You Can’t Always Get Them “Next Time”

Those who follow me on Twitter (@STLSpidey) or know me personally, know that I’m in jury duty this week.  The case started Monday and is still proceeding.  I’m back in court tomorrow morning at 9am CDT.  I can’t  tell you anything about the court case, except to say that it’s a civil case (i.e., a lawsuit) and not a criminal case.

Some of you also know that I enjoy coaching my kids’ sports teams in my spare time.  I’m currently coaching my daughter’s 12U softball team, the Bullfrogs.  The Bullfrogs won tonight 15-8, our fifth victory in a row.  We are 5-3, with four games to play and are about to clinch our first winning season ever.

It is definitely fun when you win.  The Blackhawks and their fans know that today (as do the Hershey Bears’ fans).  But the pain of losing in sports is quickly replaced by the desire to compete again.  Losing sports teams always get a second chance.  “We’ll get ’em next time” is the popular refrain.  The Flyers know that the NHL season starts again in October.  They’ll get a chance to play the Blackhawks and get another shot to advance through the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup.  Until this season, the Bullfrogs were perennial losers in the mold of the Bad News Bears.  But the girls stuck with it and, in what is the fifth year together for the core group, will finally get a winning season – some measure of redemption for all those last place finishes.

Even the Bad News Bears Got a "Next Time""

I was struck driving home from the Bullfrogs game tonight that my court case, although it will have a winner and a loser, is not like sports at all.  You can’t “get ’em next time” if you lose.  Sure, the lawyers can try cases against one another in the future, but the plaintiff or the defendant (whoever loses) won’t get another shot.  Save an appeals process, there is no “next time.”  For the loser, the anticipation of the next game that follows the sadness of the loss will never come.  The loser might ruminate on what they could have done differently to win, but, unlike sports teams, they won’t get a chance to try the different strategies.  That’s sad.

I love it that the Flyers have a “next time.”  I love it that every batter for the Pirates will get a “next time” against Stephen Strasburg.  I’ve seen the Bullfrogs get their “next time” and do something with it.  I’m not saying that losers of a civil court case deserve a “next time,” but I hadn’t realized the harsh finality of the outcome until tonight.

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