Skip to content

Winning at all costs

Some people will do anything to win. Lying, cheating and stealing are as much a part of their everyday lives as air, food and shelter. These people lack a conscience.
opinion editorial stock

Some people will do anything to win. Lying, cheating and stealing are as much a part of their everyday lives as air, food and shelter.

These people lack a conscience. They are generally narcissists who only care about the final result, and not the journey of getting there. If it means tripping their own mother to cross the finish line before her, so be it.

Such people are found in all walks of life, whether it be politics, religion, business, entertainment or sports. You might be thinking of Donald Trump, or Lance Armstrong, or the late Bernie Madoff. The end justified the means.

Winning is a human desire, a drug like no other. It brings to mind one of my favourite films — Bull Durham — when minor league baseball pitcher Nuke Laloosh tells Crash Davis on the team bus after a win, “I love winning. I f***ing love winning! You know what I’m saying? It’s like, better than losing!”

Did you see the sixth game of the World Series? The Houston Astros were rapturous. The Philadelphia Phillies were miserable. The players on one team will have the best offseason of their lives. Players on the other will awake in the dead of night, in a cold sweat, thinking about that one play, or that one at-bat, that could have made a difference if they had just executed.

The world is a competitive place. Competition, by definition, means there are winners and losers. There isn’t a sane person out there who doesn’t want to be on the winning side of the ledger, but thankfully, most of these people also have a conscience. Winning at all costs is not acceptable to them. The ability to sleep at night with a clean conscience supersedes the desire to win, if winning means doing so by breaking society’s laws and mores.

Still, the allure of winning makes people take ridiculous chances. The brain trust of the Boston Bruins are the epitome of the win-at-all-cost mentality. They decided to sign a 20-year-old free agent defenceman named Mitchell Miller, who last year was named the USHL Player of the year and Defenceman of the Year. The tantalizing opportunity of signing a kid with big potential on the cheap was just too juicy for the Bruins to pass up. They pulled the trigger. The smoke has yet to clear.

Miller’s past is widely known, as it was prior to the Bruins’ signing. Just six years ago, when Miller was 14, he and another classmate bullied a developmentally-challenged Black classmate, Isaiah Meyer Crothers. Not only did they use racist language against Meyer-Crothers for two years, they also tricked him into eating a piece of candy after they dragged it through a urinal. They were also caught on the school’s surveillance video punching and kicking their classmate repeatedly.

The Bruins certainly had to know of this history because the Arizona Coyotes drafted Miller in 2020. The Coyotes knew Miller’s background, but figured he deserved a second chance. Miller had not apologized to Isaiah’s mother. Weeks later, the Coyotes renounced the draft pick and appropriately apologized to the Meyer-Crothers family.

Only years later, and coinciding with Miller’s NHL signing, did Miller apologize to Isaiah via Instagram, saying he was “sorry,” and that the apology “had nothing to do with hockey.” This mere coincidence was not lost on the hockey world. Only after eating a considerable amount of crow did the Bruins recant.

Mistakes are one thing, but knowingly violating ethics and decency to enhance the chances of winning is the domain of derelicts. They really are society’s losers.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks