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Losing is hard to watch

By Jeffery Armstrong

After watching the NFL's Washington Redskins lose to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, I was pretty bummed. Not just because I don't like the Cowboys at all, but because Washington has lost 13 of the last 14 meetings with Dallas.

That has to be a really bad feeling to lose to a team like that. A few years ago, Dallas was terrible n they had three consecutive 5-11 seasons. But at least two of their five wins every year were against Washington and that's a shame.

That losing streak to Dallas got me thinking about how many losing streaks I've witnessed since I've been around sports. When I was a Sports Information Director at my alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, it seemed like I was in graduate school taking classes in "Losing 101." And yes, I take losing personally. I really upsets me to see teams, from these high schools athletes I cover on a regular basis to my favorite professionals I watch on TV, lose on a consistent basis.

We didn't have a football team during my first year as SID (it's a LONG story n don't ask), so everybody rallied around the women's volleyball team. In fact, the school athletics director gave extra credit to her P.E. students who showed up to support the volleyball team. Needless to say, v-ball matches were packed. (Which was a sight to see n when I was a PV student, you could hear crickets chirp at a volleyball game).

Anyway, the v-ball team, a talented group, proceeded to lose so many games in a row that I lost count. It was so frustrating to keep the stats of good players who lost to teams they should've crushed.

The team went through a decent-sized losing streak in the regular season, but during the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) volleyball tournament, they finally started playing great v-ball. They went on a winning streak that was unreal. In one match against Alabama State, they were down two-games-to none and rallied to win three straight games to advance to the SWAC finals. I was the ball-retriever and when we beat ?Bama State, I was jumping up and down, hi-fiving the team like I had something to do with the win. For a moment, I forgot I was actually a faculty member and not a student. It was fun, even though PV lost in the SWAC championship match.

That same season, the men's basketball team went on an 18-game losing streak. We played some of the toughest teams in the country like Louisville, Murray State, Missouri, Washington State and others. But the loss that hurt the most during that streak was a road setback to Grambling State, who was the only team worse than PV was that season.

PV rallied from a 25-point halftime deficit to nearly tie the game, but they ended up losing to Grambling by three points. I was crushed. So much so that one of the ball players had to come over and let me know that the loss wasn't that big a deal and they would beat Grambling at our place. I was glad he said that to me but I was drained from taking stats and rooting for my team at the same time. I guess you could say I was a bit emotional about my people.

I'm the same way now, but not to that extent. This high school football season, all the area football teams have won a game except for Forest Park. Hopefully, they'll get it together soon because it's painful to deal with a losing streak. Trust me, I know the feeling all too well.

Jeffery Armstrong is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at jarmstrong@news-daily.com .