Star building character from losing all the time

This week’s episode deals with losing. I imagine some of you may think I’m just the boy to write about this subject.

Wednesday night, the Star Sports Staff squared off against our counterparts from WKDI-FM in a healthy set of basketball. They swept us in three games like a stiff broom, 15-10, 15-12 and 15-12.

In a nutshell, or even in a seashell, it went like this: they were bigger and stronger, so they owned the boards; our point guard’s Reeboks had all the traction of worn bowling shoes; and, on offense, they whipped the ball in and around us so well our shorts kept ending up on the floor.

Wise men say only fools rush in. Wait a minute—did Elvis play basketball? What I meant to say was, a wise man once said losing builds character. His equally pollyannish (dictionary!) brother was the one who said it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you like your Cocoa Wheats—thin or thick.

I think that’s what he said. The point is, we here at the good ship Northern Star have had to deal with losing quite a bit lately. I wish I could say we’re demons on the court, monsters in the field and helpful in the kitchen. But the truth is, although Duschene makes a good bowl of spaghetti (as he’ll be the first to tell you), we win about as often as the Chicago Bears lose.

Last spring we played the Student Association in softball. We put together a team of regular Star working stiffs and lost to Jim Fischer (who, by the way, is a good athlete) and a bunch of ringers. We still want a rematch, and this time Fischer’s team will be forced to carry SA identification.

Over the summer, we played OCR softball and had our heads handed to us on a bi-weekly basis. Wait—that’s not true: our co-ed team won some games. Credit once again has to go to Elvis. He was with us, man—we felt it.

This fall, we have a happy little volleyball team. After weeks of losing, we finally learned the magical wonders of bump, set and spike and actually won a match last week. We didn’t know how to react. Thank God ‘KDI brought us back to reality.

Those of you who live at the Reck Center fighting for court space instead of in an ugly green building putting a newspaper together may wonder how we deal with such adversity. “Why haven’t you shot yourselves, or at least Dan Moran?,” you cry.

Well, kids, I can see it’s time we learned a Valuable Lesson or two. First of all, know thyself. Don’t expect to play ball like Michael J when your dribbling can be compared to a teething baby. Don’t expect to hit like Ryne Sandberg when your athletic prowess is more in line with Carl Sandburg’s.

Wait—we’re not bad athletes here at the Star—really we’re not. Tuley was a kicker in high school. I once won my baseball camp’s World Series with a home run. And, of course, Chris Sigley is the Paper Huskie.

But we’re not a well-hulled athletic machine, whatever that is. We’re just trying to grab some glory while our bodies can still move somewhat quicker than Oprah Winfrey in a suit of armor.

Of course, we want to win so bad we can smell it (or is that the Taco Dip left over from the Bears-Giants’ game?). But I think we’re learning that, even if we lose the game, it’s more important to not lose our dignity. Coaches from Pettibone to Paterno will tell you that.

Anyway you look at it, you’re going to lose at something from time to time, and not just on the field. You can walk out of your history class with an “A” paper in your hand and run smack into an “F” on your Spanish exam right down the hall.

After your initial bout with tears, though, you can walk away proud if you fought that stupid exam right down to the final preterite conjugation.

Nothing is more important in life than your own happiness. Therefore, you can do smarter things than brood when you get a flat tire on life’s highway.

As for me and my Starmates, don’t worry. It’s Friday—around here, that means football. And there’s no way we can lose, since it’s an inter-office game.