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Point-counterpoint: Winless or Undefeated

first_img11-7 PCPWhat’s more difficult, goingundefeated or going winless? That’s like comparing a marathon to awalk from Vilas to Humanities. Seriously, we’re debating this?Not winning a game doesn’t take anyeffort. Essentially, we are talking about the difference betweenRocky Balboa’s anal retentive workout routine and a Richard Simmons”let’s have fun” one. To go unbeaten you have to work extremelyhard, maybe even shed some blood every time out, whereas to avoidgoing winless, you have to merely go through the motions (“up,down, up down, come on now!”). Week in and week out, a team that’strying to remain perfect must come to play. There’s little room forerror. Week in and week out, you don’t even have to show up to gowinless. Tell me that that’s strenuous. To back up my argument with facts,there are very few exceptions to this rule. The 1976 Buccaneers wouldbe one. They had to try real hard to go 0-14 in their inauguralseason and 0-26 before picking up their first win. However, look at how many teams havebeen on the lip of perfection, but fall short. Any of the NFL’s topteams in recent years, particularly the Colts, are perfect examplesof this. Injuries, resting players up for the playoffs, what haveyou, great teams are still going to lose — it’s the nature of thegame. No team since the 1972 Dolphins has gone undefeated in theprofessional ranks on any of the four major sports levels.Pretty much college football andbasketball are the most likely of sources to find an undefeated team.Even in basketball, it doesn’t happen often. The last NCAA hoopsteam to go undefeated was again in 1976, when Bobby Knight’sHoosiers went 32-0. That was 31 years ago. College football isunderstandably different because although a handful of teams gounbeaten during the course of the year, a handful also doesn’t wina game.It’s pretty clear that losing iseasy. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t have written anything. Point: Perfection doesn’t come easy. 11-7 pcp voelkelA little more than halfway through theNFL season, two teams are on track for perfection. The undefeated Patriots and the winlessDolphins not only share a division, but also a potential date withdestiny when the two play Dec. 23. Should both maintain their currentways, that game would be the latest game in NFL history between somediametrically opposite teams.That backdrop begs the question: Is itharder to lose ’em all or win ’em all?On the surface it seems like aslam-dunk answer: Of course it is harder to win every game you play. Dig a little deeper, however, and youwill see the error in your ways. Sure, winning every week takes copiousamounts of effort, talent and luck, but so too does losing. When youwin like it’s your job, teams give you their best shot. Similarly,losing every time out gives teams a reason to more or less take agame off when they play you. Even Screech, universally recognized asprobably the biggest loser ever to grace the planet, got Lisa tosoften up a little bit and see the good in the curly-haired nerd.If being the best at losing wasn’t sucha difficult task, why would NBC focus an entire series around seeingwho could be the biggest loser? It just doesn’t make sense.Plus we’re not talking about tankinghere. Legitimately trying and losing every time out is a nearmathematical impossibility. Sooner or later, a bounce will go yourway, the opposing team will have a bad game and you will win.Plus, you’re talking about hard? Losingall the time is about as hard to handle as anything.When it comes down to it, going 1-0just doesn’t hold a candle to 0-1. Losing. Count it.last_img read more