October 26, 2000
Have you ever wondered what it is like for a team to fly home after they lose a game? Well, let me tell you that every Saturday during football season, all across the skies of America, there are planes flying with teams that have either just won or lost a game. Some planes are obviously filled with joy and triumphant feelings, and other planes are filled with sorrow and defeat. The planes that are filled with the victors are just concerned with getting home and celebrating with friends and family. They can hardly remember what the plane ride was like because they just wanted to get home. However, it is the other planes that I want to talk about, the ones where the players can remember ever second of their flight home.
From the very start of boarding the plane, the sobering vibe begins to slowly fill the plane like morning fog. As the players and coaching staff straggle onto the plane, the flight attendants force out a "welcome" even though they know we don't feel welcome anywhere after losing a game. We slowly move and position ourselves in our coach seats. I am not complaining about the seats, but let me tell you after a loss, the seats seem to be as small as a car seat, and it is physically impossible to get comfortable or to even attempt to fall sleep. As the plane cruises through the air, the nicks and bruises from the game turn into pain and suffering. Trainers scramble up and down the aisles to ease the players from their suffering with ice bags, Advil, and an occasional stretch to prevent or stop cramping. I'd like to say that they do a great job. As the flight continues, the trip just seems to get longer and longer to the point were you start wondering if they are flying to the right place. Everyone on the flight seems to be on edge; either they didn't get the right food or they were mad because they were not in the right seat. Sometimes the pilot tries to ease the tension by giving scores of other games from our rivals, and how SC is always losing. This seems to have little or no effect, but at least they try. The players are constantly trying to think about how they could have played better and helped the team to win, yet the sad fact is no matter how hard we think about the game, it has already been played, and there is nothing we can do now.
The plane ride after a loss is so uncomfortable it makes you want to just win the next road game so you don't have to experience that atmosphere ever again.
Philosophy of the Week: