Dorothy Parker once wrote:
“Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
“A medley of extemporanea;
“And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
“And I am Marie of Romania.”
Ramona Rice at SportsGalPal.com makes the case that the “almost win” is the worst kind of loss as Notre Dame pulls out a win over her beloved Virginia Cavaliers with an improbable last minute touchdown pass:
“To be a sports fan means that there are winners and losers. Yesterday my team was the loser. And I could go through all the things I saw that were much improvements from last week (and there were a ton) and I could again say, ‘hey look how hard the Irish had to work to get that win). I could find the moral victories in all of this. I don’t want a fucking moral victory – I want the WIN! “
Don’t we all.
I sympathize with Virginia fans this morning. I’ve been there. A lot. At least they lost on a legitimate play. Try seeing your Missouri Tigers get beaten by eventual National Champion Colorado because the Buffaloes were given a fifth down.
But as much as I’m in tune with their feelings, this isn’t the worst way to lose. Its a synch that Ramona has never seen here team give up over 50 points in back-to back blow out losses, one to your biggest rival, Green Bay, in which they score 42 of those in the first half. But this is a football town, one that is split by the Cubs and the White Sox all summer and only comes together to root for the Bears in the fall. People dont’ want to go to work Monday morning. I’d be willing to wager that some people didn’t.
On the morning of the renewal of profesional football’s longest standing rivalry, Bears fans are still recovering from the trauma of last season and praying that this year, they can at least be competitive. In a backwards way, virtually everyone I know would consider that to be a victory because it means the team is getting better and, therefore, progressing towards better times. A close loss puts you close to that goal. A blow out loss means you are depressingly, soul-crushingly far away.
I’m not saying that Ramona doesn’t have a point. We all feel losses of all types acutely because we all love our teams, most of us through hope for the future. But whether you are close or far away, the future is always born in pain.