24 Jun









by L. Stewart Marsden


You might be tempted to conclude that the 2-2 draw between the U.S. and Portugal in World Cup soccer play last week was unfair. If you are an American, that is.

That’s the word some sports commentators are using — even saying the U.S. “deserved to win.”

I’m sure the Portuguese aren’t saying that. Nor the Germans nor the Brazilians, nor any other country competing in the event. Maybe the U.K. is.

We Americans have this thought if we play with all our heart and go beyond expectations, we should come out ahead. We “deserve” success.

The harsh reality of life is it doesn’t work that way. Never has, never will.

If the determining factors in success were will and heart, then:

The South would have won the War Between the States;
LeBron would be wearing his third NBA Championship ring;
California Chrome would be the latest Triple Crown winner.

Yogi Berra, famed New York Yankee catcher and manager, said “It ain’t till it’s over.” That’s the size of it.

The final bell.

The final tick.

The fat lady sings.

We lost. Fair and square.

Was it a shame? Not to the Portuguese. Remember, the same scenario existed against Ghana in the preceding game the U.S. played — only the U.S. was the team that benefitted. Final ticks. Boom!

Don’t remember hearing complaints by the media over the disheartening loss the Ghanaians experienced. Only the repeated fact that it was the Ghanaians who ended the American soccer dream in the previous World Cup. They deserved to lose, apparently. Bad Ghanaians!

Now the U.S. soccer coach is setting up an excuse if we lose to Germany based on miles the Americans had to travel to play their matches. Nearly twice the distance as the Germans. And the venues in hot, sultry conditions.

What if General Lee complained that the North had all the factories and population, and that the Union generals all drank to excess?

What if LeBron said the broken air conditioning in San Antonio for Game 1 was why the Heat lost to the Spurs, which led to the three straight losses by double figures?

What if the owner of California Chrome complained that many of the horses at The Belmont hadn’t run the previous two links of the Triple Crown? Oh, come to think of it, he did!

Two wildly popular phrases in American conversation today are “at the end of the day,” and, “it is what it is.”

Are there times when life is unfair?

Of course. Bad calls by officials. Bad breaks. Bad whatever . . . karma?

We all know that. In our own lives and work.

Good things don’t always come in our direction, in spite of our efforts, our enthusiasm, and how much we might deserve them*.

Loss is loss. It hurts. I don’t like it — and bet you don’t either.

It comes with the territory. It is the potential of participation.

Only way not to lose is not to play.

So, buck up American soccer fans. There’s another game coming. And another. And another.

At the end of the day, it is what it is.



*I find it interesting that sometimes the victors state, “First I want to thank God who gave us this victory!” God apparently loves the Seahawks. God hates (in the words of the Westboro Baptist Church members) the Broncos.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 24 June, 2014




2 Responses to “UNFAIR!”

  1. lion around writing June 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Football is often a great equaliser in terms of results. One shot from one can win a game in the 93rd minute, while the other team had 15 shots on target and can lose. So many variables especially in sport, just like life – fairness is a construct, the idea of karma merely fanciful. The most horrible sons of bitches consistently outlive their nicer counterparts.

  2. RoSy June 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    In the world of sports – A loss is a loss & a win is a win.
    On tv – I’ve seen people from different countries crying as their teams lose…Really?
    I always root for my home team. But – if they don’t win – I ain’t gonna’ waste a tear on the loss.

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