Posted by: alliehope | February 5, 2008

Sore Losers?

As all the talking heads blather and blogs take up the internet about the recent Super Bowl, the ads, the halftime show, the game, etc., there’s something that stands out to me: the conduct of Bill Belichick and two of his key players, Randy Moss and Tom Brady.

First, Belichick. Without a doubt, his refusal to stay on the field and congratulate Tom Coughlin was completely classless. (Sorry, couldn’t find a link to that nasty little story). The Giants won that game, fair and square (who-hoo!). Almost makes the recently retired Bobby Knight look sane for some of his tirades. Wowie. I am not naive enough to say that I never would have thought of an NFL coach just walking off the field in poor sportsmanship, but I guess it’s been done before. I hate to say this, but Belichick made himself look like a complete jackass in front of 978.5 million people (or however many watched the Super Bowl).

Brady and Moss? Also classless. According to the story I linked earlier, their actions are attributed to ankle injuries. My take on it, for what it’s worth, is that the timing of the claim is completely suspect. You don’t appeal to the media the day after you get your come-uppance at the Super Bowl and claim ankle injuries in order to get out of making your appearance at the Pro Bowl.

In other words, poor babies. Go cry in your milk already, you overpaid, spoiled, self-indulgent narcissists. You lost the Super Bowl, fair and square. Now get over yourselves and deal with it. Don’t play the kindergarten game of “I lost, so I’m going to take my ball and my stick and go home and cry to Mommy”. (Yeah yeah, I know, Meeeeeeoooowww! But that felt phenomenally good to say.) Especially don’t play that game the way you did, because it makes your whole entire team look bad (not like they couldn’t look bad enough in the annals of history, what with Spygate and all.)

I can’t help but wonder though, what about us mere mortals? I know I’m guilty of being a sore loser. I can’t for one minute claim that I’ve never played the spoiled, self-indulgent and narcissistic game of non-cooperation when life’s handed me losses. So really, to rip on them without admission of my own guilt (appropriate enough, with Ash Wednesday being one day away) is really hypocrisy. I know for a fact that I’ve played that game in relationships, and played dirty in order to get what I’ve wanted, only to end up looking like Belichick–a jackass.

So the lesson I’m taking away from this is not to be a jackass. Whatever I’ve lost in a given situation, I need to step back from and try to understand in light of the fact that even “loss” is relative. Regardless of what the final score is, what the other person has or doesn’t, there’s something to be gained. I can learn from my mistakes, and take responsibility for my playing dirty.

After all, life isn’t just about winning and losing. It’s about creating love and the possibility for everyone to win, to gain something from their experiences. It’s about growth as a person, pursuing something greater than fame or the congratulations of the world. It’s about dying to self and seeking God with all I am, learning to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself. If I can say that I’ve done that, then the final scoreboard doesn’t matter, because I know I will have played the game well. And after all, isn’t that the point?


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