No one ever shouts that, but they should. One thing ESPN really hammers home in college football is, “Who is the BEST?” The best team, the best player, the best coach. They don’t know. After all the games are played, they still don’t know. They can say which team won the most games, though 99% of the time, there are at least 2 teams with that many wins. They can make up their phony strength of schedule stats and all that, but it still doesn’t tell us. In a 12 game season, we CAN’T know who the best team is. It’s just not possible. Especially when 4 or 5 or 6 of those games aren’t real games. If you beat Coastal Carolina by 50 does that mean you are better than the team that lost to Alabama by 5? Probably not.
The same goes for players. Let’s take the ultimate QB challenge, Brady vs. Manning. Is Brady better because he has more titles? Manning better because he has more yards? Head to head? Who knows? They don’t play on the same team. They don’t play the same schedule, and they don’t play in the same stadium. All of this factors in, plus 100s of other things I didn’t mention. When I was a kid, Montana was the best ever, and it wasn’t open for debate. Why? Because he never lost a Super Bowl. However, in one of those Super Bowls, he threw a sure pick that would have cost his team the game. The second string corner dropped it. The first string corner was in a crack house at the time. That’s difference between Bengals number 1, and 49ers number 2 that year. That’s how close all these teams and players are, at least in regards to the best of the best. That’s why number 2 isn’t such a bad place. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME
I get that. I also get that checkers is more popular than chess. We like it simple. Winner=winner, loser=loser and be done. And I am ok with that. I don’t believe in making excuses as to why you lost. Be happy you gave your best, and move on. If you didn’t give you best, that’s on you. However, there is no shame in second place. You shouldn’t be called a loser, when you have won way more than you lost. Probably someone that finished 23 places lower shouldn’t tell you that second place is the first loser. Certainly someone that couldn’t even make it to D1 should call you a loser.
I am not saying everyone should get a trophy. When I was a kid, we all got ribbons for participating, a plaque for placing and a trophy for winning. That’s the way it should be. But we shouldn’t knock the kids for placing or participating. We should understand that we don’t know what each person went through to get to where they are. We shouldn’t over analyze it, because we can’t know everything, though. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to competition. We also shouldn’t dig too deep to see what they each had to go through, because there is no accounting for everything. Celebrate the winners, celebrate the “losers” and move on to the next year.
We need more positive in this world, but not more PC positive. Honest to goodness positive, where we give credit where it’s due. The second place team worked their ass off, and because of circumstances that may, or may not, be their fault, they fell just short. Don’t call them losers, because they don’t deserve that. The deserve to be hailed as competitive and really good. Understand it’s really hard to win a championship. In the history of sports, the numbers are staggering how many teams don’t win the championship. It’s not always their fault. So I will be happy if my team finishes number 2 next year. Not as happy if the finished number 1, but happier than if they finish number 3. And that’s the way it should be. Win it all or bust might be great for a coin flip, but it’s not the way you should view a game where there are over 140 teams, that play 12-15 games, and there is an element of judging. Plus bad calls. Plus scheduling. Plus a million other factors that go into a college football season.