Which in fact brings up another problem: somebody has to lose.
I’ve always had a little bit of a problem with competition, even once earning a that’s-the-dumbest-thing-you’ve-ever-said look from my daughter by asking why she didn’t just let the boys in the neighborhood win at ping pong when it so upset their equilibrium to lose to her.
Music is a good field to be in if you’re not into competition.
Though even orchestra and band programs have managed to come up with invitational-this and festival-that with scores and ranks, most times those of us who’ve performed in orchestras or bands are working together with those around us to bring enjoyment to those in the audience. So everybody wins. Nobody loses.
We just happened to be living in Portland when the Dream Team came for the Tournament of the Americas in 1992. The tournament was held so that teams from North and South America could determine by elimination which team would represent the Americas at the Olympics coming up in Barcelona.
There was really no question about whether or not the team put together by the U.S., which for the first time included professional players, would make the cut.
The teams practiced in a community college in our area and, since our kids took swimming lessons at the same facility, we’d see players from Venezuela and Canada and Argentina and keep a sharp look out for our fellow countrymen, including Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and company.
But it was at the games we attended that the most remarkable thing happened.
Before they even started, the players on the teams opposing the United States would delay the play so they could get their pictures taken with the United States players.
They knew they would not win (or even get very close), but just being there on the same floor with people they admired made it a victory of sorts. So they posed, smiling, to record the memory even knowing a loss was coming.
For more information check out the August 2 edition of Davis Clipper.