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Does anyone, anywhere, ever take responsibility for losing? Is it always someone else’s fault?
We hear it all the time: we lost because the refs made a bad call. . .because the fans were rude. . . because the weather was bad. . .because our star player was sick. . .because our mascot is stupid-looking. . .because, because, because.
It’s never because we sucked or something so obvious as we lost to a better team.
Case in point: the College of the Holy Cross and their loss last Saturday at Villanova in a match-up of two division 1-AA football teams. (We used to call it division 1-AA, now it’s the Football Championship Series division.)
A little background on Holy Cross. . .
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are two hairy armpits. One is called Springfield, the other is a few miles up the highway in a town called Worcester. If you have ever been in — or more likely through — Worcester, you know it’s an eyesore of a city, ripped in half by an ugly highway, and populated mostly by small-minded descendants of mill workers and laborers. In the middle of this blight called Worcester is the College of the Holy Cross.
The college itself is small, insular, isolated – not many young people these days are into masochism — so the application rate is low. Mostly it is a men’s school, but not manly men as we older timers used to call them. The boys who go to Holy Cross are mostly closet homosexuals with severe social anxiety disorder. Twenty years ago they would have gone to seminaries and become pedophile priests. Nowadays they become “Purple Crusaders.”
I have a great deal of respect for my gay friends – but they are openly gay and not hiding out in a Catholic college that academically and philosophically lives in a pre-Vatican II world. Holy Cross is a college where time stands still. These are boys who still kneel by their beds at night praying to the Holy Virgin while jerking off to fantasies of their fourth grade grammar school teacher, Sister Mary Agony. If you want to send your daughter to a “safe” school where you don’t have to worry about her being sexually active, send her to Holy Cross.
So last Saturday these boys went down to Villanova University outside of Philly and played a football game. . .and they lost. They weren’t clobbered, mind you, just soundly beaten 38-28.
A few days after the game I read several sports articles from the Worcester Telegram. To read the articles you would have thought that Holy Cross actually won the game. The one article that seemed to imply that they lost mentioned what the author called a “controversial” call on one of Villanova’s touchdowns. The only reason it was controversial is that it meant six more points for Villanova. I checked the Philly newspapers and nowhere was there even a peep about a controversial call. So I guess it wasn’t all that controversial. More to the point, Holy Cross still would have lost if the call had gone their way.
This gets better. . .
Last night I spoke with a friend who — god forbid! — lives in Worcester. He knows I follow Villanova sports, thanks to a certain co-editor with connections there. The game came up. There was a new excuse — Holy Cross doesn’t give football scholarships and Villanova does. It wasn’t a fair match!
My friend is right — Holy Cross does not give football scholarships. However, they do give basketball scholarships and at this point in the season the Holy Cross basketball team has won one game and lost six. So what’s the point? It’s pretty obvious that the poor performance of their athletic teams is not due to a lack of scholarships but rather something else — the air in Worcester? Poor coaching? Wimps for students?
The real reason they lost to Villanova has nothing to do with scholarships or controversial calls by the refs. They lost because they were out-played by a better team. Villanova had 200 more yards offensively, more first downs, more time of possession. And where it really counts — they had more points when time expired.
My advice to those Purple Crusaders who thought the game was unfair: stay home in Worcester next time. Or only play teams at your own level. . .like Bucknell.