Sport is about winning.
Sure it's ‘how hard you play that counts,' ‘the exercise is good for you,' ‘sportsmanship is king' and ‘playing on a team builds character,' but let's face it, no one signs up for a sport to see other people celebrate.
The object of all team sports is to score more points than the other team. The object, therefore, is to win.
While a one-point or one-touchdown game is exciting, dramatic and thrilling, as a competitor isn't it better to be able to relax knowing you're going to win?
Look at the Miami Heat. Halfway through the fourth quarter Lebron James danced in the wave of relief he knew was coming. Sure a win is a win, but isn't anything better if you build it up in your head.
If someone presents you with, say, a piece of pizza, you'll eat it and chances are it will be delicious. But if you are told all day that there is a crisp, yet melted delicious slice waiting for you, than it will taste that much better.
If a blind date shows up with all the personality, charm and looks that give you a feeling of a thunderbolt, congratulations. But if you have had contact on the phone, or Twitter, Facebook or whatever Instagram thingee the kids use, and have seen a picture of the Grecian goddess-like-lady then when the girl agrees to be yours, it's dancing time. It's all just like in sports. If you know a win is coming, it's better. Or is it?
The local American Legion team found out they were going to win before the first pitch reached home plate, in a 32-0 trouncing Sunday.
Go up 2-0 and you feel good, 5-0 and you're in control, 10-0 and it's a good day. But beyond that, what? Keep scoring runs to prove you're that good? Score runs in the flow of the game, because you're opponent is that bad that day? Or just pity the opponent and stop trying?
Honestly, my first thought would be to mercy the other guys. I've lost way too many games in my athletic past. Once you know you're losing you want to move on.
But then think about it for a minute - you know the other guys are better, and there's nothing you can do. So why would you want the other team that is whooping you to help you now?
I'm 40, I'm a man. (Sorry Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy took over the keyboard). But, yeah I'm a man with a lot of pride, so I don't want any favors.
The victor of Sunday's game agreed with that thought, and told his players to not try to run up the score, but also do not by any means stop playing. He knows that pain.
"I had a team do that to me one time and it frosted my tail feathers," Murphy said. That burns me. Continue to play the game and don't insult me."
The team that handed Murphy one of his worst losses sent its right handed players up to the plate swinging left handed and did other things to celebrate its victory. Murphy has seen a lot of baseball, but that sticks out in his mind.
Memories should come from celebrations and hard work not insults. Once a team gets up by a lot it should tread carefully. Yes sport is about winning. But it is not about insulting.
If you, you're favorite professional club or your child's team has emptied its bench and planning the post-game celebration with 20 minutes to spare, finish the drill.
As important as it is to have our youth learn to continue to try hard even when they're behind, it's also important to continue to act like a professional even when the opponent isn't up to par.
A morale victory, in the long run, counts more than a statistical victory.