Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sore winners suck too.

Derby is just approaching its teenaged years when it comes to the timeline of established sports, and the teenaged years tend to be fairly awkward.  In our sport, there are games that have a point differential of hundreds of points at times, and I fully believe this is because there can be such a gap between an established league and one that is just getting off of the ground.  Since derby has no "mercy" rule, sometimes a team can crush another.  Recently, I've seen scores of 300 to 13, which is a rough game to be on the downside for, but it was a learning experience, I'm sure.

If you find yourself outclassed in a game, it can be extremely frustrating, but it can also be a time to give yourself over to the experience and learn from it.  I have been in this situation many times, and even though it sucks to be beaten so badly that the other team is jamming their fourth string jammers and they're STILL getting grand slams on your team, you can never learn as much as you can when you play against better players.  If Gotham sent out a request for a pick up team to play them right now, I would be there with my skates on, quaking in my boots, but I would be grinning from ear to ear!  Think about taking on your opponent and booty blocking them for a whole three seconds!  It's the small victories that keep us coming back and smiling!

Unfortunately, a few teams who are winning, even by large, ridiculous margins turn into ungrateful jerks on the track for some reason.  It never fails to amaze me when a team is winning by a hundred points or so and is losing their crap at the refs because minors aren't being called to their liking.  Maybe I'm one of the few people who notice this because I watch players' faces when they're sitting on the bench or playing on the track, but it makes me root even harder for the underdog, who is usually struggling to keep up with the pounding they're taking.

So, if you find yourself dominating another team, how do you not become a sore winner?  Take a moment to think about whether or not you're sounding like a douche canoe when you start complaining about the game.  Is the other team playing dirty or dangerously?  Then, yes, you totally have the right to complain to your captain so he or she can bring it up to the refs.  Is the other team making mistakes because they are completely outclassed by your team?  Well, STFU. If you're running your mouth on the track about trivial things then you aren't focused on your game.  Be gracious and play to the best of your abilities; think about how classy Team USA kept their behavior on the track.  When Team USA played the other countries last year, they were CLEARLY the dominant force, and yet you didn't see one of them erupt with frustration, even if the other team was back-blocking them the entire way around the track.  Finally, be modest in your self congratulations.  If you destroy a team, you know that they weren't on the same level as you, so don't crow about it too much.

As derby matures, maybe the disparity between teams will stop being so ridiculous, but for now, we are going to have epic mis-matches.  Sometimes it seems like we are constantly being tested as players to not only just play our game, but to keep our uglier natures under control.

We've all been on both ends of this picture...metaphysically speaking of course.

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