I believe we all need to be like the kicker. One night I was watching a football rivalry where a team was losing by one point with four seconds left in the game. They were forty-five yards from the end zone so they sent their new freshmen kicker out to make a game winning field goal in front of sixty thousand screaming friends and millions of others at home. He was probably under the biggest spotlight in his career Both teams lined up, the roaring crowd fell silent, and the cameras all focused on this one human being. It seemed like all was frozen except the kicker’s leg and the ball hurling through the air. Winning and losing rested on this kick. Unfortunately, it sailed wide right and the game was over, the kicker losing. You could tell he was devastated as he fell to his quivering knees. Now sitting there, he looked like he was the frozen one as the victorious team and its fans invaded the field. To my surprise he only sat there for a couple of seconds, letting the pain and misery wash off just enough to keep his composure. He then stood and jogged to mid-field, finding the rival coach and players. Even though he had just lost a gut-wrenching game to them, he shook their hands respectfully, then calmly made his way of the field. He ignored all the boos and jeers of the rowdy crowd.
As I sat on my couch, I grinned. I thought, no matter the game, no matter the event, no matter how much we hate losing; we need to be like the kicker. He missed the most important kick of his career, but he didn’t spite his opponent. He didn’t mope in public. He handled himself in a very professional manner and dealt with it.
A real winner loses like a winner. It’s the way you lose that counts. From beating someone in a hotdog eating contest, to making a lower grade on a college calculus test, no matter how big or small the battle is, someone must lose and someone must win. The question is, do you do it graciously? Are you nasty about it? Do you spit, stomp, and get mad? Maybe you look your opponent right in the eye, shake their hand, and say, “Well done.” Like a good sport. Like the kicker did.
I remember, the next time I win or lose alike, be like the kicker.
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