IT has been a week to dust down all the old quotes from the archive. Vince Lombardi, the veteran Green Bay Packers head coach, was always good for one or two. “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser,” he famously said back in the day. “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing,” was another, even if that one was actually nicked off UCLA head coach Henry Russell Sanders.

Such folksy homespun wisdom is doing the rounds right now on the back to the great ‘gloat-gate’ scandal which followed Celtic’s Betfred Cup victory against Aberdeen on Sunday, when Mikael Lustig appeared intent on provoking Lewis Ferguson immediately prior to the final whistle, and Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie and manager Derek McInnes called both the Swede and Scott Brown ‘classless’ as they carried on the latest instalment of a running feud. While the rest has descended into a bewildering spate of claim and counter claim, let’s just say not all of the above saw fit to observe gentlemanly handshakes afterwards.

Then there was the sight of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who at least had the good grace to run on the pitch to celebrate in the faces of his own team rather than the opposition after his club’s 96th minute winner against Everton. It won’t stop him facing an FA charge for his antics. In recent times, we’ve had Rangers’ Daniel Candeias being given a second booking for blowing kisses in the direction of St Mirren’s Anton Ferdinand and Celtic’s players reprimanded by the police for taunting the away support during their Old Firm lap of honour.

So is winning the only thing? Do the ends always justify the means? Is everything always fair in love and war? Or is there in fact an imperative on our sporting heroes to demonstrate that there is a way to win matches and a way to lose?

Without wanting to take away an ounce of that determination to battle to the last, I would argue for the latter. While we crucially don’t know everything that went on before it, for me the late flare-up at Hampden was all a bit unnecessary and set a poor example to any kids who were watching. It is a pretty fair bet you will see something similar transpire at the end of a boys club game or youth match somewhere in Scotland pretty soon.

Winning may be the only thing that matters but in truth being too ruthless in pursuit of victory can actually tarnish a sporting reputation. How about Michael Clarke, the all-conquering pinnacle of Australia’s Baggy Greens, whose good name was demolished by the ball-tampering affair plus comments like telling England tail-ender Jimmy Anderson to prepare for a broken arm as Mitchell Johnson came into bowl. Or think Phil Mickelson stopping his golf ball like a huffy hapless beginner as it traversed the 13th green at the US Open.

Respect shouldn’t just be a buzzword in sport, we as supporters are entitled to expect it from our heroes. Instead of the unseemly goings on in UFC between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Connor McGregor, how much better is it when you see Josh Taylor inviting his beaten opponent Victor Postol out for a pint.

And for all the blows exchanged in the tunnel beforehand, there were handshakes nonetheless between England and Scotland rugby players after out Calcutta Cup win in February. Think Alistair Brownlee sacrificing his own hopes of victory to help his brother Jonny to triathlon bronze, or Rafa Nadal picking Juan Martin del Potro up off the ground on Centre Court after the pair had fought like cat and dog for four hours. Andy Murray is as feisty as they come, but win, lose or draw, he is always waiting there at the net, for his opponent.

We’ll never know what Lombardi himself have made of everything that transpired at Hampden. Probably, as a militaristic sort, he would demanded his players kick lumps out of their opponents during the 90 minutes but had no truck with any lack of discipline. But you never know. “Football can be a beautiful thin, an artistic thing, it can be humane too,” said George Sauer, a contemporary of his who quit aged 27 in 1970. “But the men running it won’t let it be. It’s difficult when you have a Vince Lombardi-type of coach hollering at you all the time to hate the other guy.”