In the words of the very loud Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game." The former New York Jets coach-turned-ESPN talking head isn't known for his eloquence as a speaker.
Let's just say he wouldn't be the first choice to recite a Shakespearean soliloquy, unless sudden movements and a complete lack of an inside voice appeal to your sensibilities.
Yet for all his faults and terrible coaching, Edwards got it right just once. You do play to win the game—why else would you be playing?
Even the most mild-mannered professional athlete off the field usually flips a switch once competition begins. As unrealistic as it may be, athletes want to win every single game, even in the regular season—multiply that by 10 in the postseason and by 100 in the championship game.
As fans, many of us know the pain of watching our favorite athletes lose in the big game. That is, assuming we're lucky enough to see them make it there to begin with. And we're just watching…and usually drunk. Which can dull the pain...or amplify the rage.
Either way, most of us have never played in a big game and never will.
That may be a bummer for anyone out there who dreamed of being a professional ball player, but the silver lining is that we'll never have to feel the pain of these 25 athletes who just lost a championship.