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Losing gracefully

It hasn’t been a great year for sports fans in our area. Which is a bit of an ironic statement if you think about it, all the usual favorites (save the lowly NY Mets) were in the baseball playoff hunt up until the very end. The Yankees and Phillies, both the owners of the best win/loss records in their respective leagues, were dispatched in the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The NY Jets are off to an inauspicious start, while the NY Giants are in first place. Although at the 1/3 mark in the NFL season, they need to be careful about how many more games they lose. As for me, I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan. I have been since I was 4 years old. They just wrapped up the best season they’ve had in 28 years. While Yankees fans, Phillies fans, and yes even Red Sox fans are used to teams competing for glory every year, since I was a little kid, my favorite team has been the butt of jokes. Last night the Milwaukee Brewers took a beating at the hands of their hated rival St. Louis Cardinals to be eliminated from postseason play. Of course my first reaction was disappointment, but as I thought about it, my overwhelming reaction ended up being pride. My favorite team went out there for 173 games and won 101 of them. That is nothing to sneeze at. At the same time, the overwhelming theme of player quotes has been along the lines of “we’re disappointed we didn’t go further but we’ve loved playing together and are proud of what we’ve accomplished”. I think, as parents of kids in Little League, Pop Warner, etc, many of us can take a lesson from this. There is no shame in losing. There is nothing to be angry about when you put 100% of yourself into your game. In this day and age where every kid gets a trophy, ribbon, or certificate, maybe we do need to learn to lose with grace more often. As we as adults know, you are not in fact always going to get a trophy in everything you do in life, and learning to take losses with pride is an important step to growing up.

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