Winning isn’t everything…..?

“It has been suggested to me that it would be an awesome achievement if we win,” Jonny Wilkinson wrote in his column on the morning of the world cup final. “But I just can’t allow myself to think that way now, I can’t think beyond today. Because if we lose, all we have done so far here means nothing…..All we have achieved here is a lot of work, no tangible success.”

Sorry to keep droning on about Jonny (this really is the last time, at least for a week) but is he right? It seems to me terribly unfair that they got all the way to final but because they lost that final they see the whole campaign as a waste of time and effort.

Nowhere else but sport does that happen. If you are short-listed for the Booker Prize for example, and don’t win, you still get to stick a sticker on your book saying ‘short-listed for the Booker Prize’. But the England team won’t be wearing rugby shirts with ‘got to the World Cup final’ on them will they?

Meanwhile my thoughts have turned reluctantly from rugby to football. I am headhunting again. This time looking for a chief financial officer for Liverpool Football Club. This involves phoning up other CFOs at football clubs and hoping they would rather be in Liverpool than where they are. So far they wouldn’t, so if you have any ideas then let me know.

But back to Jonny – I am extremely proud of the England team’s massive achievement. However I think Jonny’s attitude is what makes a great sportsman; only winning is enough. As the American football coach Henry ‘Red’ Sanders said: “Sure, winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

Maybe with a middle name like Red he’d like a job at Liverpool? Except he’s dead. Oh well, nobody’s perfect. Except for Jonny, obviously.

Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007

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