Winners Art Print
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When our teams win, we become winners and our identity is assured. We are all one. It is not uncommon for a fan to say something like, "Whom do we play tonight?" as if he or she is on the team. His or her identity is complete. The magic of being a fan is that you are in a no-lose situation because if your team doesn't win you can be an instant expert. It is hard to mention a sports fan who does not have the solution to his team's problem. "We need more pitching," "If we had another good receiver, we would have no trouble," "One more rebounder and we're in." Name the problem; the fan has the answer. Fans go undefeated, it is only their teams that lose.
Some teams and individuals are simply more skilled and/or motivated than others regardless of where they play. However, whether a team finishes the season with a winning or losing record is often a consequence of a team's home performance. Most coaches and players count themselves fortunate if they can break even on their road games. What separates winners from losers is the ability to win at home. Those teams with the best records in sports are those who prevail much more than half the time on their own field, whereas teams with losing records are those who do not take advantage of their home field.
The compulsive need to win allows no room for the loser's self-esteem and dignity. Because the consequences of losing are so demeaning and humiliating in compulsive competition, defeat must be avoided at all costs. Therefore, the threat of losing, for compulsive winners, leads easily in sports to hostility, cheating, disparaging, blaming others, complaining, and rationalizing in urgent efforts to ward off feelings of self-contempt, or the projected contempt and hostility of others.