Several people promptly commented.
"It's a silly adage, and Del was neither the first nor the last to repeat it. It is generally used to defend poor sportsmanship, but sometimes just when someone is unhappy about having lost and questioned why they take it so much to heart. Used in either context, it has no basis in reality. Not knowing in what context Del used it, I would certainly withhold judgment."
"Those are good points in the comment above, and without context it's hard to judge Ballard's use of the statement.Judging on the statement itself though, literally, it's true, and therefore a pointless statement. Obviously, a good loser is a loser. But if I'm a loser, wouldn't I rather be a good loser than a bad loser? I say yes.I respect the competitive nature of the comment, but have never agreed with it in the past and won't now."
TSnide responded by writing:
"Well said. A reciprocal version of the statement might be something like, "Show me a bad loser, and I'll show you a loser who's also a jerk."Or something like that. I'd rather be a good loser, but I can't say I always have been, especially in my younger years!"
Finally, Kerry summed it up very nicely when he wrote:
"There's a huge difference between having a loser's attitude (ie the expectation and acceptance of losing before the fact) and being a good loser."
I kind of touched upon this issue in a previous post. I agree with all the commenters, but I'm also not sure Del Ballard Jr wouldn't either. I'm not certain exactly what he was saying, but I took him to mean that if you want to be a champion at bowling's elite level, you better care enough about winning that you really, really hate to lose. This doesn't mean that you act like a jerk if you do lose, but you also don't get all smiley faced and effusively gracious with the guy who just beat you and just casually brush it off as another day at the office. It bothers you. And it should bother you. And when you have your next practice session, you take your unpleasantly vivid memory of your defeat and use it to force yourself to work harder to improve your game so that you'll perform better the next time money's on the line. And each time you step back up on the approach in the heat of competition, you use your hatred of losing to strengthen your resolve to bear down, execute, and win. You don't bowl with indifference. Not if you don't want to be a loser on the lanes.
How do you understand Ballard Jr's quote, and how do you think one should feel and act when he loses a bowling match?