I often think that “winning it all” is overrated in professional sports today. Like many of you perhaps, I am aware of the Vince Lombardi and Leo Durocher’s of the sports world, but really – is Winning (with a capital W) all that necessary?
When, for example, we gather our kids together to start Little League baseball…..what do we say to them? We (hopefully) say – “Go out there and have a good time and just try your best”. Simple. We cheer their victories and console their losses by often pointing out what they did right during the game.
Why does this all of a sudden get lost when things turn to professional sports? Do we say – Hey, they’re getting paid all this money and they’d better win! No, that is missing the point. These players are being paid to entertain us in the same way that Paul McCartney or Taylor Swift is paid for delivering a concert for our enjoyment.
Would you say, for example, that the Pittsburgh Pirates were not “winners” this past season – when they finished with the second highest win total in the Majors? How about the Cubs……are they Losers too? Not to mention the poor Mets who ran headlong into a perfectly synced team in the Royals. And the list goes on……the Yankees exceeded all expectations. The Rangers, the Astros…….what can be said of them? Did their season mean nothing?
I kind of get it in football because they have such a short season and virtually every game played is do or die. But even there, it’s entertainment pure and simple. Well maybe not so pure given the propensity for NFL players to be arrested for everything from murder to wife beating……but still if the Jets could beat the Patriots just once…..that alone should give every Jet fan a thrill and a moment to enjoy – in the same way every Met fan should tip their hat to “their” team and say “Thank you, job well done”.