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It’s been a few weeks since that one football game. You know. The game. The one in which the team with a storybook season, on the brink of making Super Bowl history while overpowering the juggernaut who’d done the same a few years ago, got to within an arm’s reach of their goal in the last few seconds. As a 12th man, those last few seconds hurt. Badly. However, I truly believe the loss is a blessing wrapped in an old newspaper, and that the Seahawks will use what they’ve learned to become even more dominant in the years to come.

Many of us played sports as kids. Back then, the coaches understood one thing very well: When given the opportunity, risking it all is the only option. Not because they enjoy cliches. Those are the only moments when you can truly learn about who you are, what you’re willing to wager and, most important,, how to deal with loss. For someone growing up, there are few lessons that are more valuable.

“But shouldn’t we always want to win?” you ask. I suppose it depends on the amount of time we are talking about. Momentarily, our brains are accustomed to instant gratification, and thus, every series, half and game should result in victory, regardless of whether it’s mathematically possible.

When I think about the Seahawks’ current renaissance, I’m filled with nothing but hope. Honestly, I love that the Seahawks didn’t score in those final seconds. Not because they aren’t my favorite team. They certainly are. Not because how they play together — lights-out, injured or not — isn’t inspiring. It absolutely is. No. I love it, because when it mattered the most, they didn’t make a decision out of fear. They treated a situation with virtually infinite gravity, exactly how they trained and played every day before that moment. What’s more honest than that?

In those few seconds, they set an example for all of us about what it truly means to practice how you play. Even better, because of that loss, they’re in the process of learning infinitely more than they would have if they had they won. Growing smarter, stronger and meaner; not in spite of it, but because of it.

Was it a painful lesson? I have little doubt. But what meaningful accomplishments aren’t? For those of us on this side of the TV, we feel hurt or depressed because we have to wait until next season. It’s all “over” until then. Thankfully, I believe the opposite is true. Their season, analogous to our lives, never really ends. I propose that instead of Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson learning how to win when it counts from all of us, we should be brave enough in our own lives to risk it all exactly like they did.

Christopher Rosa grew up in Western Washington and currently ships art from the state of Nevada. 

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