Worst ways to lose, ranked

Published 12:31 pm Thursday, September 10, 2015

Some ways to lose a game are much, much worse than others. (Contributed)

Some ways to lose a game are much, much worse than others. (Contributed)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

Is one type of losing really worse than another? Isn’t losing the same across the board, no matter how it happens? Isn’t an L still an L on the schedule, no matter how tough it was to swallow in the moment?

No. Super no. Super completely absolutely no.

Let’s look at the top five worse ways to lose a game, definitively ranked.


5. Regular season loss, expected. Run of the mill loss. This is the seven-point basketball loss or the two-run baseball loss or the touchdown loss. The other team was a little better and everyone knew it going into the game. These aren’t good, obviously, but this is the kind of loss that, a day and a half removed from it actually happening to you, you’ve moved past. It happens, you’re sad, then you go to Baskin Robbins and everything is okay again.


4. Regular season loss, blowout. Worse than a standard regular season loss, but not that much worse. This type of loss strips away your dignity and makes you question your existence, sure. In the middle of a blowout loss, your psyche just takes a real beating that takes some time to come back from. But, eight times out of 10 in a blowout loss, the team on the receiving end had an idea it was coming, so there are much worse ways to lose a game.


3. Playoff loss, blowout. Playoff losses are obviously tougher to handle than regular season losses because the last, most vivid picture from the season is failure. However, every single team in every sport, save for one, ends without the win they want. Same logic as above here, if you’re being blown out in the playoffs, chances are you saw it coming and came to grips with it before it actually happened. Worse than a regular season loss because there’s no season left after, but better than some others.


2. Regular season loss, upset. Tough pill to swallow right here. Everyone knew who was supposed to win, but it all fell apart for whatever reason. Shots weren’t falling, there was no urgency, whatever the reason may be, nothing worked. These are harder than most because they’re always unexpected. After the fact you have to try and figure out what happened, which can be confusing and frustrating. The only type of loss definitely worse than a regular season upset, however, is pretty obvious.


1. Playoff loss, upset. This is a true story. When I was a junior in high school I played soccer, and the first game of our season we got murdered 6-0 by a team that was very, very good. At the end of the season we got on a hot streak and made it farther in the state tournament than we had any right to, and we met the same team that had beat us 6-0 the first game of the season in the Elite Eight. We won that game 1-0. We scored a goal in the first 15 minutes and had about one more shot on goal the rest of the game while they had close to 30, not lying, they just couldn’t put anything in the back of the net that night. It was crazy and wonderful.

Fast-forward about seven years and I’m on a plane. There’s a lady sitting beside me and we get to talking. Turns out, she was the mother of the goalie that had been in goal during that game for the team we beat. She said when she landed she was going to call her son and tell him she had sat besides someone on the team that had beat him that night. She said at this point, seven years later, he would think it was interesting and not get worked up about it. She said they both still think about that game to this day.

Worst way to lose a game, not even close.