Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Must Win Situation

You have to admit that no matter what you do in life at one time or another you’re going to be caught using a sports cliché. For me the most bothersome is “a must win situation.” With so much at stake in big-time college sports and professional sports isn’t every game “a must win situation” for coaches? If you aren’t sure ask the Green Bay Packers coaches and management after last week’s embarrassment in Tampa Bay.

Politicians frequently borrow sports clichés to feed the media sound bites on issues. You can probably supply your own, but I’m not sure if “a must win situation” would be appropriate for certain topics. Then again how would you describe the need for health care reform? Turning around the economy? Finding enough vaccine for H1N1? Creating new jobs?

Losing is not a pleasant experience. However even winning can sometimes have costs that aren’t entirely palatable. Fond du Lac kept Mercury Marine, but union workers had to give in on benefits and pay. In addition the city, county and state had to offer up incentive packages totaling more than $120 million. Some would say it’s still a “Win-Win” outcome and I tend to agree. “Win-Win” is another cliché I’d like to banish to Siberia (yet another cliché).

If every situation in life were “must win” where did the term “acceptable losses” come from? That one probably didn’t come from a sports coach. To me “acceptable losses” is another that shouldn’t be applied to real-life situations. I certainly wouldn’t use them in the case of jobs, pay cuts or 401K losses. Maybe if it were used in talking about weight loss.

So to get it out of my system, tomorrow morning I’ll make sure I turn off my alarm clock on time. It’s a “must win situation.” Get to work on time. It’s a “must win situation.” Do a better job at work. It’s a “must win situation.” And have a nice day because it’s a “must win situation.” As for putting up with the over-used term, “It is what it is!”

No comments: