The Worst Feeling

“That’s the biggest gap in sports, the difference between the winner and the loser of the Super Bowl.”  John Madden

Win the Super Bowl and you go to Disney World.  Lose and you are broken and remembered not for all the accolades and getting to the edge of greatness but for not getting there.  Look at a Hall of Famer like Fran Tarkenton who got the Vikings (MY Vikings) to the Super Bowl three times in four years without winning it.  I am traumatized by it still even though I was a kid.  How did he and The Purple People Eaters feel?! 

There is an old adage in literature that a tragedy is a near miss to greatness.  This is exactly what losing the Big One is like.  Having that deal collapse at the last minute, or having them decline the marriage proposal.  Anyone who has tried to do anything significant has failed on the precipice to victory, but doing so in front of hundreds of millions of people is a whole new level of torment. Those men that can face that risk over and over and emerge from it stronger and better should be not idolized but studied and emulated in their ability to overcome the soul breaking loss.