Losing’s Not Funny

The NFL’s San Diego Chargers Lost, Their Kicker Laughed: How Serious?

By Ken K. Gourdin

There is a story at NFL.com outlining the unhappiness of some (many) with San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo’s comportment after a loss (for some—many—Lambo’s demeanor was entirely too jovial, given the circumstances). See the story here, last accessed October 11, 2016:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000719160/article/chargers-unhappy-with-laughing-kicker-josh-lambo.

I commented:

A large dose of perspective might be in order. I don’t necessarily think players should yuk it up after losses, but let’s face it: Football’s simply a game. It’s great when you win (or when your team does) … for a while. It sucks when you lose (or when your team does) … for a while. But even the best wins and the worst losses, along with the feelings associated with each, fade. To cite a parallel from another league, as the National Basketball Association’s LeBron James unwittingly reminded us a few years ago, there are so many other things which demand our concern in our “miserable lives.”

Given that so many other things demand our attention (keeping roofs over our heads, putting food on the table, dealing with life’s innumerable and inevitable vicissitudes, and on and on) how many people will remember even the greatest win or the worst loss tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or five or ten years from now? Not many. And remembering it is one thing: Does that mean it still has all that great of an ongoing impact on our “miserable lives”? True, I still remember the shot the NBA’s John Stockton of the Utah Jazz hit at the end of Game 6 of the 1997 Western Conference finals to send the Jazz to their first NBA Final. It’s a fond memory with a good feeling associated with it, but nearly 20 years later, does it have all that much of an impact on my day-to-day life? Momentarily, perhaps, wins allow us to escape such “miserable” circumstances, but do they have an appreciable long-term impact? Doubtful.

I’ve seen police officers yuk it up at serious crime scenes and accident scenes. For those involved in them, the consequences of those crimes and of those accidents often are far direr than those of a mere athletic contest lost. In the former case, humor is a defense mechanism. (Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism after players lose games, too.) As Hawkeye Pierce of the television series M*A*S*H put it so well, joking about some of the things he saw and experienced was the only way he could open his mouth about them without screaming. Certainly, the same is true of police officers and of other first responders. Conversely, win or lose, life goes on, largely as it did before.

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About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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