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rebbel's avatar

Compassion and Competition: Would you let your rival win?

Asked by rebbel (31353points) March 22nd, 2012

Since I have never been in the situation to even think about it myself, I ask you this question.
Say, you are a star in a certain sport, and you have won dozens of national and international trophies/cups (plus a very nice amount of prize money).
Another player has been in the top 20 for years too, but has never won a tournament (therefore he/she earns just enough money to get on) the furthest he/she has come was some semi-finals and one final, which he/she lost.
Now you are both in the final.
Would you as always go for the trophy?
Or would you feel for the guy/girl and let him/her in a non-obvious manner win it this one time?

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17 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would most likely go for the trophy. The outcome could very well have an effect on my career and I’d rather continue to do my best. If my career took a downward turn after purposely loosing and cause my family hard times, I’d never forgive myself.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes. So he lets his guard down. Then I break his neck.

marinelife's avatar

I would know that I would not want someone else to “let” me win so I would extend my opponent the same courtesy.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @marinelife but, I am a very uncompetitive type, I just want to have fun, I don’t care about “winning”, and especially not at the expense of others.

This is one issue I take with hardcore “competition”, one persons winning is contingent on anothers losing. Just not my thing at all, short of mock, playful “competition” playing any game. ;-)

Sunny2's avatar

If he/she was a particularly good friend and I had as much money as I would ever need, I might throw the contest. Once.

YARNLADY's avatar

That would be cheating, and I don’t believe in cheating.

ucme's avatar

Given the premise of the question is that a professional athlete who earns their living from the theatre of blood sweat & tears, should then consider, even for one moment, throwing in the towel.
Never going to happen, sports folk are justifiable greedy bastards, in terms of competition & long may that continue.

stardust's avatar

I would always go for the trophy. I’m quite competitive and always bring my fighting spirit. I would feel wretched if someone let me win something and so would never put someone in that situation.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would go for the trophy. If you look at sports people at the top of their game like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – neither always wins. One might be in top form for a long time but eventually, that person will have a bad day or not be as focused and the other is on a high and gets the win. I imagine to try and train so hard to achieve something, to get there and then to find out they ‘let you win’ would be truly deflating. I think (never been in this position) what keeps them striving to win is the self belief that one day they will get that prize. They will beat that person and get to the top of the tree.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Go for the trophy. A true competitive athlete would know if someone “let” them win, and I would imagine it would piss ‘em off!

ucme's avatar

Further on the tennis example made by @Bellatrix
Whenever Rafa Nadal beats Andy Murray (which is almost all the time) he feels genuine sorrow for the scotsman, partly because they’re good friends, but also because he knows how much Murray wants/needs/deserves that first elusive major win.
He wouldn’t dream of allowing him easy passage to achieve that goal, as with all pros, titles have got to be earned, which of course, is how it should be.

rooeytoo's avatar

I never threw a game in any real competition. But I have often allowed others to beat me in fun games, usually males with condescending attitudes towards a little squirt of a female. But only in a game here and there, never the set. I love to win and teach chauvinists a lesson!

vitro's avatar

It’s not about the trophy. It’s about the competition with others to get the trophy, that matters most. Acquiring all the trophies and keeping them forever leads to extreme boredom. Similarly one would be extremely bored if he/she attained everything they ever wanted, hence why people continue seeking for new challenges to fight and win.

There are some people who have this misconception on rich people too (calling them greedy and selfish), not realizing the main motivation I wrote above.

sinscriven's avatar

I would aim to kick their ass and be genuinely happy for them if they won.

Pity is not compassion.

Judi's avatar

I think people who are driven enough to make it to the top wouldn’t even think of letting someone else win out of kindness. It’s war out there.

cockswain's avatar

A great warrior wants his opponent at his best. If my rival deserves to win, he will want me at my best. I will give it to him, even though I may secretly hope he wins.

Only138's avatar

I would crush my enemy.,,,,,then drink their blood….then pee on their lifeless body.

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