Winning Isn’t Everything, Anymore

Posted on March 18, 2011


America is obsessed with winning.  It is entrenched in our DNA.  We just have a need to be number one, to be on top, the A-list.  We constantly spew out clichés to back up and justify this assertion.  We use them as rationale on our never-ending quenching thirst for the pinnacle.  “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” and “Win at all costs” are routinely referenced.  Hollywood has helped shape this fixation as well.  Ricky Bobby continuously reiterated in his twang, “If you’re not first, you’re last.”  The district five pee wee hockey club Mighty Ducks main rival, the Hawks, would chant, “it’s not worth winning, if you can’t win big” before games.  John Kreese went as far as to teach his Cobra Kai dojo that it is all that matters.  The obsession with the word has now transcended any one single aspect of our society.  It has been popping up mercilessly everywhere.  Stoked by the numerous, now notorious, Charlie Sheen tirades, “winning” has morphed into a cheap catch phrase used by any and all.

What comically began with ridiculous sound bites from one Carlos Erwin Estevez is now intertwined in politics, pop culture and even food.  Donald Trump recently stated that he was, “well acquainted with winning and that is what this country needs now, (pause) winning,” during a CPAC speech in which some believe to be a pre cursor to a presidential run.  The Donald is all to familiar with anecdotes, as he has trademarked a few himself.  He knew what he was referencing even more so than President Obama did back when he made a comment regarding a tan tax and Snookie.  Speaking of the president, has anyone caught the new phrase the White House has been peddling?  It was noticeably shown behind the podium as Mr. Obama and former Governor Jeb Bush spoke on education in Miami last week.  It read: Winning the Future.  Of course this is merely a coincidence since the vetting process on the phrase had begun prior to the State of the Union and current hoopla, but its timing is funny still.  Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) has also jumped on this bandwaggon and recently decided to criticize General David Petraeus.  She signaled agreement with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone, when he quiped: “General Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counter-insurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network, and to keep saying ‘we’re winning’ and hope the public actually agrees with you.”  Additionally, Tee shirts exclaiming winning sentiments and sandwiches named after the creator of this self-induced drama have not so subtly run ramped in everyday life.  The likes of Target and just about anyone with an internet site have produced such items.  MacDonald’s went as far as to have a release that said they are working on a new menu item called McWinning.  No joke.  And it’s not just that, as the word has often been coupled with tigerblood.  It seems to have gained equally as much steam.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of promotional or limited edition container labeled Mountain Dew code rojo, tigre blood.  Gotta corner that Latino market too.  You know PETA is up in arms and none to thrilled about poaching and draining tigers.  I also am surprised that the tiger was chosen to represent invincibility and sticktoitiveness over maybe the more appropriate “alligator blood” made famous by Teddy KGB.  Then again why use something practical when you can copyright something comparably as ridiculous and cash in.

Understandably it makes sense for all of the commotion surrounding this epic bender, and possible demise, of Sheen to spur the ruthlessness of capitalism.  After all, part of the American dream is making a buck in the “next big thing.”  Ambition is great and if these quirky upstarts, in addition to larger conglomerates and corporations, are able to spawn any sort of economic growth, then I’m content with that.  In today’s world you have to strike while the iron is hot.  However I just am not always in agreement with the Machiavellian approach some have taken.  The iron may be hot, but on occasion you need not to be Bailian, Baron of Ibelin, and just revert back to being the blacksmith.  All of these competitive urges to win have run amuck.  The pendulum swung way too far, way too fast.  Overuse is a giant killer.  Fads come and go.  Usually they are shown the door as abruptly as Pauly D and Sitch’s trifflin’ ass ho’s from Seaside they “smush.”  As of now there are countless “that guy” candidates who are ruining the statement by flooding the marketplace and it has gotten to be just plain annoying.  Like a new hit song on an endless radio loop, overexposure sinks things faster then quicksand (which “is a scary mother”).  When was the last time you heard someone yell out “west side” and throw up a one handed W?  Or the last time a cab driver asked you, “So you guys have Myspace?”  You just don’t play with your google-box searching for an account.  Best example of stupid fads I heard was, “The Wildcat is the MySpace of NFL offenses – not only does it not work anymore, but you can’t believe it ever did.”  That is exactly what is taking hold now.  This fancination has become played out.  When the national media (Foxnews, CNN and the semi-respectable flaming libs of MSNBC) get involved in these winning antics, it has absolutely gone overboard.

It is fitting that Unstoppable was released on dvd during this gathering storm.  The train wreck that was the movie now is prophetic in it’s atempt to mirror the real life disaster that is currently seeming unstoppable itself.  So when the former Charlie Harper previously tweetel deeted a bit ago, “face it folks, you just feel better when you say it  WINNING,” I would doubt that anyone in Japan now concurs.  I hope that this “winning” phenomina loses and in doing so catches a mean L.  It’s possible that coach Wright wasn’t wrong in class when it was losers ball out.  We can’t all be pulling a Scott Howard basketball montage to the classic Mark Safan ballad or spit lyrics like DJ Khaled have it be all we do no matter what.  Lets not allow the supposed Unstoppable oracle dictate our values and instead get back to things that actually do matter like: Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn striking out Haywood and setting up the Cleveland Indians 1 game playoff win.  The “Wolverins” repelling Soviet forces by winning the initial skirmishes of WWIII.  Bud Fox topping the untouchable Grodan Gecko.  Plus, Lt. (j.g.) Dale Hawkins’ successful raid to reclaim Navy SEALs dominance and demolish stinger missiseles in Lebanon.  This is what “winning” is really all about, Duh!