You Play to Fight the Idea of Losing
- Eric Cantona
Last Sunday my intramural team lost 1-0 in the final match to a very good team that we could have beaten. We controlled most of the game and had many chances at goal, but were unable to finish. I take the blame for most of that because, as a striker it’s my job to score and I had a good 5 chances that I should’ve finished. Anyhow, the game ended with a lone goal as the decider in the match and the victors jumped for joy. Meanwhile I seemed to be the only one on my team that was bothered by the loss. Someone on my team joked, “I mean it’s only intramurals, all we were going to get was a shirt anyway” and most of my teammates laughed at that joke. This bothered me. And here’s why.
Prior to the game, everyone was excited about the match and the idea that we could finally win it all. Some of the guys were even excited about the shirts that we would get as the prize for winning the entire thing. So why then all of a sudden, after the loss, was this not a big deal? and the same thing we upheld before the game became the same thing we devalued at the end?
I didn’t care about the t-shirt, I wanted to win. And that’s what my issue was with the way the guys reacted to the loss. As Cantona said, we play to fight the idea of losing. I hate losing and love winning. It’s what drives me to be competitive. This notion is what drives all levels of competition, from the pick up games in back alleys to the UEFA Champions League. Sure the European professionals get a big, shiny trophy for winning and financial bonuses that most people will never get, but the idea of winning still resides at the core of all sport. The prizes are just bonuses and can never replace the feeling of winning. I can venture to say that almost everyone is elated when they win something they have worked so hard for and I think it is ok to feel the complete opposite when you lose.
Justifying a loss by undervaluing the spoils is an idea I find, quite frankly, to be disgusting. Why even compete to begin when you are well aware of the menial winnings? I did not expect my teammates to cry and throw temper tantrums after we lost, but a little emotion to show that they even remotely cared about the loss would’ve been nice. We played hard together, fought hard together, won joyously together and our most important loss should have carried just as much weight as the others.
What are your thoughts on losing? Agree with my sentiments? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!
– Keep Kickin’. Ebun.