What I learned from a perfect sports weekend

It was going to be a perfect sports weekend:

  • Ryder Cup on Friday through Sunday
  • Atlanta Braves baseball Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
  • Tennessee at LSU football game on Saturday
  • Tennessee Titans football game on Sunday

It started out great with the US Team Four Ball matches in the Ryder Cup, , , we were ahead of the European Team by 1 point (2 1/2 to 1 1/2) after this session. We rarely lead after this session in Ryder Cup competition so I’m getting a little optimistic, especially since everyone seems to be favoring the European Team to win.

Then the weekend starts to look questionable when the Braves lose to the Phillies on Friday night. Atlanta is trying to make the National League Playoffs and the magic number entering the weekend is “2”. They have to win two games or the San Diego Padres have to lose two games, , , or any combination to get into the Playoffs. Atlanta loses and San Diego wins on Friday so with both teams having two games left, we are no closer than before the Friday night game.

Saturday morning, more optimism as I awake at 3:00am to watch the Ryder Cup. After another session, the US Team stretches its lead and is now ahead by 2 points. Almost unheard of and a great sign, , , but this is going to be the last good news for a while. The Ryder Cup is plagued by rain and more rain. Matches are delayed and restructured to try to get in all matches by Sunday.

Saturday afternoon, the Tennessee Volunteers outplay LSU the entire game but chaos and confusion on the last play of the game ends up costing Tennessee the game. We lose after seeming to win the game due to a penalty and LSU getting to replay the down, , , and you guessed it – they score a winning touchdown. I’ll come back to this shortly.

Braves lose and Padres win again on Saturday, , , no positive progress to the Playoffs. The Braves are now up against the wall, , , we have to win the final game of the season against the Phillies and the Padres have to lose their final game to the San Francisco Giants. Looking dismal.

In the Ryder Cup, the European Team kills the US Team in session #3 that started on Saturday and finishes up on Sunday. Now instead of being up by 2 points, the US is down by 2 points going into the 12 singles matches on the last day, , , which has been postponed to Monday due to the rain. We’ve come from behind before but this margin will be hard to overcome.

Tennessee Titans lose their football game with the Denver Broncos in the last seconds of the game on Sunday, , , we are now 2-2 for the season, , , not a great start to our season.

Not looking good for “our teams”!!!!!!!

A ray of sunlight on Sunday night comes with a Braves win and Padres loss, , , our Atlanta Braves team makes the playoffs by the slimmest of margins. It’s Bobby Cox’s last year as the Braves Manager. He has been one of the best managers in baseball and we would love to see the Braves get to the World Series again, , , unlikely but they at least have a chance now.

Monday morning I’m up at daylight again to watch the singles matches of the Ryder Cup. When I turn on the TV, we are behind in 8 of the 12 matches and we have to win 7 of them to bring the Cup home.

Well, we lose the Ryder Cup by 1 point (13 1/2 to 14 1/2), , , the US Team almost pulled it out by getting 6 1/2 points, , , just short of what we needed and almost the miracle comeback we were hoping for.

Let’s see, that makes it 1 win for me (the Braves making the Playoffs) and 3 losses (Tennessee Volunteers, Tennessee Titans, and Ryder Cup results).

I had hoped it would be a great weekend of some of my favorite sports teams and events, but it turned out to be pretty much of a disaster. The biggest disaster was with the Tennessee – LSU football game. This loss and the crazy way the game was lost after we had all thought we had won the game had to be heartbreaking for the players and coaches, , , certainly was for alumni and fans.

Win from losing
There is a silver lining in all of this and worth sharing what I learned from each situation:

  1. The Braves never gave up and in the end their hard work paid off.
  2. Coach Dooley of the Tennessee Volunteers told his team after the loss, “Life is not always fair. Take from this game how well you played in a very difficult and demanding environment (at LSU) and hold your head high. What’s most important is how we handle the unfortunate results going forward.” This coach has a lot of character and he is instilling it in his players. Renewed optimism about our young Tennessee team, , , half of the team was dressed for their first “away game”, and going to LSU is always tough for any team. Almost beating a Top Ten team in the country on their home field may be the spark we need this year.
  3. Tennessee Titans outplayed the Denver Broncos most of the game, but could not put them away. Ultimately, Denver capitalized on their opportunity and won the game. You have to take advantage of your opportunities.
  4. In the Ryder Cup, the US Team could have easily quit, but every player put forth great effort to play their best. What could have become a rout almost became a win to be talked about for all ages, , , like the ’99 Brookline comeback. You had to feel good for both teams and this positive attitude was reflected in every player and coach interview I heard after the matches were over, , , from both sides. GOOD STUFF !!

My perfect sports weekend didn’t turn out so well, but there were many good things to come out of the losses. Is it possible to win when you lose? I think so.

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