3 Ways to Lose on the Biggest Stage

NFL: Divisional Round-Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Pride brings loss.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Dez Bryant.  During the divisional playoff game against Green Bay, Bryant ran a good route and went up for a ball.  He snatched it out of the air and the defender’s reach.  He took 2 steps and as he fell he reached for the goal line.  The ball came loose and the catch was overturned by the review booth as incomplete due to lack of control through the fall.


I heard so many complaints about the catch/no catch issue.  As the rules change, nearly daily, it is hard to keep up.  We can argue with the pundits, but that’s not really the issue.  Here’s the issue:

If Bryant had just secured the ball falling short of the goal line they would have likely won the game!

There was time on the clock.  They could have burned it with running plays to gain a touchdown and a date with Seattle next week.  They could have put Green Bay in an impossible situation.  2 feet had already come down in bounds.  Secure the ball and secure the win.  Because he stretched for the touchdown he lost control and was ruled incomplete.

Why, then did he do this?  Why do we do what we do so often?

Pride. Bryant wanted the TD.  I have watched him since he was at Oklahoma State (Go Pokes!).  As he entered the NFL his pride was magnified.  He is a great athlete and receiver!  However, when he does not get his way, his catches, his touches, and his TD’s he throws a fit on the sidelines, whines to Garrett, and yells at his teammates.  Why?  Because of pride.  He has certain goals he wants to reach.  But we have a problem.  Because of HIS goals, the team is now in the off-season.

How do you know if pride is a problem with you or the organization?

1.  When the individual is ahead of the team.  This happens often, especially in pro sports.  ESPN makes its living off of highlights and stats.  Bryant wants both, but it cost the team the game.  When one person’s goals outweigh the team’s goals we have a problem.  Last time I checked this was a team game.  The team wins or loses.  The team plays on or the team is in off-season.  Don’t let one person’s pride cost the organization the game.

2.  When you count the wrong stats.  As mentioned, ESPN has created a monster because of statistical research.  Counting the right stats is critical to organization health.  What stat really counted yesterday?  The answer is the win-loss column.  The playoffs are different from the regular season.  Personal stats are irrelevant if you lose the game.  If you count the wrong stats (# of TD’s) rather than the score, you could lose the game.  If the RB and WR’s are all arguing over who gets the most touches, most yards, most TD’s but lose the game, who cares?  Count the right things at the right times.

3.  When you blame others rather than accept responsibility.  Everyone makes excuses.  The ball was under-thrown.  The line did not give enough time.  I was held up.  The rule is wrong.  The ref’s are blind.  Bryant had the ball.  He made the catch.  He made a mistake, but is not owning up to it.

One choice.  One loss.  That’s how it can go.  We must examine our motivations, goals, ambitions, and pride.  We don’t live in isolation.  Every choice we make, has a chain reaction effect.  What one chooses effects many.  Don’t let pride cause the fall of your company, team, or organization.

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor. Proverbs 29:23

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