Can You Really Console a Loser?
Just Look at The Eyes...
As Life Would Have it
somewhere in this world there are people competing in various games with one winner and one loser and (depending on the game) winners and losers. Who sat down before the Ice Age and designed the winning and losing thing? I would love to meet this high-thinker and ask him how did you decide (what) winning and losing was? And the people in the game you designed, how did you tell whom was the winner and loser?
Maybe I have talked over your head. No, I do not want you to see if your club made of mastodon really hurts when you put it on my head. I was just making simple conversation asking the “real” foundation and those responsible who wrote the rules about the games and sports-minded folks who love to spend hours, days and sometimes months competing for trophies of gold and silver trophies, cash awards, expensive cars and trucks, vacations and month-long cruises across the world.
The mere idea of winning and losing, I suppose, can be traced back to Adam and Eve and their two sons, Caine and Able. Both sons presented God with his own sacrifice, Caine with vegetables, fruit because he was a tiller of soil and Able who gave a lamb his sacrifice to God and God accepted it. Caine was upset. I guess the boys’ attitudes had a lot of why God accepted the one sacrifice and not the other, but the story goes that Caine and Able were working in a field and both the boys talked. About what? I cannot tell you. When Caine’s temper boiled, he slew Able and thus became the Bible’s first murderer.
Losers Feel Defeat Every Moment . . .
And besides Caine being the first loser, thus began (the) winning and losing among competing peoples. I know, and I am far from a history or Bible major, but I cannot find anywhere that tribes of people can actually live long and happy lives just by avoiding competing with each other and doing away with the losing and winning. Great idea. But I suppose that even these peaceful people have “secret” challenges to see who can stay more peaceful or to see how many people they can smile at in one day.
Other than that, I cannot help you.
It’s time to get really honest. We’re all adults here. We’re all big people. Our skins are thick as any alligator living in the Bayou in west Louisiana. So we need to stop, investigate, and resolve ourselves to understand the concept of the moments that are taken from a winner and a loser; what they say in that moment before the victory or loss and how the loser, not the winner, is affected many times for the rest of their lives.
“Nice game. Good challenge,” most winners will say automatically while extending his or her hand to some nameless person who has fought his or her life away to win just ONE game, the game or contest that will make or break him or her. And what good is it “if” the winner does say these things to a losing person? Not much. I know. I have been (many times) on the receiving end of a losing game or contest and I can tell you, it hurts worse if the devil himself has not kicked me in the butt. No words can be believed that might make one feel “good” at game’s end. “That” moment of losing is forever carved in statistician books, plaques, and the memory of both the loser and winner.
No Loser Ever Loves Defeat . . .
A game or competitor ending in a TIE, it is like the late legendary head coach, Vince Lombardi, of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers said, “to tie is as much fun as kissing your sister.” My thoughts exactly.— Vincent Lombardi
And it is mighty awful to see a plaque hanging in some prestigious place and see the winner’s name is big type at the top of the plaque, then so see in little type, the person who came in second. So what? No one really cares or will remember. Example: in 1969, in Super Bowl III, the New York Jets, led by QB, Joe Namath, defeated the Baltimore Colts 16-7. Namath had actually guaranteed he victory the evening before reclining at pool side. Now. Can you tell me ONE member of the Colts’ team, besides Johnny Unitas and Earl Morral, the losers? No, you cannot. And that is a natural thing, I can only guess.
And how would the Colts have responded if they had won? We can only guess and stab at receiving a good answer. But I am convinced that Johnny U., would not have guaranteed that his team would be hoisting the Super Bowl Trophy after the next day’s big game. There’s a lot to be said about class in athletes and those with no class. And this is only an opinion—not to be taken as a personal jab against Joe “Willy” Namath. No, sir. I love Namath. So did the legendary Head Coach of Alaama, Paul “Bear” Bryant. He was the one who flew to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and recruited Namath to play at Alabama. To me, Bryant, even when he lost, was a classy winner and not making any excuses for the defeats. His motto was: “there are no such things as losing teams, but there are losing coaches.”
The winning player might opt to say, “Bill, I am sure that you are hurting, but man, next week, you will be going against another challenger and me? I will not be able to compete due to me, uhhh, defeating you, but . . .YOU PLAYED A GREAT GAME!” I hate it when that declaration is said. If the losing player played a great game, then why did he lose? There are NO gold medals for second place. Silver, maybe. But never a gold medal for coming in second.
What I really despise is the big gala held the next weekend at some lavish civic center when all of the teams in that section gather to pay respect to the losers by giving them gold Rolex watches, possibly a new car or a year’s worth of candy bars. What does the losers receive? I am waiting. They only get to stand-up in the crowd sitting next to their girlfriend or wife and to hear this: “and in second is Todd Skipper, who came in dead second in last Saturday’s game. Skip is a fine competitor and lost THIS time. He doesn’t LOSE that many times. I tip my hat to him.” Did you notice just how many times the noun Loser is said? It is the equivalent to having the poor losing competitor having his face kicked into a pile of mud and shaming his wife. That is what is adds up to.
Defeats Last Forever. ..
No matter the winning team or single player, let’s be honest. Change the notion of the two competitors or head coaches changing to hypocrites at game or match’s end to say that sick dribble that I have already told you about. The second place, losing team or competitor, is never asked to stand-up and be congratulated for a good game whether it be NFL, MLB, NBA or NCAA sports. Oh, you disagree? Tell me that last time that a Second Place team or player was ever told by the game’s emcee to come up on the stage and let him or her be honored for playing his or her heart out? I am sure that they might be some, but not very many.
We can all agree that a loser is a loser and a winner is a loser. And with all things NOT being equal, it is the winners whose lives lead to success, happy marriages, money, and fame. A few loser teams or competitors might have enjoyed those few moments, but I dare say, not as many as those who win.
Know what I think? To solve all of these disputes and arguments? Let ONLY the winners show-up at game time and show-off their bag of various talents. The crowd will always go away happy. No losing team. No losing fans. And no verbal fights as to who is number one. Everyone’s happy.
Wouldn’t that be a great place to spend the day?
March 3, 2020______________________________________________________
© 2020 Kenneth Avery