Posted by Tom T. Rumble
Jan 26 2010

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” –  Vince Lombardi

America seems obsessed with winning …especially this sort of  ”I’m number one” nonsense.

Maybe watching Brett Favre lose his final game in such a glorious way has me noodling on the idea of what “winning” is all about.

Winning in America is adults ardently pursuing Boy Scout badges.

Beauty pageants pit luscious young ladies answering elementary school questions and performing some lame talent when in reality … it’s all about strutting your stuff sweetheart … and everyone knows it. Toss in some arm wrestling, crossword puzzle solving and a 5k in heels and it becomes a competition. Till then best T & A gets the to wear the tiara.

We see this distorted “I’m #1″ nonsense on reality TV shows.  American Idol is the ultimate. Each week  a few contestants are given shiny bright gold stars or more likely they are told they suck by some asshole with an English accent. And finally, after weeks of public humiliations, one is crowned “THE WINNER” and within minutes is shuttled off  to semi-obscurity and instant B – status celebrity.

What price do winners pay to be winners? Do the names Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire  conjure up the word winner or cheater? Look at the soap opera surrounding the worlds greatest golfer Tiger Woods. These guys sacrifice a lot to win; they sacrifice their health, their integrity and their families … but as singer Bobby Bare says  ”… guess that makes me the WINNER!”***

This competitive winning obsession has leached down into the bedrock of culture … parenting. We have parents pumping up their little darlings with rah-rah speeches in kindergarten, dragging them to training camps in the second grade so they can play professional sports and all so Mom and Dad can be proud of their little winners … which makes them winners … vicariously.

From Darwin’s perspective life is a competitive sport of sorts and the survivors, namely us, are the winners … but that’s not what we are talking about here … it’s boy scout badges and beauty pageants,

Since I opened with a football quote lets end on one.

“Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important.”  - Eugene J. McCarthy

*** THE WINNER Recorded by Bobby Bare Written by Shel Silverstein

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