Doing the post-game interview can be tough, especially after a loss. But, being the professional that I like to think I am, of course I was ready for one … even if the walk upstairs was a long one, made even heavier by the weight of the loss on my shoulders.
The winner was already sitting in the booth when I got there. I saw the door with the sign, “Announcer / head referee”, at the end of the room. When I opened it, I saw her sitting in a special chair, smiling, and chatting with the said announcer, a legend in his field, mind you.
Now, she had beat me fair and square, even if I did have one goal disqualified because the head referee had missed it. He had hopped down from his chair (high on the balcony), and was writing the score down on a piece of paper when I beat her with a nice shot from up close.
But, what’s there left for me to say after a 5-1 loss in a soccer World Cup final? Not much.
The game had already been postponed twice, due to rain, and I had used the delay to talk myself up, and in the process, I had probably set myself up for a fall. So, even if the loss had been bad, I had been dreading the post-game interview even more, if possible. I was sure the announcer / head referee / post-game interviewer would make me eat my words.
To my surprise, he didn’t pay much attention to me. And he didn’t let the winner off easy.
He started the interview with me, probably trying to get rid of the loser as fast as possible.
“What did it feel like to lose?” he asked.
I wanted to tell him that it really sucked. That losing to a three-year-old made me feel as small as a bug and that I had just wanted to run to my bedroom and hide under the covers, and not be reminded of the own goal I scored when the game was still 2-1.
“Losing is never fun, but .. Somebody has to lose so that others can win,” I said instead.
“Thank you. And you, miss Hilda, what did it feel like to win?”
“Of course. Just one more thing. You should really wipe your nose.”
And he was right. That’s why he’s a legend.