Friday, September 04, 2009

Coming Second or Losing

In a discussion with Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post and the chances of the Redskins, the question of how satisfied sports people are about coming runner up is debated:

One commentator makes this statement and tells a story:

“I promise you that to Nicklaus and Woods, finishing second IS losing.”

Or the classic quote attributed to a Royal Navy officer standing by Queen Victoria as they watched the first America's Cup race in 1851.

As the yacht America crossed the finish line to win the cup that would bear its name, the Queen supposedly asked who was second. “Your Majesty,” the officer is said to have replied, “There is no second.”

Thomas Boswell, Ask Boswell: Nats, Orioles, Redskins and More, Washington Post, 3 September 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: ‘America’ the winner of the first America’s Cup, 1851.