Josh Steed's Blog
Author of "Faith & Football"

Losing like winners or winning like losers?

I spent the weekend in Commerce, GA with my wife and our 14-year-old twins. We drove for 13 hours on Friday and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express there in Commerce on Friday and Saturday night. The kids took at day out of school for the trip and we were planning on spending the weekend together as a family just having fun and spreading the love of Christ to any and every one we came in contact with. I had a book signing scheduled at 10am at the UGA Bookstore at the stadium on Saturday the 18th and we had 4 tickets to the game too.

I borrowed a Santa suit to wear during the game to get a good laugh and try to get the family on ESPN so we had plenty of laughs along the way. After staying up late that night at the hotel, (dancing in the Santa suit in the window and laughing till we nearly cried), we got up on Saturday morning and drove to Athens, GA for the book signing and to watch the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in an epic battle of my favorite sport, football! The book signing was nice and we met lots of nice folks and sold some books and t-shirts too. After the crowd cleared from the store we headed out to our seats in the East Endzone on row 18 of the lower section. The temperature soared around 93 degrees and I had put my Santa suit on.  Santa was HOT but having a blast waving and dancing for all the kids to laugh at! I managed to keep on laughing and Ho Ho Hoing until ESPN finally put the cameras on us in the 3rd quarter. Our cell phones were getting plenty of action from all of our friends who had seen us on TV and they were laughing too.

Everything was on the up and the game was really going great! The Hogs and the Bulldogs were really going at it on the field and the Bulldogs overcame a 14 point deficit late in the 4th quarter. The game was now tied at 24 each when Georgia failed to score on their last possession and turned the ball over to Arkansas. The Razorbacks marched down the field and Ryan Mallet threw a lightning bolt pass to a receiver and the Hogs stepped into the end zone one last time making the final score 31 to 24. Even though I was sort of cheering for the Bulldogs just because I really like Coach Mark Richt, I was happy for my home state team for winning such a tough game out on the road. Now what happened next really bothered me though. Most of the fans were content with the outcome and enjoyed watching a close game, even though most of them hated the fact that Georgia had been defeated. But a few of the Georgia fans did what I hoped no one would do. They began to scream and shout out in front of all the crowd (women, children, senior citizens, etc.) making statements about how the “Hogs still suck!” and cursing. The Razorback players had to walk right through the mass of Georgia fans who were leaving and the few fans I am referring to just happened to be so close to the players that the Hogs actually heard them cussing them and insulting them. My kids looked at me like “Man, what’s wrong with that idiot?!” and I just smiled and told them to ignore him. I was very proud of the Razorback players because all they did was smile and point up in the air towards the score board and they didn’t return the insults verbally. As we walked out of the packed stadium I was listening to the people talking about the outcome of the game and I saw how some Georgia fans were actually shaking hands with some of the Hog fans and congratulating them while others were talking trash. I did not have on a Georgia or Arkansas shirt so I looked pretty neutral but I wondered how it must feel to have on a Georgia shirt and hear a fellow Bulldog fan insult the Hogs for winning the game. I also wondered how it must have felt to be wearing a Razorback shirt and have a Bulldog fan congratulate the Hogs for the victory?

 I believe there is a question we should all answer when it comes to sports and other competition we may be passionate about: “Would I rather lose like a winner, or win like a loser?” I don’t know anyone who actually wants his or her team to lose games but it will happen from time to time. That’s just life and most people won’t remember the final score years from now, or who the MVP was but they will remember how it felt when it was over. Did you get cussed by some drunk who couldn’t contain his mouth in front of small kids and little old ladies or did the losing fans treat you with respect and dignity? That will last a life time! We should keep this in mind on every level of sports but especially on the pee-wee or high-school level. When coaches and/or parents lose their cool and say hurtful things, most of those memories will last forever. We need to keep the big picture in mind and remember that what really matters is not the final score but how we live. Kids need leadership, love, and a winning attitude. Even when their team loses. My advice for those who just can’t seem to keep their harmful hate filled mouths shut is to stay home! No one needs to hear that junk and you are not making the other team look bad…you are making yourself look like a fool at the expense of someone elses being offended and potentially ruining someone elses experience with sports. If everyone had that attitude…most people would not even go to sporting events. Lets learn win like winners but also to lose like winners too. Grace and Peace


2 Responses to “Losing like winners or winning like losers?”

  1. Josh…

    Excellent blog! Losing like winners is alway the way to go! This world would be such a better place if everyone lost like they were winners!

  2. josh that is a great message iv seen that before and im so glad u were there with your children when they esperienced that so that u could guide them and teach them im sorry ur family had to see it though. u kno how u handle situations is most of the time what people see in ur life and u can go to church and go to the game but if someone from ur church dont see you act like that at the game people dont see they did wrong but thats not true when you do ugly things you never kno when someone especially children are looking up at you so if you dont show good example no matter where you are you could be causeing someone else to stumble which is a sin. i kno ur children knew it was wrong but u never kno who elses child thought that was the right way to handle things and now wanna do that at a game. i agree we as christains need to be careful as to how we act not just church but everywhere and if you cant control ur self stay home or pray god send someone your way to help you or stay out of the temption till u can handle yourself. im so proud of our razorbacks for being the men in the situation and im sure they see that alot but i pray for the fans that act that way because in that case i wonder do they kno jesus. thanks for the message

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