Americans Must End Their Sore Loser Attitude

One BFF of mine for many years, a delightful and charming and loving, compassionate human being, posted on social media today about her frustration with the outcome of yesterday’s Super Bowl. She claims the game “WAS RIGGED!” It wasn’t and as a nation we need to stop being sore losers.

When Al Gore lost election 2000 to GW Bush in the tightest, most dramatic circumstances, he accepted the defeat — a heart-wrenching and difficult loss — shook hands, and for the good of the nation moved forward.

When Hillary lost election 2016 to Donald Trump, she complained the game was rigged by Russians and pouted for the next four years like a sore loser. She’s still pouting!

When Trump lost to Joe Biden in election 2020, likewise as a childish baby and sore loser, he told supporters the election was rigged, encouraged followers to assault the Capitol on January 6th, and continues to pout today as a sore loser. What an embarrassment!

Neither have the class of Al Gore. Neither again belongs in American politics. And, as a people, we need to stop being sore losers. Our democracy remains a beacon of hope to billions around the world. We are a fortunate, blessed people. We need to act and behave like the leaders we claim to be.

The Art of Accepting Defeat

Nobody likes to lose. However, losing is part of life. We lose job or other opportunities; lose loved ones; and eventually, will lose to nature this long marathon that we call life. We should not let losing define our character. We should focus instead on our many successes and victories.

Coaches Ron Kress (left) with Big Jim Koetter
Coaches Ron Kress (left) with Big Jim Koetter

I had a wonderful pair of high school coaches, Ron Kress and “Big Jim” Koetter. Jim’s son Dirk coached in the NFL and retired last year. Our school mascot was the Rams. Our slogan: RAMS — Right Attitude Means Success.

Best Team Record in HHS History: Right Attitude Means Success (RAMS)
Best Team Record in HHS History: Right Attitude Means Success (RAMS)

In my senior year, we set the BEST season record in school history. We didn’t win it all. We just won more than any other team in school history. In the philosophy of the greatest basketball coach of all time, John Wooden, we were successful.

Learning about success from Coach John Wooden
Learning about success from Coach John Wooden

Coach defined success as the peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable. Today, my team members and I all have that peace of mind.

Hillary and The Don should learn their lesson from Coach. Both made their very best effort to be the best they were capable of becoming. Both came up short in their respective elections.

No shame! Shake hands and move forward. This is the behavior of champions. Sore losers are insecure and claim the game was rigged. They pout and further negativity.

In my sophomore year playing for Coaches Kress and Koetter, we lost a hard-fought game at home due to a terrible, and unquestionably-wrong, call by an official. We were up by one point and defending. The ref called a foul on my teammate with only seconds to go.

The opposing player stepped up to the line and hit both free throws. We attempted a Hail Mary shot, missed, and lost. All of us were furious. We stomped and screamed into the locker room.

Coach Kress walked in. Told us to sit down and be quiet. He said this game was a perfect lesson in life. Yes, he admitted, the call was wrong. However, he said WE — the players — were to blame for the loss, not the officials.

He started with me, “You missed a critical rebound with 20 seconds to go.” To our top scorer, he said, “You had a couple easy shots you missed in the last couple minutes.” To others he pointed out how they had failed defensive assignments or made errant passes in the final moments.

“We could have been up by 10 points,” he concluded. He reminded us that we made many mistakes that allowed the game to be close. Referees, like us are human, he said, and can and will make mistakes.

“This is a great lesson for all of us,” he concluded. “Take control of our own destiny going forward. Don’t let the game be close. Don’t leave the outcome of the game to the whistle of an official.” And, he quoted both Coach Wooden and Bob Marley — be the best we can be every game and everything will work out fine!

Super Bowl VLI Was Excellent

Personally, I’m not a fan of professional football. The game lasts about four hours and there is only about 11 minutes of actual competition. Most of the game features adult men standing around, excessive and repetitive TV commercials, and an unfortunate distraction from family, our kids, and more important and responsible activities. It’s entertainment, and in my humble opinion, a waste of time and energy.

However, I was excited for this year’s event. The pandemic has disrupted our way of life for two long years. As individuals and a nation, we are war-weary and tired of lockdowns, restrictions, face mask and vaccine requirements (which are necessary and good), and the collapse of our social activities. We needed a collective party. We’ve earned a collective party!!!

I thought the NFL did an excellent job as well. Super Bowl LVI provided an fantastic representation of America’s talent in music. Jhene Aiko, Asian American female, started off the super event with a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful.” 

Dan Mechling captures the brilliance of the halftime entertainment
Dan Mechling captures the brilliance of the halftime entertainment

Black, female country music star Mickey Guyton sang a heart-warming national anthem. And Dr Dre, Snoop et al provided an extravagant overview of hip hop/rap at halftime. America’s diversity was on display — ALL OF OUR talent. Let’s be proud!!! We are an awesome nation!

The venue of the game in sunny LA was magnificent. Love the new arena. However, keep in mind Los Angeles has a major problem with thousands of homeless people living naked or in tents on the street. This is what I mean about sports being a distraction.

Los Angeles has the money for entertainment and recreation, while tens of thousands are in need of a bed, hot shower, medical care and decent meal.

Super Bowl I captured Len Dawson drinking a Fresca and smoking a cigarette. Now 55 years later, Super Bowl VLI featured Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg drinking Gin & Juice and smoking Da Chronic. I say America is a BETTER PLACE !!!
Super Bowl I captured Len Dawson drinking a Fresca and smoking a cigarette. Now 55 years later, Super Bowl VLI featured Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg drinking Gin & Juice and smoking Da Chronic. I say America is a BETTER PLACE !!!

Ultimately, it was an excellent opportunity to bring us together as families and a nation. The Rock did a fantastic job introducing the two teams. All of us celebrated the success of both the Bengals and Rams to get to this supreme annual event. I enjoyed and respected the sportsmanship displayed throughout the tough contest.

Sports has the ability to heal and bring people together. We cheer for our team with passion. If victorious, we get to celebrate, high-five, and revel in our good fortune. And, even if not on top when the clock ends, we should appreciate all the great plays and opportunities. We get to play again tomorrow.

Live ‘imi pono (Hawaiian) — strive for righteousness. Be the best we can be!

I call on my BESTEST BFF and elected officials to end this sore loser attitude. Hillary and Don … as Coach Kress said decades ago, don’t let your election results be close. Find a way not to divide this nation 50/50 — but heal it with 70% or more supporting your campaign and agenda.

To the Cincinnati Bengals, you have no shame for not taking home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. You have a strong team, led by a young, world-class and rock-star quarterback, and many good years ahead of you.

To the Los Angeles Rams … congratulations. As one of the high school Rams, we had similar football helmets and also a winning program. You earned this victory, trophy, and respect of the sports world. You represent our nation with eloquence, class and as champions.


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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

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