It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

images_11 It happens to all of us – in all forms of competition . Haven’t you noticed how damn hard it is to close the game when you are ahead – tennis, chess , golf – any competition for that matter ? We’ve seen improbable comebacks and tragic blowouts in both individual and team sport events – name the sport and it happened. The irony is, when there is a glorious comeback for the world to celebrate and cherish there is equally tragedy, the feeling of immense disappointment and frustration on the other side of the fence, to those who let the golden goose slip from their hands. The hardest part to accept is when you bust your ass to get ahead and all you need to do is coast to the finish line but instead you lose your composure, fumble and eventually botch your chance to win. Here’s what I mean when you bungle a winning game which for some could be a chance of a lifetime and may not happen again.

The bottom line is, winning is more mental than physical. A missed serve on a match point, a missed putt on clinching a tournament, a missed kick to win a football game – all of them had something to do with mental state of the person performing in a state of extreme pressure. It is no wonder that nowadays a new discipline has emerged in professionals sports – the sub-culture of sports psychology.  Atheletes today hire sports psychologists to condition their minds and nerves into playing the game at the highest level , impervious to the pressure, distraction and other elements that can affect their game. A tough mind is hard to beat. Until you get the handshake and raise the cup, the game continues. Yogi Berra  “eloquently” summed up the wisdom with a few words with his famous quote” it ain’t over till it’s over“. It does motivate to pursue the win for the one ahead in the game and gives much needed  hope to the one trying to catch up.

Yogi Berra’s proverbial quote also has its place in real life applications.  I remember many years ago, after having being intervewed a couple of times and given a tour of the facilities by the last interviewer, I was told I was hired. Human Resources was to contact me regarding the hiring procedure and all the required paperwork. HR did call me to inform that an offer letter is being prepared and will call me within one week to come and complete the hiring process. The call came but the news was gloomy. Reason – the company was acquired and merged with a competitor and all hiring was frozen. Yikes. That was a close call. I was glad I didn’t celebrate prematurely. More importantly, I was glad I wasn’t hired ! It ain’t over until its over – don’t get excited, keep it under your hat, hold your horses, don’t execute your plans until the golden goose is in your hand and I couldn’t agree more.


Last year I got tagged by a police radar for allegedly going 60kph in a 40kph ( 20km over) in a school zone.  The policewoman handed me a speeding ticket with a fine of $95 and 2 demerit points.  I hated the idea of the demerit points because if you happen to get 6 within 2 years you need to do a re-test for your driver’s license, let alone the impact on my insurance premium.  I contested the fine and  was given notice for my court hearing, 8 months after the incident . When I got to the court room ( only for traffic related cases),  the clerk called me name and told me – ” you have two choices –  plead not guilty or guilty but with a reduced fine – 10kms over instead of 20  and no demerit points ” I hesitated. Hmmm..  Well,  if I get rid of my demerit points I’m a happy camper. That’s all I really cared about. I said ” guilty with a reduced fine “.  When my turn with the judge came, the judge asked me the same question  and I replied ” I plead guilty but with a reduced fine, Your Worship”  whereupon he replied. “Alright,  I will reduce your fine to $20, you will have no demerit points and I will give you a grace period of 60 days to pay the fine”.  I  said my thanks and left.  The new fine came in the mail. It wasn’t $20 but $35 – a surcharge of $10 and tax of $5.  Ugh, I almost forgot the frigging taxes – what else is new ? 😯

These days the government is mulling on the idea of capping the speed limit of huge trucks, those 18 wheeler rigs t0 100kph. These giants are so intimidating on the road and when you see them cruising at 140kph, you better not go near them.  These days you can make cars much smarter, i.e. the GPS  coordinates can trigger the car to automatically slow down to the speed limit of the road !  If they can make cars like the one on this captioned video, sure they can make super- smart ones 🙂


38 Responses

  1. you have two choices – plead not guilty or guilty but with a reduced fine – 10kms over instead of 20 and no demerit points ”

    So you can do “tawad”in the States? 😉

    • Sidney – first of all, I couldn’t speak for the States as I am in Canada 😉

      As for the “tawad”, my take on this one is it is bottom line a function of cost. If everyone was to plead not guilty, it means that the police officer would appear at the hearing and if he/she doesn’t appear for a reason, the offender is exonerated and the fine is waived off. If this officer happens to be off duty, he has to be paid overtime to attend the hearing 😉 Then there is the issue of the judge and the court folks having to book everyone and grind it out in the courtroom for a measly fine of less than 100 bucks. The “tawad” does appear silly but there’s actually some sense to it, at least from my vantage point 🙂

  2. And that is the reason why I enjoy watching basketball. You never know who will win until the end. Remember when Reggie Miller would hit several three’s in the last couple of minutes of a game? He did it to the Knicks!

    • Eric – you are absolutely right. Reggie Miller has made Indiana fans happy and also earned the curse of the fans from opposing teams 😦 In the end, Reggie with his 3 pointer magic is one guy every team would like to have 😉

  3. That’s why Tiger woods is a winner. He has the mind and nerves of steel. Unbeatable even with injuries.

    That car has self-defense skills. Smart. LOL 🙂

    • Natez1 – Tiger’s mom is from Thailand and is reportedly Buddhist. Who knows, maybe Tiger has prefected the art of focus and concentration from his mom 😉 I agree 100% – the man has the nerves of steel.

      They should make smarter cars like it 😆

  4. Only in America, where you could haggle your court sentence, where everything is taxed – even fines and where you can fullfill your dreams if your determined enough. : )

    • Blogusvox – Canada bro 😉 Yep, you are always to allowed to contest any charge levied upon you and I think that’s the essence of democracy. Taxes are a way of life here. It’s an issue of give and take. Most people would naturally want to give less and take a lot more hehe 🙂

  5. “Team” game is the worst as a single “showboating” or stupidity can cause championships. That’s why individual sports is much, much better – you can make a fool of yourself any which way you wish, it’s your own game to lose. Remember Jean Vandelve of France and the South Africaner (not Ernie), two strokes to win the US Open but three putted to tie, well at least he won the playoff. Jean was the worst, he thought it was in the bags. France will welcome him a Hero ala Pakyaw, What a sorry ass, Up to this day I hated him for not winning that British Open. HE HAD IT. Not a golfer btw. Only watch the four majors.

    If you bungle the pronunciation of your own language, it’s more embarrasing, hehe…otherwise, it’s excusable.

    Last November, my fine was reduced from $900 to $200 by the court but have to do the Internet School.
    T’was for speeding, restricted license, and out of state license not matching driver’s license. Easiest way for every states to make lots of money at the expense of speeders, hehe..


    • TruBlue – Jean Van Delve has the dubious honor of doing the worst blowout in golf history ouch 😦 When I looked at the replay of the British Open where he botched a sure win at the last hole , I was thinking … maybe I could have scored better hahaha 🙂

      Here you can legally solicit the help of Traffic Offence consultants to help you reduce fines and demerit for traffic infractions – for a fee of course. They will represent you in court and appeal your case to get you the best deal. Guess what – these consultants are ex-cops 😉

  6. It’s a timely share. Btw, the title of your post reminded me of a good old song.

    • Witsandnuts – thanks. The title seems apt for a song, esp with matters of the heart hehe 🙂 I also think ” it ain’t over until its over” applies to relationships 😉

  7. I don’t play team sport when you lose its either you blame other or someone blame you.

    • Ysrael – true, especially during big games, where a lot is at stake, people tend to blame each other out of frustration 😦

  8. Another variation of that quote : “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”. It’s not good to celebrate prematurely, whether it be at work or sports. Because if one has lived long enough in this world, he/she would know that life has this wicked way of changing things when you least expect it…

    • Sngl – that’s another version that became very popular with sports broadcasters 🙂 Very true. I know of some people who resign from work and wouldn’t dare tell anyone where they’re going despite holding a signed offer letter, until they physically show up to work with the new company hehe..

  9. I’ve appeared in traffic court twice in five years and in both instances, I was asked to plead guilty and pay the fine and in exchange, they cleared my traffic record of any points.

    Though the fines cost me in the hundreds, I was fine with it as long as my record and my insurance premiums did not take a hit. 😀

    • Panaderos – as I mentioned earlier, we have what we call professional consultants here who will represent you in court, do everything to reduce your fine, from the stiffest to the least. They’re former cops who know the ins and outs of the traffic law. There’s a new law here that imposes a $5,000 fine for speeding 50kph over the limit, plus impounding of the car for week. Yikes. For this kind of infraction, the services of these professionals are a must so you can get a reduced sentence at the very least. Man, with this kind of conviction, no one will insure you any longer as you are classified high risk 😦

  10. well said. i like how you expanded this phrase to “It does motivate to pursue the win for the one ahead in the game and gives much needed hope to the one trying to catch up.”

    very nice insight.

    • Dong – thanks. It is so hard to close a winning game and methinks it is even harder than catching up ! Keeping the lead is a much tougher job it seems 😯

  11. Parang its as simple as saying< "don’t count the chicks while they’re not yet hatched". That’s why when I plan and do things I just go with the flow as if nothing’s unusual..unless I see myself already on top of the world.:D

    Anyway, am not used to joining competitions. Clumsy ako eh.hehe

    • NYL – being overly assuming has its pitfalls too and that’s across the board , even in relationships – like it is silly to assume the girl likes you a lot when she’s just nice to you 🙂

      About being clumsy in competitions – have you tried playing those that don’t require physical adroitness like chess or scrabble ? 😆

  12. Losing while almost winning us such a bad thing. it had happened to me while coaching our college basketball team, losing by 3 points with 8 seconds to go while just 2 minutes ago we were ahead by 8 points. It wasn’t so painful since it was just the first game of the intramurals but we were eliminated later on, but if we’ve won that first game, we would have been in the semis with a bye. Tsk,tsk…

    I also remember how Greg Norman did that last 9 flop in the Masters while leading hugely. It’s clear that he was so affected coz since then, he had gradually receded into a losing career.

    And also that Orlando Magic team led by Shaq O’ Neil who was 3-0 ahead of Houston only to lose 4 straight. I read that all of the guys needed some psychological treatment or something like that.

    • Major Tom – miracles happen I can tell you esp in big leagues like the NBA. I watched the Raptors beat the highly rated Pistons with a come from behind win a couple of years ago. I was inside a tightly packed arena and with these big NBA pros, ANYTHING can happen with 2 minutes to go even if you are ahead by 8 points 😯

      It is true that some athletes take the loss so hard that their game decline and some of them won’t recover from the debacle. Not only that , fans can add to the misery. I remember the 9th inning home run that Joe Carter did to win the 1993 Baseball World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Philadelphia fans were so upset that they sent death threats to Mitch Williams, the pitcher who threw the fastball that Carter hit out of the park. The police had to guard William’s house for sometime. It can turn ugly 😦

  13. That Wheel of Fortune contestant really blew it ! Never knew that they require the contestant to pronounce the work properly before giving the prize. That can be tricky 🙂

    LOL on the cute Mazda car 😆

  14. Irrealis – the game was for her to win and when she got all the letters, her opponent thought the game was OVER 🙂 But it wasn’t ! I’m sure her opponent was shocked to win the darn contest without doing anything but by just pronouncing the word ! That’s just totally unfair don’t you think ? 😉

  15. It all boils down to composure sometimes. My painful experience happened during an interschool academic contest. I knew the answer was population. I wrote pollution instead. So when I was asked, my verbal reply did not match what I had written and I was disqualified. Ouch!

  16. Ewok – Looked like you did lose your composure at that event ! If we think too much and tell ourself – what am I doing here – we will definitely get the jitters 🙂 Oh well, 1 million dollars wasn’t on the line so I guess you can just credit that to experience 😆

  17. I don’t know Yogi Berra but I heard that line from Lenny Kravitz! What to say to you about that job you didn’t get? Good for you?! Ehe! I have quite a similar experience. The team leader in my shift was leaving, and she encouraged me to apply for her position. After thinking about it, I did apply, and she and I talked about it a lot. I asked her about everything her job entails. She, in turn, sort of endorsed everything to me already. She was really vying for me. And then when the “announcement” day came, I didn’t get the promotion. The Pinay general manager talked to me in private, (in an effort to console what they believed was a “shattered” me) and said they needed me more as a teacher than as a team leader. Oh well. I was disappointed because everybody at that time expected I was gonna be the one, and for a while I expected it too. But on the other hand (no sourgraping here) I think it’s good that I didn’t get that post because I think I really am a better teacher than a leader of teachers.

    • Kat – that’s a good example and it just dosen’t only happen in life changing situations but likewise in simple day to day events in life. Sometimes they’re blessings in disguise too 😉 Bottom line is, false expectations can be a real downer so the best way is not to do anything until you hold the golden goose 🙂

  18. let me just share first that i love the song with the same title (lenny kravitz – i like the drum roll to start the song).

    secondly, i agree that we should not celebrate until we hear the fat lady sing. anything can still happen kasi.

    • Lawstude – hhmmm.. looks like both of you like Lenny Kravitz…. Lawstude, meet Kat. Kat, this is Lawstude 😆

      The odds are our expectations might be right most of the time but a single hitch can be devastating and embarrasing. I know of someone who resigned and was given going away gifts by his department. He was to work in another country. It turned out that he had problems with his working visa and the hiring company had to reapply for it which took another 4 months. Good that the his company kept him for another 4 months until his visa was fixed. Yikes. It was pretty embarrasing 😦

  19. “The bottom line is, winning is more mental than physical.”

    — I agree. I once heard Roger Federer say something about the power of the mind over the way he plays his game. He always psyche himself up before and during a tennis match. I think there’s something about Nadal that makes him lose his focus…or even inner confidence. 🙂


    Ok na yung 35 dollars. 🙂 At least, no demerits.

    BTW, you called the judge “Your Worship”? That’s the first time I’ve heard of this. A bit of info there then. Usually di ba Your Honor.

    • Jayred – as they say, it’s mind over matter the whole time 🙂

      Sounds like talking to god, isn’t it ? It’s probably due to the British system. I think the Queen of England is still the head of Canada and that’s the reason why we have a Governor General who represents Canada to the Queen. The Prime Minister of Canada seems to ask the Governor General’s approval everytime he makes a crucial decision like calling an election or postponing a parliament session. Oh well, I really couldn’t care less coz it does seem to work , so why change hehe 🙂

      BTW the Canadian Gov Gen Michel Jean is a woman of color, originally from Haiti and the previous one was Adrienne Clarkson – of Chinese descent whose parents came from Hongkong and settled in Canada when she was a toddler. Woman of color does break the gender and race barriers, don’t you think ? 🙂

  20. wasn’t aware that fines are subject to tax as well. i admire dmv’s system in the states and canada. 2 violations, premiums are automatically jacked up.

  21. Mari – the insurance system here can be a drag if one’s driving record isn’t that good. In many cases, the cost of insurance can be higher than your car amortization, esp for new drivers. The cost of insurance tapers down as your driving years increase but it gets hit once you get driving convictions or involved in accidents.

  22. Glad I found your blog. I’ve found a few good tips on your site. I’ll be a regular visitor from now!

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