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Through those doors lies our destiny. One game. One last chance to shed our reputation once and for all. Tonight is the championship, and we are one win away from the most miraculous thing in sports… a complete transformation, from worst to first.

It was only a few months ago I took over coaching this ragtag bunch of lovable losers.

Of course I didn’t love you guys back then, as you know. I probably wouldn’t have even taken this job if it weren’t for the community service that I apparently, “owed the community and society.” But just like I taught you how to play the game, you taught me how to play the game of life. And now look at us, ready to show the world what we are.

Remember when they called you all losers?

Hell, remember when I called you all losers? To be fair, all you were doing was losing at the time. But I didn’t see this. I saw asthma. I saw diabetes. I saw two lazy eyes on the same face. I saw kids who never played ball with their dads.

And now I know a few of you never met your dads, and that’s my bad for asking, “What kind of sissy household raised you?” And while we’re all apologizing to each other, I am also sorry for the cigarette breaks on the bench, for the cursing, for that time the guy in the leather jacket showed up to practice instead of me, and for never taking you out to ice cream for every game we won, like I promised.

I promise we’ll actually get some if we win today. I’m sure you’re sorry for things too, but I’m really on a roll right now so feel free to apologize to me later.

That team on the other side is very different from us.

I know they are richer and more popular than you guys. I know they’ve been playing for longer together, and that they’ve won the last six titles in a row. They are juggernauts. But they don’t have the heart that we do, nor the coach. They wouldn’t do anything to win like you guys would, and they don’t have a coach who would do anything to win like I would. That fat idiot isn’t willing to exploit your excessive and unsafe oversharing on Facebook and hunt around for vulnerabilities. Who wants to play for a guy like that?!?!

The point is, the lesson we’ve all learned this season is that winning takes work.

It’s easy to sit in last place, ignorant and blissful. It’s much harder to create a fake Facebook profile… okay, well, it’s actually very easy to create a fake Facebook profile. But it takes dedication and discipline and precision—the core values this team has embraced!— to create a fake Facebook profile for a new girl in town and to then have her catfish the other teams’ starters, messaging with all of them and destroying their emotional states.

I won’t go too much further into the details because I want to protect you, but I would expect some communication breakdowns on their behalf.

So in a minute when we leave this room I want you to get out there and rip your lives back.

Put yourself on the winning track. We used to be in last place! Today we become winners and winning begets winning begets winning. You want hot girlfriends and money and nice cars? Then win. You want me to be proud of you? Then win. You want ice cream? Then win.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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