The Green Bay Packers lost a heartbreaking game on Sunday. With thirty-one seconds left on the clock, the Atlanta Falcons marched down field and scored just enough points to win. The Packers lost by one, 33-32.
Despite being banged up, The Packers went into the Georgia Dome fully expecting to win. It was a close contest that could’ve went either way. Green Bay had the lead for most of the game.
In the press conference after the loss, Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy did not hide his disappointment. Yet he was gracious in defeat.
Coach Mike McCarthy gives a good concession speech. It had all the main ingredients:
First, Coach McCarthy congratulated the victors, aka the Atlanta Falcons, coached by Dan Quinn.
Second, Coach McCarthy complimented the good playing of BOTH teams. He didn’t simply dish out the blame.
Last, he took responsibility for the loss.
That mix of humility and determination defines a powerful concession speech.
More importantly, Coach McCarthy set the tone for the rest of his team. In the locker room, player after player took responsibility for the loss. Sure there were several key players out due to injuries but ultimately you play the team you have.
From McCarthy on down, the Packers were gracious in defeat. This doesn’t mean that they like losing; they hate it.
We will have several opportunities for hearing concession speeches over the coming weeks. Who will make excuses? Who will own their disappointment? Will anyone blame a goat?
Not everyone concedes gracefully. It’s so much easier to blame everyone else.
When in doubt, always blame the media, and if at all possible, some silly curse.