Goatriders of the Apocalypse

99% of all teams finish the season with a loss

I've been to two CBA finals, I've been to a European Cup Final, and I've been to an NBA final and I've lost every game. You know, a long time ago I wrote kind of a paper for a leadership program on what the difference between a winner and a champion is. It's in me. I do want to some day end my season with a win. There is no question that would be probably the greatest thing in the world to end a season with a win, because 99% of all teams end the season with a loss. - George Karl, newly hired coach of the Denver Nuggets, to ESPN.

We'll ignore for the mean time that most major league sports have about 30 teams, so each championship team is itself about 3%. Then, you have to add in those teams who don't make the playoffs but still win their last game (i.e. the 2004 Cubs). I'll dispute the 99% figure, but the rest of the quote is interesting.

What I would have liked to hear is Karl explain what he believes is the difference between a champion and a winner, and why he is a winner. I also want to know, is Dusty Baker a champion or just a winner? For that matter, is Bobby Cox just a winner? Thirteen straight trips to the playoffs... one ring?

I don't necessarily agree that winning the final game of a season makes one a champion rather than a winner... although I guess it does technically... so I am going to try something here.


Winner - - - - - - - Champion


Karl Malone - - - - Michael Jordan

Bill Kelly - - - - - Joe Montana

Bobby Cox - - - - - Phil Jackson

Barry Bonds - - - - Derek Jeter

????????? - - - - - Wayne Gretzky

Peyton Manning? - - - 'The Fridge'

Comments are open.

Cubdom Byron

Red Sox ..... Yankees

George Davidson

2003 Cubs....2005 Cubs (ever the optimist)

Scott G. F.

Great question. No right answer for it.
Bobby Cox....Phil Jackson = unfair comparison
Bobby cox won. He is a champion even with one ring.

The difference between winner and champion is timing. You can win all you want during the regular season (Cards), but winning come playoff time when it really counts makes a champion.

George Davidson

I would agree that being a champion is about timing, but you have to be a winner first. Over the course of a 6 month, 162 game season, you have win consistently to have an opportunity to be a champion. The Braves have done that 13 years in a row now. Once you're a winner, it comes down not to just getting "hot" for a couple of weeks (which I think the 2003 Cubs were) but also not having an opponent that is "hotter" (which the 2003 Marlins certainly were).

I hope and believe that the Cubs are moving in the direction of being Braves-like; that is, to have an organization that is cultivating young talent from within and acquiring other key pieces to have a franchise that is consistently a "winner". If you're in the playoffs every year, it's just a matter of time before you break loose and become a "champion".

Some organizations have been able to buy or piece together one-shot champions that are quickly dismantled and are no longer even winners. I want a Cubs championship more than anything, but I also desperately want to believe that we can have an annually successful organization of winning teams that is always one late-season hot streak away from being champions.

In other words, it's not enough for me to get the pretty girl. The fairy tale is to also live happily ever after. Am I destined for heartbreak? Probably. But as a Cubs fan, I'm well conditioned for it.

Miss Fantastick

The only thing that the Cubs have that the Braves don't right now is Greg Maddux.

While I hope that the Cubs do turn into the Braves(i.e. WINNING), I just hope they win more World Series than Atlanta.

Isn't specualtion so much fun?

Cubdom Byron

Scott, You are right on Bobby Cox. He does have the ring, so he is a champion. Maybe it would have been better to do something like this.

Mike Hargrove ... Phil Jackson.

Jackson though is a TRUE champion.

Miss Fantastick... I don't want to get too greedy. I'll take a championship now, and we can argue how many of them we want after we get one. 1908. 1908. 1908.

Well, at least we didn't throw a World Series.

Scott G.F.

Sosa is a bird in Baltimore. OMG shit Bannanas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Miss Fantastick

Yeah. 1908. I have that year tattooed on my forehead!

Jeez. These things take time.

I swear, the Diamondbacks could win it this year.

Oh well, at least you remembered the "k."

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