Playing to win is a tired cliche in the world that we live in.
But I love to watch, and used to love to play basketball. Tonight I am watching the NCAA regional finals. Arizona was up by a bunch, i.e. 13 points, almost had the game in hand, and Illinois is coming back. You get this notion that teams almost get afraid of winning, and play not to loose rather than just playing to win.
Now the score has been cut to 3, there is less than a minute to play. Now the score is tied. The Arizona fans have got to be paralyzed. I just saw a stat that said that Illinois had out scored AZ 17–3 in the last 2.48.
It has been so long since I was playing in a game that had even a fraction as much importance as this. Tie game, going into overtime!
Illinois by 1, 34.9 seconds to go…timeout, the tension in the huddle is probably mind numbing. Missed opportunity, AZ has the ball, 11.8 seconds, down by 1, Lute Olson, has things well in hand, it would be great to have a microphone in the team huddle.
Terrible shot, game over, Illinois wins. One young guy is going to probably think about the missed shot the rest of his life.
I marvel how much sports both mirrors and is life. Perhaps that’s why we watch, and perhaps that’s why we should play to win, not to loose!