The College World Series begins next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, and I am glad my Tulane Green Wave qualified today by beating Rice University in their Super Regional. As you all know, I am a major sports junkie and I can get into just about any sporting event. I can’t help it. I am competitive by nature, and I love to see two teams battle it out on the field or on the court. To me it’s thrilling and exhilarating and, as my brother will attest to, I DO NOT LIKE TO LOSE!!!
Relax. It used to be much worse. Let me rephrase that. It used to be much, much, MUCH worse. I’ve broken furniture and put cracks in doors because my team has let me down (see Monday Night Football, October 23, 2000). I have secluded myself in my room for hours and fallen asleep crying ….. and this is as an adult! To say I am competitive can be a bit of an understatement. But as I have matured over the years (OK…. slightly matured), I have learned to deal with not winning.
I say not winning instead of losing because they are two different things. Kinda’ along the lines of a hockey team with an 18 game unbeaten streak. It’s not a winning streak because they may have a couples of ties scattered in there, but nevertheless they remain unbeaten. So I like to look at my unsuccessful efforts more as unrealized wins rather than losses.
And I sit and overanalyze every aspect of my failure to try and learn from it. After all, if we can’t learn from our mistakes we’re doomed to repeat them, right? I sit and rationalize why I did not win. I make mental and emotional excuses to make me feel better about the situation. “This is how things are supposed to be. Everything happens for a reason. Next time will be different.”
But why is it so important to rationalize? Why do we place an emphasis on feeling good about not winning? “Keep your chin up. You gave it your all. It was a moral victory.”
Dude……fuck that!! I lost, plain and simple. Why can’t it just be that black or white?. I tried and I lost. I failed. I was inadequately prepared to realize my dream. Why blame life or fate or circumstances? Why? Because those things are out of our control, and it’s easy to point the finger to that which we cannot control. I’m tired of pawning off my situation on karma and ‘life as we know it’. I am tired of making excuses and rationalizing and looking at the brighter side. Fuck the brighter side.
I lost. Plain and simple and self-explanatory. I lost. I did not try hard enough. I did not think out all the options. I did not anticipate all the scenarios, and consequently I failed. This is not an unrealized win but rather a colossal failure on my part. The Titanic ‘aint got nothing on me. I lost….. and that’s all there is to it.
As for the Greenies of my alma mater, here’s hoping they follow a different path and realize a National Championship this year. Because when it comes to winning and losing, there are the highest of highs and there are the lowest of lows. And everything in between is simply life.