Brandon Tierney and Tiki Barber had a friendly philosophical debate on Tuesday morning, discussing whether it’s better to lose in a blowout or to lose on a dagger – such as, say, Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating three-pointer in the national championship Monday.
Tierney would prefer to lose in a blowout, while Barber would opt for the dagger.
“Well, (the game) ends immediately and your expectation is still so high for the championship and then it crashes down,” Barber said. “But at the same time, your heart’s racing, you’re still expecting it, and it just makes you feel like this is our time still. I know what you’re saying: It’s easier to cope if you’re getting blown out, but you still got to want to be in the moment. If you lose the moment, then what’s the point of even being there? Hope is what life is about.”
“Well, yeah, there’s hope,” Tierney said. “But then there’s the torment of having hope dashed in such (a) theatrical, mind-numbing (manner). Let me ask you this: Do you think Brice Johnson is crying if they’re losing by 43 points and he’s slowly beginning to prepare himself for what is about to transpire when the horn goes (off)?”
“No,” Barber answered, “but with being down or being tied with 4.7 seconds to go, you’re still expecting euphoria. So the high is higher, the low is definitely lower. But it’s definitely better than being resigned. . . . That’s what it felt like for Oklahoma (in the Final Four). Forget the fans. I’m talking about the players. It was like, ‘All right, this is over.’ To me, that’s got to be the worst emotion to collectively share with a team in sport. ‘All right, we don’t have a chance. It’s over.’ That sucks. Trust me – because I’ve been on teams where we’ve been there. That sucks. I’d rather be there fighting to the end.”
But what about someone like, say, former Bills kicker Scott Norwood, who missed a potential game-winning field goal in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXV? Tierney believes Norwood would have rather lost that game by 30 than to have it come down to his blunder in the final seconds.
“Come on, it altered his life,” Tierney said. “He had to go and get psychiatric help.”
But he had an unbelievable journey, Barber countered.
“An unbelievable journey?” Tierney said in disbelief. “The guy was receiving death threats. That doesn’t come if you lose by 30.”
“But you also don’t have a chance to win it, either,” Barber countered. “What’s more important? The end result or the journey you’ve been on?”