Since Trump’s “locker room talk” leaked last week, he hasn’t been faring too well in the same polls he likes to think he’s winning “by a landslide.” And the fact of the matter is: He may very well lose this election to his well-equipped opponent, Hillary Clinton, in a few weeks.
The Republican has said that it’d be a shame if he lost the election over his 2005 remarks about grabbing women by their pussies and doing whatever he wanted to them. During an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Trump had a few choice words about the prospects of losing. “I’ve had a lot of women come up to me and say, ‘Boy, I’ve heard that, and I’ve heard a lot worse than that over my life,’” he says, “If that’s what’s going to take to lose an election, that would be pretty sad. Then I have to go back to my other life.” (The one where he intrudes on women in changing rooms, perhaps?) “If I don’t win,” he adds, “it will be the single greatest waste of time, energy and money.”
Losing sucks; that’s unanimous. But sometimes, your opponent is just better than you, and you’ve got to accept it. How? Here are some dos and don’ts, culled from the sports world, on how to lose like a winner.
“Novak played not only good today, but the whole two weeks, the whole year, last year and the year before that. He was better on the bigger points. He was rock solid. I didn’t play badly myself. That’s how it goes.” —Roger Federer
DO: Acknowledge your opponent’s success.
Last year at Wimbledon, Roger Federer was on his way to becoming the oldest grand slam tennis champion ever—until he was beaten by world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. What’d he have to say? “Novak played not only good today, but the whole two weeks, the whole year, last year and the year before that,” he observed. “He was better on the bigger points. He was rock solid. I didn’t play badly myself. That’s how it goes.”
DON’T: Give everyone the cold shoulder and refuse to speak.
When Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos in the 2015 Super Bowl, Newton ignored a number of questions from the press and, for the most part, offered mere one-word responses before getting up and walking out. Not a great look.
DO: Respect your opponent’s hard work.
Oleg Verniaiev bumped Danell Leyva out of the running for a gold medal at the Rio Olympics when he landed his final somersault off the parallel bars. Leyva’s comment? “He didn’t take anything away from me—he deserved that medal more than anything.”
DON’T: Throw a fit and give up.
At Wimbledon in 1995, American Jeff Tarango started arguing with chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh over whether or not he’d hit an ace. When fans starting yelling, he told them to “shut up,” then confronted the umpire, slammed some balls on the ground and stormed off the court. Oh and his wife slapped Rebeuh in the face—twice. Now, maybe Rebeuh really was corrupt, but Tarango was out of the tournament—and later banned from the following year’s tournament. Not ideal.
DO: Accept bad breaks and offer your support.
Abbey D’Agostino helped Nikki Hamblin when they tripped over each other during the women’s 5,000m race in Rio this year and fell hard on the tracks. She put her hand on Hamblin’s shoulder and said, “Get up, get up, we have to finish this.” Neither won any hardware—they just produced one of the most heartwarming moments in Olympics history.
DON’T: Blame everyone around you and question your opponent’s capability.
When Russian gymnast Svetlana Khokina lost to American Carly Patterson in the 2004 women’s all-around competition, she blamed Patterson, the judges and her nationality for “fleecing” her of the gold. “I think it’s because I’m from Russia, not from America,” she said in an interview. “I’ve seen much tougher competition than her.” What’s Russian for “sour grapes”?