Today’s society is more and more focused on the positive things. Progress, profit, and winning are seen as important, while all other negative things are ignored and, questionably, considered embarrassing.
Especially in sports, the practice of lambasting losers and viewing them as laughable has become more and more prevalent. This seems quite ridiculous as every competition can, by nature, only have one winner, or maximum three if you count all three spots on the winner’s podium. Since a competition is about winning and being a winner in this case means being the best, why do we consider losing- a position gained by the best competitors, embarrassing? One might not have been the ~ best ~ but their performance was still impressive as it was enough to be in the fight for the top. The senselessness of this is probed by Netflix’s new series Losers, which does not only reflect and comment on the nature of losing but also depicts an entirely different, and refreshingly positive, point of view on the topic of being a loser.
Released 1st March 2019, Losers collects in its first season eight different stories of athletes facing defeat. From solo athletes as Michael Bentt (boxing), Surya Bonaly (figure-skating), or Pat Ryan (curling) to the English soccer team Torquay United, from discrimination to (un)fortunate accidents, the series illustrates a variety of individual tales. But no matter how distinct the stories are, they all have one characteristic in common – namely highlighting the positive side of alleged failure and the good in the bad.
One of the best examples is Michael Bentt’s story. Bentt was forced into the career by his father and, as he stresses several times, did not want to become a professional boxer. This makes the aftermath of his first loss as a professional even more tragic. He was knocked out in the very first round and was publicly laughed at. It took him twenty-two months to find a new fight competitor. He won, as well as the ten following fights. In 1993 he got the chance to fight WBO world champion Tommy Morrison, a fight which he again surprisingly won. During his title defence, he was knocked out again, suffered from cerebral bleeding and fell into a coma for four days. Since even the slightest accident in daily life, let alone boxing, could end his life, he officially retired as a boxer, only to be mocked by the public again. What sounds like a tragic end to a sad career turned out to be serendipity for Bentt, as he could finally focus on what he was passionate about. He studies journalism and acting, started writing and has participated in several film productions. His failure eventually turned out to be his luck.
The perspectives shown in Losers can and should also be transferred into our everyday life. Failing and losing are inevitable parts of our journey. However, they do not make us, nor our plans less valuable. These incidents are the most worthwhile lessons, leading us to the destination designed for us.
As Surya Bonaly well said: ’Whether I win or not, I’ll still be the same person’.
This also applies to our everyday lives. No matter what we try and no matter whether we win or lose, we will still be the same person, its the attempt that counts. Besides, maybe this will be our chance to make it into Losers’ season two: so do not be afraid of losing!