I’m a bad loser.
I know I am. I’m a little baby about it. I pout, whine, search for blame to assign, and otherwise am just an asshole when I lose.
Now let me clarify.
If I am in a race and there are three runners, I have to at least finish second to not feel like a loser. To finish third out of three is losing.
I was raised to believe winning was expected out of us to succeed later in life. I will do anything WITHIN THE RULES to win.
Anything except cheat.
That’s not even in the convo.
Something else that is not a part of the convo is the everybody-who-shows-up-gets-a-trophy group.
Are you kidding me?
You take away any of the benefits of competition when you do that. What incentive is there for the child to practice and lift weights, and otherwise prepare themselves for a possible lucrative career playing sports if they are going to be treated the same as the little nerd who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?
Unfair. The same thing the little nerd’s parents shouted to get to the everybody-who-shows-up-gets-a-trophy thing started in the first place.
As my friends who have read a few of my blogs know, Karen and I weren’t blessed with children, but I think if I had a son (or daughter) and I taught them skills to succeed in sports, I would get kinda pissed if they weren’t treated as a prospect with potential who is putting in the extra work it takes.
But that’s me.
I love watching videos of good sportsmanship in action.
The ones where a lifelong dream is fulfilled (even more heart-stressing since the life will be cut short by something terminal) will certainly make me cry and raise my fist in triumph for the individual. There was one particularly moving video where two female softball teams were playing a game. Two outs, bottom of the sixth inning. Tied score. The batter for the home team stepped up and blasted a ball over the right field wall. As she connected with the ball, her Achilles tendon decided to rupture, leaving the athlete writhing in pain and unable to complete her run around the bases to make the home run official. It would also be the winning run for her team, sending them to the playoffs.
These are scholarship athletes raised on the “winning is everything” mentality. The visiting team would be well within their rights to claim victory due to their opponents’ inability to finish the play.
So what did the visiting team do?
A couple of their players went to their fallen opponent, picked her up and walked her around the bases, lowering her each time to touch the bases per the rules.
I’m getting choked up just thinking about that moment of not only the selflessness of their actions, but the dignity and class they displayed.
The final score of the championship game was 5-4, but there were no losers in this game. Not by a long shot.
But I am sure there were a lot of proud Moms, Dads, Grandmas, and Grandpas.