This past Saturday night the Denver Broncos played the Baltimore Ravens for a chance to go to the Conference Finals. The Broncos were up by 7 points, had picked up a first down, and had about two minutes and change left on the clock. The Broncos ran two run plays and had a third and seven coming up. Instead of putting the game away by trying to pick up the first down, the Broncos ran another run play and kicked the ball away. Needless to say, the Ravens went the entire field and tied the game with 30 seconds left. The Broncos got the ball back and instead of trying to get into field goal position and win it in regulation, they opted for not losing and taking the ballgame into overtime. Well, the Ravens intercepted the ball in overtime and ended up winning it on a field goal.
I was watching the end of this game and thinking to myself that this is a perfect example of the difference between wanting to win a game and not wanting to lose. Manning and the Broncos seemed like they wanted not to lose more than they wanted to win. I understand this is the playoff and every little play matters. But by playing it “safe” the Broncos season is over and they can only think “what if” at this point.
All and all, there is a startup and life lesson here: you need to want to win. Whether it is every day or every play. Not wanting to lose just won’t cut it. You need to want it so bad that you will identify and capitalize on every inch a competitor gives you. There is a big difference between wanting to win and not wanting to lose, and that is that the people that don’t want to lose end up going home and watching the other team fight on.