Life Isn’t Fair: Lessons from the World Cup
Over the weekend, there were two plays during World Cup matches that were blatantly missed by the referees. In the Germany-England game, the Brits put the ball in the goal but the refs didn’t think it crossed the line. Announcer Tommy Smyth called it one of the worst calls he’s ever seen in his career.
In the Mexico-Argentina game, Argentina scored a goal that shouldn’t have counted, as the player was offsides. The refs allowed the goal despite the Mexicans irate protesting. Both Germany and Argentina wound up winning and advancing to the next round.
I was listening to the Germany-England game on the radio and a helpless feeling came over me that I’m sure the Mexicans felt when the refs blew the call during their game: it’s not fair or right and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Play continued and the clock kept ticking—there was no break in play for the Brits to complain or make their case to the ref. In soccer, play goes on and the clock waits for no one. They couldn’t stand there and argue because Germany would push ahead and score another goal.
We would all be wise to remember this analogy when something unfair happens to us—life isn’t fair. We can spend our time jumping up and down complaining about it or we can get right back in the game and prepare for the next play. Spend too much time complaining or feeling sorry for yourself, and you’re setting yourself to miss your next chance.
This is one thing I like about soccer. In baseball, football, and basketball you can stop play and complain. You can argue. You can make your case. You can wave your arms like a crazy person in the hopes that the ref will think twice about the call he missed. Sometimes it’s fun to watch and sometimes it’s a little embarrassing.
There’s a fine line between complaining and being a cool customer when something like this happens to you. On the one hand, you want to make sure everyone knows you’ve been wronged. I’ve watched baseball games where players player didn’t complain at all, so everyone thinks the call was the right one even though it clearly wasn’t.
Well, I don’t see Soriano complaining too much, so maybe he was out.
And on the other hand, when a player is wronged like that and he just plays it off like it’s nothing—well that just looks cool and it makes me want to be that player.
Curious to hear what people out there think—which of the two are you and which one would you like to be? The complainer or the cool customer?
Image by NathanF