The LA Rams are the defending NFL Champions. Repeat it just to let it sink in. The LA Rams are the defending NFL Champions. Now, roll up your sleeves, because the real work is about to begin.
The greatest challenge to success is success itself. After achieving a great accomplishment, the parsing of contributions, giving out the credit for winning, inevitably leads to disagreements as to who had made the greater sacrifice or contribution to accomplish that feat. Whose role was greatest?
Of course, other factors creep in as well. Having accomplished one goal, now it’s time to move on to the next conquest. That could open up competitors to the lure of financial wealth, as some who contributed seek to cash out. It leads others to complacency, as the sacrifice to achieve that level of play is not as equitable on the second or third efforts.
Sportsmanship is a dying art form. So many think that sportsmanship is the ability to lose and still retain one’s dignity and pride. The textbook definition of the word (per Merriam-Webster) is: Conduct (such as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.
Losing is the part that nearly everyone applies the definition to. But it also applies to winning as well. Why winning? Because it is at the peak of emotions that players who have dedicated themselves to that goal truly risk losing their way. Professional athletes are good about finding their way toward competitive goals in the course of their athletic careers.
But what about when those same athletes actually achieve those goals? The focus of competitors’ energies disperses, just like the players do from that winning roster.
The second title is often viewed as much more difficult to accomplish. Whether it is the fact that a successful team must restock the roster and somehow reforge a comparable level of trust and appreciation for one another, or simply that the raw eye-of-the-tiger need to succeed has been satiated? I can’t say. But the risks are real, so how are these LA Rams holding up so far?