like the concept of sportsmanship should be obvious and people need to learn how to lose. What I mean by this is, learn how to lose a match with grace and don't throw a tantrum about somebody's luck or whatever else.
Too often I've been shocked at the public displays of bad mannerisms in public after a loss. Learning HOW to lose is just as important as learning how to play the game. I'll share a story from back when I first started playing Vintage (and indeed, magic itself), without naming names, but I have told this story before so some people know what I'm talking about.
It was my 3rd or 4th tournament overall, and I was slowly getting my Vintage collection together. I had just gotten a Black Lotus and was so excited! However, I had no dual lands and the proxy limit at an event I was going to was 15 cards, and I'd go over the limit since I chose to put my money into the Lotus first! So when I got to the event, I spoke to the person running the event and asked if I could trade my Lotus in for some Dual Lands for the purposes of competing in the event. The organizer was nice to wave me off and tell me not to worry and to go a few cards over the limit since it was obvious I was trying to get down to a zero proxy collection.
I was playing in the last round of the event, but wasn't going to quality for top 8 or anything. I had won the first game and he had won the second. We were in the third game and he had seen my lotus but proxied duals and commented on it lightly earlier. In game 3, I had cast my game winning Yawgmoth's Will. My opponent's expression visibly changed and harshly demanded that I show my deck to the judges to see if I was over the proxy limit or not. This was among my first events so I got scared that I had done something wrong. The judge came over, checked my deck and counted my proxies, then went off to the organizer.
Thankfully the organizer knew of my condition, of course, and said it was fine and to keep playing. I went through the motions, killed him with a Tinker and a Time Walk. My opponent stood up in a huff and left without another word.
It was absolutely shocking behaviour. Not only was he fully aware that I was new and trying to get into the format by buying cards slowly, he had also seen my Lotus and knew that I wasn't just throwing proxies onto everything. More importantly, he had no concerns about my deck UNTIL he saw that he was about to lose when I had cast the game winning spell.
Now, this person is actually a regular in the north east Vintage circuit and is apparently a nice person in general, but this display of behaviour permanently damaged my opinion of this person. I will never look upon him favorably because of the way I was treated when I was a newcomer. It all came down to throwing a tantrum when about to take a loss, instead of taking the loss with grace.
I remember hearing this when I was a lot younger, but I feel it's extremely relevant to this day.
And if should win, let it be by the code
With my faith and my honor held high;
And if I should lose, let me stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.