Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do All Athletes Want To Win?

I was listening to a Twins spring training game on the radio, and the announcers were talking about a young player, and one of them said, "...he wants to win." And I thought to myself, of course he wants to win. Doesn't everyone in sports, in varying degrees, want to win?

One would think most athletes would like to win, but I recently found an interview from the late 70's of an up-and-coming ballplayer named Bobby Knowwood. Here is an excerpt:

Sporting News: Bobby, how is it being in the Major Leagues for the fist time?

Bobby: It's great. The lifestyle, the hotels, the private airplanes, it's all great.

SN: How bad do you want to win this year?

Bobby: To tell you the truth, I don't really get caught up in wins and losses. I'm not too worried about that. I just want to go out there and put up great numbers.

SN: So you don't care if your team wins?

Bobby: Nah, that's not really my call. In fact, losing has its privileges. We get the entire month of October off, while some players have to play in the Playoffs & World Series. Plus, during the season, there's so much less pressure when you lose.

SN: I'll be honest, that view is pretty unorthodox. Are you sure you're not putting me on?

Bobby: Oh, no. Not even a little bit. I come from a long line of Knowwood losers. My grandfather was a fighter pilot in WWII. He has the record for losing the most dogfights. He lost nine of them in a three year period, but miraculously, he was able to punch out and survive all nine encounters, or as I say, losses. My father lost at baseball his entire life; t-ball, little league, high school and college. And my mother loses her keys all the fricken time.
SN: I see. Well, Bobby, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today and good luck in the upcoming season.

No comments: