It’s Just A Game

federer-_479059aThose of us who witnessed the 5 set victory of Rafael Nadal over Roger Federer at the recent Australian Tennis Open tourney could only say one thing – it was an awesome match. If you paid money to get to the stadium to watch the game, you definitely got your money’s worth. Behind the thrill of victory for Nadal, came the agony of defeat for Federer who was unable to deliver the customary runner-up speech but was instead wanting of Kleenex to wipe tears of defeat oozing from his eyes while the crowd was cheering him on in total admiration and respect. We can only watch the sullen and apologetic face of Nadal as if saying to himself – “what did I do to this guy” ? I had never heard a champion’s victory speech start with the word “sorry for today“, as Nadal so graciously impressed upon Roger that he only did what he was supposed to do – win the match. Perhaps we can never feel Roger’s pain, how devastating it is to lose a game that could have equalled Pete Sampras’ record of the most grand slam wins in men’s tennis. Or perhaps there was some pent up emotions lurking within Roger’s soul that simply had to be released in such moment of grief so that acceptance and peace can quickly follow. Who knows? Maybe it was the $2 Million that slipped from his hands. Roger’s vulnerability isn’t a case of de-masculinization as some of us heartless souls so rudely contend.

We men have different ways of battling frustration and grief and having big emotions doesn’t necessarily denigrate one’s character. In fact my wife said Federer was so cute when he cried. Ouch. Never did I know that crying adds up to one’s “pogi” points 🙂 I’m always a Nadal fan and my wife roots for Federer all the time.  All I can say to Roger is take it easy – no one got killed, you got the runner up trophy and a cool 1 million bucks that goes with it. Best of luck next time and cross your fingers that you meet someone other than Nadal in the finals 🙂

Federer’s reaction typifies how we easily get overwhelmed with things that don’t cause us indignity, embarrasment nor material loss except for a deflated ego. How easily we get despondent over things that don’t mean much except for competetive pride. Tell that to a refugee in an African refugee camp who barely gets 4 cups of rice to feed himself in a given day. He will gladly lose every game he plays until his dying day if you just grant him refuge in your city. Life is unfair. Sympathy for someone crying over a million dollars I have none.

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