STILLWATER — Back in the day, losing seemed to hurt more. The more a loss stings, the more you learn, the more you grow. Today seems different.
Coaches will tell you today’s players recover from losses much more quickly than do their coaches and fans. Why is that? Does that represent maturity from today’s players, or is it indifference? Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy said today’s kids are resilient, no doubt a commendable quality. Gundy shared an example of his 4-year-old son, Gage, who last Sunday night was sent to the emergency room with a cut on his foot that required several stitches. The next morning, Gage was walking around as if nothing happened. "He doesn’t know the difference,” Gundy said. Gundy said he expects that same type of resiliency from his team today when it faces Rice at 6 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium, which one week earlier was where the then-No. 5-ranked Cowboys were shoved off their high horse in a 45-35 loss to Houston. "That loss stings,” Gundy said. "And it hurts coaches, don’t kid yourselves, but we’re going to refuse to let it hold us down. We can’t react the same way an Oklahoma State fan does out there who’s upset we lost the game. We can’t stay upset for three days then try to get ready on Thursday. We have to get back to work and it’s painful to watch tape when you don’t play as well as you want to.” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young played and coached for the Cowboys before Attention Deficit Disorder was running rampant and video games controlled the universe. "That was 100 years ago,” said the 63-year-old Young (Class of ’68). "We were a lot more serious about things back then. Losing has always eaten me up. I wake up to it every morning, every game, every snap. I do it as a coach and I did it as a player. I don’t know why. I guess that’s just the way it was.” Young isn’t convinced the sting of losing helps you learn more. "Gosh, I hope not,” Young said, forcing a smile.