YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

PREP VOICES : Ya Gotta Have Heart, but Bottom Line Is Winning

March 23, 1994

Marv Levy, Buffalo Bills coach, was asked if the 1994 Super Bowl was a must-win situation.

No, said Levy, World War II was a must-win situation.

Then Levy's Bills lost their fourth consecutive Super Bowl, to the delight of comics everywhere.

Losers make the monologue; winners make the headlines. Everybody loves a winner. They get the respect and the accolades. Let's face it, there are no awards for those who tried really hard.

Judging a high school athlete on the size of his or her heart would be nice, but the bottom line remains: Do well and you'll be treated well.

Many argue this lesson can't be learned too soon. Winning is the key to success, now and in the future, in sports and in business.

Who are the big men and women on campus? The top athletes. It's a school's athletic success that is often the public's only measuring stick for the entire school.

However, victory can come at a cost--burnout, injury, probation.

At what point will players, coaches or administrators cross the line of fair play in order to win?

High school football and basketball championship games are on television. Newspapers are naming national champions. It's natural to grab the brass ring.

But valuable life lessons can be learned in defeat as well as victory, and many argue that learning the fundamentals and having fun are the most important parts of sports.

Are they?

Los Angeles Times Articles