Losing Is A Disease. Make It Stop!

I’M TIRED! Not angry.  TIRED!

I’ve been working on this for a few weeks and have just put the final touches on it.  Don’t worry.  I’m not going to go into some foul mouthed infested rant about this season.  I honestly don’t have the energy to do that.  Like I said, I’m tired.  Losing year after year, is tough.  Tough on the heart, tough on the soul, and tough on the emotions.  And let’s not forget that it makes us mentally challenged.  To the point that for some, it begins to warp our thinking.

I’ve been a very loyal fan of this organEYEzation since day one when I moved here which was in the spring of 1993.  I have stuck with this team through thick and thin.  As we all know lately it’s been more about the thin.  I’ve had my season tickets, and have bought tickets to extra games, and have given tickets away in hopes that more fans would be attracted to this great sport.  All the emotions of being a Panther fan have been experienced by yours truly.  So, no need to give me a lesson about sticking with it and hoping for the best.  I know.  I’m there.  All too often.  I’ve said many times, I hate losing more than I like winning.

This season has 12 games remaining, and while mathematically the Florida Panthers have not been eliminated, you’d need corrective brain surgery to think that there’s a chance of getting into the post season.  They would have to likely win all 12 of the remaining games, while the rest of the teams that they are chasing would virtually have to lose all theirs.  Kinda like the sky falling.  Not going to happen.  I know better.  And honestly so do you.  That said, you probably want to know where this is headed.  I’ll tell you.  More after the jump.

No offence to anyone who reads this site, and even to my two writers Dave and Josh, as we all have our own minds and thoughts about this subject.  But the losing is tiring, and it’s mentally wearing me down.  It used to make me angry.  It used to make me upset.  I’m sure you remember some of the posts I did last year and the venom that was spewing from me.  Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s stopped.  Why?  It’s tiresome, and I’ve had to stop for fear of going mentally insane.

Do you remember the movie The Natural with Robert Redford?  There was a scene in the movie where a sports pshychologist was brought in to speak to the team.  I’ll never forget that part of the movie where the nerdy Doctor spoke to the group and said, “Losing is a disease”. Can you imagine?  Have you ever thought of it that way?  However sometimes I think it’s true.  Sometimes you can’t seem to get your way out of it, and it just takes over your entire thought process.  How many years have we continued to hear the same things over and over.  We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.  We need to play 60 minutes.  That was a bad penalty to take.  Good teams figure out a way to win.  On and on and on.

Yet in some instances, people have accepted certain things, and I guess that’s what is really tiring.  People want us to lose the rest of our games so we get a “chance” to have a top three pick.  I can’t honestly say that I’m in favor of that.  What is that teaching our team, our fans and our youth?  That it’s ok to lose?  It’s not.  We’ve been losing for 10 years in a row.  An NHL record.  We get close, and then we fade away. We have young players who make mistakes and it’s accepted because they’re young?  We don’t take advantage of opportunities that we are faced with, and seemingly just accept the fact that, well, next year things will be better?

If you’ve accepted futility, which includes poor passing, and players that can’t finish, and players that show no emotion, don’t hustle, and don’t give 100% effort all the time, then I have a problem with that.  Also, and this is for Mr. Knowsnothing, it’s not about goaltending.  Goaltending has not been an issue on this team for 10 years! Maybe longer.  It’s scoring.  It’s closing, and it’s finishing.  Playing smart, and making other teams make mistakes, and taking advantage of those mistakes.  It’s about being a team that won’t lay down.  About playing with snarl and grit.  About putting the foot on the throat of another team when you have them down.  The win against Chicago?  A great win yes.  But honestly, the third period I’ll bet you were more nervous during those 20 minutes than you were when you asked your first girl out on a date.

I will admit to you that this season the effort has been significantly better.  There haven’t been too many games that we’ve been completely blown out of.  We do have some players that have been performing consistently on most nights. However, we’ve given up our share of leads.  We’ve botched our share of scoring chances.  And yet people still find a way to be happy or pleased about something.  How I ask?  How?

If not for the love of this game I myself have no idea how I would cope with this.  The consolation prize, if we choose to accept it is that we have a bright future.  Our young players that were drafted last season are very promising.  We’ll have over 30 million dollars to spend in free agency this summer.  With the new ownership group and Dale Tallon running the show now, I firmly believe that next year will be different.

But for the next 12 games, I’m hoping for wins…. not losses.  Let’s try to finish the season on a high note, cause I honestly don’t believe that the 20 players in that dressing room are actually trying to lose.  I can’t see them saying, “boys let’s tank”.  You shouldn’t either.  We’ve had enough of losing for 10 years, and if we admit to ourselves that we accept losing only to get a better draft pick, or for the opportunity to get a better draft pick, then the culture here will never change.

I’d bet you a million dollars that losing is not part of the blueprint that Dale Tallon has planned.  Don’t make it part of yours.

I fully believe that things will turn around starting next season, top pick or not.

Don’t accept losing.  Don’t accept and fall into that culture.  If you do, then nothing changes.  Voice your opinion.  It’s ok to be unhappy.  You’re not being negative.  Everyone wants to win.  I don’t know anyone that wants to lose.

See you.  I’m tired!

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and your opinions.

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Tags: Blue Print Dale Tallon Florida Panthers Heart And Sole Losing Is A Disease Robert Redford The Natural

  • Gillian

    Very, very, VERY well said! Here’s to WINNING! Not gonna say the “L” word anymore and hoping Tallon has the vaccine!

    • Frank Rekas

      Thanks Gillian. I think Tallon will get this done. His way and we’ll all be pleased in the end

  • EJ

    I enjoyed reading your PG article and thank you for keeping it clean. As a fan from the beginning, I understand what you are saying about losing and disease. However, I’m also a rational thinker and I know that a better draft pick will be better for the team in the long run.

    A third of the team was traded at the deadline; a third won’t be resigned after the season is over. This means 2/3 of the disease is gone.

    I’m looking forward to some trades before the draft; I’m excited for the actual draft; and I think free agency will be more fun this year than in years past.

    • Frank Rekas

      EJ: Thanks for reading and the comment. A top draft pick will help, don’t get me wrong. I just have a hard time accepting losing. As well as people wishing a loss.

      This will be a fun summer I’m sure

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  • http://foo-gos.com Foogos

    Great read, and its so true. Never accept losing. I think Tallon is doing a decent job remolding this team and eliminating some floaters here and there. Next season will be interesting to watch. Best of luck, Panthers.

    I am not a firm believer that high drafts = better teams. There are too many variables, too many busts, and a number of teams (NJ, Detroit for example) that have remained upper echelon teams for extended periods of time without ever sniffing top 10 picks.

    • Frank Rekas

      For sure. Plus you have to have the right mix of veteran players to teach the kids. Cause honestly they are still kids and have a lot to learn. Guys like Weiss who have been here for nine seasons have never seen a playoff game.

      I think that Dale has them on the right track. This purge had to be done, but for the next 12 games, play like they mean something

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