Losers Can Be the Biggest Winners

Big Winning Loser (black & white)

Law school softball has long been considered a sport for the ultra-competitive, alpha dog, and unathletic—sometimes all rolled into one. This creates a fun spectacle for the outside casual observer. I mean, what’s not funny about a center fielder who thinks he is as athletic as he was five to eight years ago and believes he has the ability to throw a ball from center field to a girl who has never played catcher in her life for an out at home, but retreats to get the ball that has passed him and, once he gets it, throws it anyway . . . only to see it sail over the backstop.

Unless you are on a really good team or not in grad school, you know this is the beauty of Grad/Law Softball.

Winning is always fun, but only a handful of teams really stand out among the rest. For those who are winning, they are probably having the best time. I wouldn’t know. After dominating the undergrad league last semester, the Well Hung Jury (1L) has gotten cold in the Grad/Law league. First, the game is a little different.  For the undergrads, opposing teams pitch to each other, batters have less power, and everyone barely fields a team. The Grad/Law league is a whole different ballgame. We hadn’t found a proper pitcher to pitch to ourselves until last week, when we scored more than two runs in a game for the first time (12 runs). Giving yourself easy pitches to hit is harder than it looks. Moreover, law students know how to hit line drives as opposed to deep hanging shots downfield, which was something we needed to adjust to in the outfield.  Another excuse, the fall was much warmer, which makes the bats less heavy in my opinion.  Nevertheless, I won’t go so far as to say the Well Hung Jury has gone limp.

Despite our struggles, the games are as fun as ever. One would not expect such behavior from law students who always expect to win. The most unique part of our team, which is arguably one of the most athletic in the league, is that despite none of our success from our undergrad league carrying over to the Grad/Law league, we are not getting down from our results. We may just be delirious from the hours spent in class and in the library that we don’t really know what’s going on. We may just be thankful for not having to apply our brains to something with letters (though applying our brains to the game might help us win). It might just be that misery loves company. Or we may just be happy to be all out there together and cheering each other on, realizing that this is the one fun and light-hearted aspect of our law school experience. I won’t rule out the libations either.

A ball is dropped in the field, we talk trash. Someone strikes out, we yell at our pitcher for throwing nasty stuff. The ball rolls through someone’s legs, we tell them to close ‘em. When it isn’t about winning anymore, suddenly, everyone is winning.

Yes, I did just write 500 words about how I am fine with losing. As someone who hates to lose, and has participated in organized sports all his life, it’s the first time I am comfortable saying it.  Sure, winning and having fun is the best feeling, but losing and having fun is closer to the best thing than you think.

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