I’ll admit that I’m a very competitive person by nature. Whether I’m playing a game of Monopoly, video baseball, trivia or an actual sport, I want to win with every ounce of being that is within me.
I took a communication conflict class at the University of Tennessee and the professor told me I was the most competitive student he had ever had in the class. Of course, that was a few years before a certain quarterback by the name of Peyton Manning took the class.
I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but I’ve always held the belief that if you show me a good loser, I’ll show you a loser every time. That’s not to say I don’t believe in accepting defeat as graciously as possible and showing good sportsmanship. However, I think, there is a difference between being a good sport and a good loser.
A good sport congratulates their opponent, but the bitterness of the loss sticks with them for a while as they strive to get better. A good loser blows off a loss as part of life and finds their sense of happiness in just playing the game.
I guess there’s nothing wrong with perspective if you like losing, but I don’t like losing.
Every Thursday morning I can’t wait to open the Daily News sports section to see how I’m doing on the Panel of Experts football picks section. I enjoy seeing my name at or near the front of the pack.
Sometime my desire to win the weekly picks will lead me to choose the team I think will win over the team I want to win. Most people know that I never want the University of Tennessee or Gulf Breeze High School to lose. I hate picking against the schools I attended and still hold dear, but when it comes to winning or losing I’m going to pick the team I think will win.
I know my picking against Crestview or Baker doesn’t always sit well with local players and fans, but it’s nothing personal I just want to win.
When making the picks I try to throw out the emotional angle and look at the straight hard facts. If a coach tells me off the record that a key a player is injured I’ll keep that information to myself, but it will influence my picking process.
I try to find out as much as I can about teams from outside the area when I’m picking a game involving a school from another state or another part of Florida. It’s not always easy, but I do want to win and will look at every side of things in deciding who might win.
Yes, a fire that burns deep inside me hates losing, even when it comes to football panels.