How to Lose with Grace

Hemingway lacing on the gloves Woody Hayes on the OSU sideline

It is said Ernest Hemingway wasn’t a good boxer, that he was a poseur in the ring and accordingly he got his head handed to him on many occasions. And although he once said that “courage is grace under pressure” Hemingway was evidently a sore loser. 

As Woody Hayes once said: “There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.”

Of course Woody Hayes could generally console himself with the thought that after receiving a good ass whipping, his Ohio State Buckeyes had probably “given it their all” as they say in the vernacular. This is called getting beaten fair and square.

Hemingway was a pugnacious drunk and invariably, after downing way too many, he would insist on fighting men who were better boxers than he was. In turn, upon waking the next day, his lip split, his teeth loosened, and with welts on his shoulders, Hemingway couldn’t say that his soul had been cleansed.

Hemingway wouldn’t have been a better boxer if he’d been sober. But he’d have given it his all.

Speaking of Woody Hayes, as they note over at Wikipedia: “After losses or ties, Hayes would conduct locker room interviews in the nude. A journalist from his tenure noted, “He was an ugly guy so it would clear the locker room out pretty fast.”




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