Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after defeating San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP
Why it isn't over 'til it is over
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - February 4, 2020 - 2:48pm

MANILA, Philippines – Sure, there was time on the clock for a Kansas City Chiefs comeback, bit hurt the San Francisco 49ers to lose that 10-point fourth quarter lead; and thus, the Super Bowl.

Their supposed elite defense crumbled late in the game against the short passes of Kansas quarterback Patrick Mahomes (who is only 24 years old). And in falling behind, their desperation made executing plays even more difficult.

That is why there is that saying, “It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.”

Slip ups. 

We saw the San Beda Red Lions sweep the elimination round of the recent NCAA men’s basketball tourney. Once in the finals, Letran ambushed them for the second time in four years. While the Knights were no pushover, San Beda should have won that title. Yes, they were that good. 

With the departure of point guard Evan Nelle and the graduation of several others not to mention foreign players disallowed for next season, one wonders how they will fare. But that won’t be until for several months.

San Beda isn’t the only side in the NCAA. The San Sebastian Lady Stags in women’s volleyball have swept or dominated the league. Come the finals, they have collapsed in their last three appearances. 

Over at the Premier Volleyball League, two finals ago, Creamline was upset by the Petro Gazz Angels. The Cool Smashers got back in the All-Filipino tourney. And now the Angels have rearmed. Is another finals confrontation at hand?

It has happened many times before and it will happen again. It is the nature of sports and life with these late rallies and collapses.

If you look at Liverpool Football Club, they have had their heart ripped out about four times in the last 20 years when they led the English Premier League but lost it late in the season. Prior to last weekend’s match results, Liverpool led defending champions Manchester City by 19 points after having each played 24 games. The former’s win over Southampton and the latter’s loss to Tottenham saw Liverpool take a 22-point lead. 

In recent weeks, we have heard pundits claim that the title race is over. Man City’s loss pretty much sealed it even if Liverpool needs 18 points or six wins in their final 13 matches to claim the title this early. Fortunately, for the Merseyside club, their inspirational German manager, Jurgen Klopp, has them fully focused on the task at hand. 

You constantly hear coaches say, “one game at a time.” And that is the truth. You get caught up in the early success and it is possible to lose it. No one wants to jinx anything.

I head people keep saying that championship experience helps. I agree up to some point. I do think that learning from defeats makes a team better equipped to win it all. 

If you look at the Ateneo Blue Eagles, four years ago, they made the UAAP men’s basketball finals against La Salle that was the defending champion. Yet, the Blue Eagles defeated the heavily favored DLSU in the championship series. It was the same in 2008 when they too faced the defending titlists Green Archers in the finals. 

I think it is learning from defeat. Liverpool under Klopp is learning (they came within two points of defeating Man City for last year’s Premier League crown. This year, they have not let up and have won all their matches. They only surrendered two points from the possible 75. 

Getting over the hump is also about mental fortitude. Mahomes coolly kept the Chiefs in the game. He called and ran plays despite getting sacked four times. And that kind of mental fortitude is special. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady exhibited that at a young age and that is why both are multiple Super Bowl winners.

Now, the onus is also on San Francisco. Can they learn from this?

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