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A Lesson Learned From Being on the Losing End in the Finals

As sports fans it’s hard for many of us to be impartial when watching games. We have our favorite teams that we will always root for but then we have those teams that we just don’t like at all so we just root against them. This might not be the case for all of us, but it is for many of us. As a Flyers fan I learned a valuable lesson that will change the latter mentioned habit for me.

When the Philadelphia Flyers lost game 6 and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, tears were shed all through the Philadelphia area. It was a heart breaking loss. It was definitely the hardest loss I ever had to deal with and I admit that I cried like a baby. But fans were not the only ones left in tears. Grown men who were warriors for 23 grueling playoff games were left stunned and devastated. They saw their biggest dream ripped away with one fluke goal. The road had come to an end and for the Flyers the ride was magical, but the end was certainly not the desired result. Guys like Braydon Coburn, Jeff Carter, Michael Leighton, and Danny Briere struggled through interviews. It was hard for them not to get choked up. You get to within two wins from your ultimate goal, but in the end it’s still 2 wins short.

There can only be one winner and all of the other teams must be sent home wondering what if. The Chicago Blackhawks deserve all the credit in the world. They earned the Stanley Cup. The team and their fans deserve to celebrate. But there is just one problem: Not everyone is saying their congratulations to the Hawks. There are many people just saying how happy they are that the Philadelphia Flyers did not win, and after experiencing this loss, I could never have that attitude again.

After seeing grown men moved to tears by this loss, I don’t think that I could ever root for a team to be eliminated from the playoffs, especially the Stanley Cup Finals. It is a heartless thing to do. There is a huge difference between rooting for one team to win and rooting for one team to lose.

The further your team gets in the playoffs, the more successful their season becomes. But at the same time, the further your team gets, the harder the elimination losses are to handle. That goes for the players too. Because of this, I’m hoping that I can change how some people treat the playoffs when one of their least favorite teams goes deep. It’s normal to “hate” rival teams, but to root against them is like wishing that a group of warriors have their ultimate goal taken away from them in an instant. If you have ever had your favorite team lose in the Stanley Cup Finals, then you know what I mean. Getting back to the Finals again is not a guaranteed thing. The Flyers were 13 years between Stanley Cup Finals appearances. Nothing is ever guaranteed and for that you can’t help but feel terrible for the players that may never get a shot at the Stanley Cup ever again. And as hockey players, winning the Stanley Cup is their biggest dream.

I might just be naive, but after experiencing the true agony of defeat, I realized just how special the thrill of the ultimate victory must be and how I would never wish the terrible feeling of a heartbreaking loss like the Flyers experienced for anyone. And with all of that said, there is no shame in losing. The Flyers fought hard to the very end. The better team just prevailed. And for that I once again congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans.

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