Friday, May 03, 2002

I am first (runner-up)

If there were a contest that awarded people based on their performance of the righteous and modest act of allowing others to barely outperform them on a consistent basis - in other words a prize for people who are no stranger to always being the runner-up in any contest they compete in - I would most definitely receive the prize for first runner-up.

I played in a marathon six and a half hour wiffleball tournament held yesterday at the old Bear Down Gym on campus. My team came in second place. We definitely had the most power, hitting homerun after homerun throughout the tournament, but we came up short against the powerful pitching of the championship team.

I am definitely no stranger to second place. I remember a long time ago I almost came in first place. My grade school had a chess tournament every trimester. I came in second place the previous two tournaments to the invincible Mendel. In casual play Mendel and I would be even, winning and losing the same amount, but in the tournament I would lose to him in the championship game. The last tournament I played in I faced Mendel in the semifinals and won. In the championship I played a rising prodigy named David and summarily defeated him very easily. So stunning was my showcase of tactics, David folded quickly and accepted forfeit. My on-looking teacher claimed my victory was too easy and that David can't possibly forfeit with so many pieces left on the board. She quickly called on Mendel who was lost in chess thought in a dark corner of the classroom ruminating on my victory over him and planning his revenge. He looked up from his chess board and was told by my teacher that he would play me for the championship. Of course I lost.

The closest I ever felt like being on top was the one little-league baseball game that my dad showed up to. My team was in second place and we were playing the first place team in the division. I had the best game ever, posting an at-bat record of 6 for 6. Every time I came up to bat the bases were loaded and I would quickly empty them attaining somewhere between 12-15 runs batted in. I was acclaimed a hero by my teamates and the vast crowd that had formed to watch the showdown between the two top teams. My team ended up second place to the same team by the end of the season.