[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. VI-15] We’ll all stick together in all kinds of weather

The line given here is one of the lines in the University of Nebraska school song “Dear Old Nebraska U.” It was quite applicable about more than just Nebraska yesterday, and points out my loyalty to individuals and entities that are salient to me.

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[388/441] Twelve

This is a modified Freewrite, as it also is going to be transcribed vocally, as part of the motivation for this post was something that happened today.

On the video, you will be able to see me clad in a certain way that will make it obvious what is going on… hopefully.  (Obviously, I know this sounds weird when I say it because this is one of the difficulties of essentially crashing through the fourth wall in a video!)

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[M.M.X.I.V. 66] Thursday thrashings

It has not been good for me to be a sports fan on Thursday this year, at least considering what I have seen out of Northwestern.  Here are my Thursday games that I have seen:

THURS, January 2: #18 Nebraska 66, Northwestern 65 (women’s basketball)  (At least this was exciting the whole way!)

THURS, January 9: Northwestern 71, #20 Boilermakers 68 (women’s basketball) Oh, wait.  A win?!

THURS, January 23: Shots with Gordon Bombay 2, Rampage 0 (intramural floor hockey).  The apex of the hockey season came when I netted the insurance goal with less than a minute to play.

THURS, January 30: THUNDA 8, Shots With Gordon Bombay 0 (intramural floor hockey).  Here comes the series of debacles.

THURS, February 6: Geri-Hat-Tricks 12, Sh_ts With G_r-_n B_mbay 0 (intramural floor hockey–notice how we had no O or D that game).

THURS, February 6: Michigan 70, Northwestern 68 (women’s basketball)

THURS, February 13: A welcome respite after the last two weeks of debacles.

THURS, February 20: Delt 4, Shots With Gordon Bombay 0.  Not only did we lose, but we also lost one of our players for the season for a major penalty.

THURS, February 27: Psi Phi 7, Shots With Gordon Bombay 1.  One-and-done in the playoffs.

THURS, February 27: Michigan State 75, Northwestern 44 (women’s basketball).  A blowout loss on the last home game of the season.

THURS, March 6: Ohio State 86, Northwestern 77 (women’s basketball).  A close game unravels near the end, as the ‘Cats go one-and-done in the Big Ten tournament.

THURS, March 6: Penn State 59, N-rthwestern 32 (men’s basketball).  The lowest point output by a Big Ten team this season, and a rotten way to send out the seniors.

Yeah, so an 8-game Thursday losing streak for my Northwestern teams combined, and a combined Thursday record of 2-8 since the calendar turned.  At least Northwestern lacrosse has no Thursday games scheduled :p


Today is the sixty-sixth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes nine weeks and three days.

“We lost” vs. “They won”

It is interesting where you can find ideas for blog posts.  This one came from a session of journal transcription.

On November 26, 2012, I had gone to Board Game Club at Northwestern, and had played “Spy Alley,” a game where the goal is to collect all of the items for your hidden identity and get to the embassy space corresponding to that identity without being accused.  I wrote these two lines in my journal:

  • [German] identity… but didn’t win (no loss either)
  • [Draws] an interesting question: connotation of “I lost” versus “He/she won”

There are several aspects to this, with both “loss” and “win,” both when there are two parties vying versus when there are more than two.  I’ll talk about both.

Many sporting events, like basketball games, football games, soccer matches, etc. are contested between two units (whether those units be teams or individuals).  Whichever unit does better as per the rules and scoring system of the competition is declared the winner, and the other unit is often called the loser.

However, sometimes the way I see it, the use of “the other side won” versus “our side lost” has different connotations.  Clearly, each team is more likely to, in their reports of the game, give the view from their own perspective.  So, “we lost” is probably a lot more likely to be say than “they won”, and vice-versa, “we won” is more likely than “they lost.”

When the less likely version comes out, it indicates some sort of singular behavior.  For example, “they won” might attest to the strength of the opposing side without necessarily putting your own side down.  In particular, in a blowout, I think it sounds better to say “they dominated us” instead of “we got crushed.”  It is an idea of “respect all, fear none.”

On the flip side of the coin, I would say that “they lost” is the rarest form of the four phrases mentioned.  It could either be extreme respect or extreme putdown.  For example, let’s take the Nebraska/Northwestern football game of 2012.  Northwestern had a 28-16 lead in the fourth quarter, and eventually the game ended 29-28 in favor of Nebraska.  Although none of the Nebraska papers said “Northwestern lost this game,” it could be construed two ways if it were used:

1) It shows a lot of respect for Northwestern, realizing that they are a good team but just slipped up

2) It could be a jab, saying that Northwestern was a team that can’t find a way to win.

The whole thing about winning and losing gets trickier when there are more than two parties competing.  In most of these, there is a clear winner, but the sides that are NOT clear winners: are the “losers?”  The way I interpret it, losing is not the opposite of winning, but rather is when either the side suffers elimination or comes in last place, for example, in a race.

Just cracking the surface here, it can be deduced that the use of words, even when the DENOTATION is the same, has a large effect on the CONNOTATION, which is much more important for people trying to find extra meaning or hidden meaning.

Unfortunately, the post was somewhat aptly timed. The Runge Kutters had a lot of dropped passes in the Ultimate finals as the top seed Phat Bats rolled to a 8-3 win, dropping me to 0-3 lifetime in intramural championship contests.