I’m not a basketball fan by any stretch but when I was checking out the highlights of Illinos’ win over Louisville I saw something that is very rare in the sports world. I saw a someone look at the camera and say “The other team was just better.”
Rick Patino, the coach for Louisville was one of the only coaches ever to say “The other team beat us.”
“Being disappointed is when you get knocked out in the first round,” said Pitino, coaching in his fifth Final Four. “When you go to the Final Four, if there’s any disappointment, then you can’t appreciate the game as you should.”
Too often in sports, be it, college, amature, or pro level, noone on the losing side ever seems to take the wrap for what happened. The losing side did not get bettered by the other team, instead its always “I just wasn’t feeling right out there.” or “We couldn’t execute.” Now I understand that there are times when the “better team” does in fact seem to lose. There can be injuries, or bad coaching or just weird situations. Things happen, but they don’t happen as often as the losing teams would have you believe. Sure those losing teams could be just trying to save face to the media or coaches trying to make their dejected players feel better about their season, but why not respect the team that just played better than you tonight?
This time Rick Patino did just that. He stood up and said, we did all we could, but they were just better than us. He took the wrap. He said that his team shouldn’t feel bad, they did everything they could and they played their hearts out, but this time they just ran up against a better team…but not necessarily a better coach.