Thank ABC’s Wide World of Sports and broadcaster Jim McKay for one of sports television’s greatest spoken phrases – that basically ended with “… the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” It is always at this time of year during state championship playoffs when you visualize how this part of sports phraseology becomes so real.
The money shot for sports photographers are the smiling faces of the victors, the pile at midfield, the game winning home run, the buzzer beater shot to win a championship. Having covered many championship runs by local high school teams I have my fair share of victory and defeat images, from smiles to tears. To me it’s always the sullen looks or contemplative poses upon those who have lost that grab you and hold you most in the moment.
For the competitors at the end it’s all on the field. You and they can sense it in the screams of joy for the winners and the sobbing consolation of the defeated. It’s all there within earshot and camera view.
It is a defining moment in a young persons lifetime – for some the great feelings should never end, for others it becomes a moment they do not want to relive, and then for some it becomes a challenge to try even harder not to feel that agony again.
The feelings are momentary and maybe they last only a week until the next challenge comes along. But it is a part of life in competitive sports, someone has to win and someone has to lose. Lucky are those who learn to balance both emotional swings of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Here are some of those final moment images of a well-fought MD 4a West Regional Championship football game from last Friday Night in Gaithersburg, MD in which Northwest was the victor and Quince Orchard the vanquished.