The Pain of Losing
“There may be a few days over the next 20 years when you don’t think about it.” Phil Tufnell, England Cricketer, Loser in 1992 World Cup Final.
Sunday saw, what many commentators are calling one the greatest games in crickets history. It was won by the finest of margins. Going into the last over after 8 hours of tense cricket, England needed 15 runs to win. With two massive slices of luck (freak incidents) they made 14 runs and a tie. In a tie breaker both teams tied again and England were declared winners on a technical rule of hitting more boundaries.
The England team went crazy in front of 30,000 fans at the home of cricket and millions watching on TV. The celebrations exuberant there was also, from many, respect and sympathy to the team who had lost through the finest of margins.
The long lasting pain of the defeat was summed up by Phil Tufnell in his advice to the New Zealand team. “There may be a few days over the next 20 years when you don’t think about it.” Phil Tufnell, England Cricketer, Loser in 1992 World Cup Final. I think this is something for us as sports chaplains to always keep in mind with athletes or players who have suffered devastating losses. How long does it affect them? And how can we help them in the process?
Tufnell went on to describe in effect the grieving process over his loss in the 1992 World Cup Final, and how the pain is never far away. I believe that as sports chaplains who are here for the long term welfare of those in the world of sport, we can play a role here and support those who have lost not through lack of skill, effort or commitment but simply through just bad luck.