They lost… again?!

24 Sep
Even the Browns' best play on Sunday was called back because of a careless offensive penalty.

Even the Browns’ best play on Sunday was called back because of a careless offensive penalty.

Nobody likes to lose.  Have you heard anyone say, “Man, I just can’t wait to lose the next game!  Crush me!”   Nobody ever says that.

But I grew up in Northeast Ohio, where the Cleveland Browns are still our only professional football team.  For more than twenty years, the team has brought disappointment and heartache to sports fans all over the state.   It’s no surprise at all that their stadium is affectionately called a “Factory of Sadness.”

This season, the Browns announced that things would be different.  The billionaire team owner, Jimmy Haslam, appointed a new general manager and a new head coach.  He insisted that the Browns draft a new franchise-leading quarterback – Johnny Manziel – one of the most famous college players of all-time!  The Browns invested millions in stadium upgrades and enormous screens and amenities for their ever-faithful fans.

But when the season started, one of their officials said, “None of these changes matter if we can’t start winning some games.”

And, though they have played tough and competitive, the Browns are 1-2 to start the season.  One win, two losses.  Sunday’s loss against Baltimore (the “old Browns”) came in the final seconds, as the Ravens kicked a field goal to win it.

Use all the cliches you want… “they played hard…” “they deserved to win…” “they looked good…” “they… ”

They lost.  End of story.

Losing can hurt – whether it’s your hometown sports team, your daughter’s soccer team, or your family’s UNO game.

Nobody likes to lose.

But… losing is a part of life.  Losses are often out of our control.  Losing implies that you hopefully tried to win and gives you the chance to improve and do better next time.  Losing might make us feel like quitting – and I’ve thought of rooting for a different team – believe me, it is hard to be a Browns fan!

In the end, it’s not the losing that defines us.  It’s how we cope with loss.  How we respond.  How we stay and commit and learn from our losses.  I hope the Browns get better, and I think they’ll beat the Steelers on October 12.   But there’s really nothing much I can do about it.

As one of my favorite writers – Terry Pluto – says regularly – “Don’t let the millionaires ruin your day.”

I think that’s good advice when it comes to any competition and any loss…. don’t let it ruin your day.


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