Monday, May 05, 2008

2nd Place, A Major Put Down

Sports history was made this week at the prestigious Kentucky Derby when the runner up horse, Eight Belles, was euthanized on the track. Now a lot of people are saying this is a tragedy, but I say one horse’s big sleep is another horse’s big wake up call. Finally winning is important again. As a child I grew up with a poster on my wall that said “I play to win,” but for years now I’ve had to listen to yuppies drone on about how doing your best is all that matters. They say things like “Everyone is a winner!” and “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” But not the folks at the Kentucky Derby. They say, “If you’re not a winner, you’re a goner.” And I applaud that mentality. Kids need to learn that it’s a tough world out there and that doing your best doesn’t matter unless it happens to be better than everyone else’s best.
I think we should institute a “Win or Die” policy in more competitive arenas. Now I’m not proposing we kill everyone who loses, just the competitors who come in second place. This would really up the intensity of all those championship games that end up being blow outs. For example, if the Colorado Rockies knew they were going to be euthanized when they lost to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 World Series, they would have let the Arizona Diamondbacks play them instead. Then we might have had a much more interesting World Series to watch.
And I don’t think we should single out sports with this new policy. I think we should put down the runner up in any major contest.Take the Democratic Primaries for example. Once the Democratic Nominee is elected, the runner up should be shot. Of course if Barack Obama wins, we run a strong chance of them both being shot.
What I’m trying to say is, someday I hope to have a son of my own. And I hope that, just like me, he’ll grow up with an inspirational poster on his wall. But instead of it saying, “I play to win,” it will say, “I play to not die.”


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