one game at a time

In sports, anytime a team falls behind in a best of seven series, a player from the losing team would give the “we’re going to take it one game at a time” speech.

It’s a sports cliche, that’s for damn sure, but cliches become cliches because there’s truth to it. By saying one game a time, they mean that even though they’re down, say 0-3, they can only focus on winning the next game, which cuts the opponent’s lead from 3 games to 2 games. They can’t possibly catch up 3 games at once, so there’s no point aiming at winning the series as a goal…yet. When you’re down 3-0, the goal is to win game 4 and be in a situation where you’re down 3-1. Then you look forward to winning game 5 and be down 3-2. One game a time.

Of course, this applies to life also. We’re told by (Chinese) parents to plan ahead, to think of the future, but at the same time, those who are always saving every penny or making long plans far ahead tend to be boring squares. It’s like what Julian Casablancas once said: You only live once.

So you gotta find that middle ground, and that middle ground should lean towards the “one game at a time” mentality than the “plan way ahead and stick according to plan” category. At least I think that’s the way to do it.

So yes, NBA players who are always trailing playoff series (*cough* Utah Jazz *cough*), you are right. Let’s just take it one game at a time.


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