The Good Guys Don’t Always Win


Sometimes the best intentions have unintended consequences. As I’ve mentioned, the youngest has had a hard time in her transition to “big girl soccer”, learning the different positions and their responsibilities. Master strategist that I am, I used a checkerboard and checkers to demonstrate where each player was supposed to be positioned. I explained that each goal was a castle, that some knight’s jobs were to guard the castle, others were to attack the bad guy’s castle. It seemed brilliant.

It seemed brilliant, but I had forgotten one of the best things about being six years old. The reasons she never gets upset at the cliffhanger endings to Supergirl, doesn’t get scared watching Star Wars or the new Thor movie ( very good by the way ).

She still believes that the good guys always win in the end.

It led to a bit of backtracking, that dance all parents are familiar with when we forget how literally a young child can take our words. I explained that the other team weren’t really “bad guys”, just girls from another town that were a bit older than her, a bit bigger and faster, had a bit more practice. The only time she was really angry during her win less season was actually after a scrimmage, a joint practice with the boys team that led to a temporary reevaluation of who ruled and who drooled.


big girl soccer
headed the right way


I’m often jealous of that perspective, that view of the world where the good and bad guys are so clearly delineated.

The real world is so much different, so much more complicated. It’s a bleak landscape of grey, subtle differences in shade open to the interpretation of the viewer. It’s been a full year since the election and we remain a country that is still trying to ignore this reality. Two sides each convinced that they are the good guys, politicians trying to appease fringe bases while those in the ideological middle, those that just want everybody to get along and be nice to each other, are ignored.


the good guys dont always win
sign of the times


She enjoyed this soccer season. She played hard, had fun. She learned sportsmanship and dignity in defeat, all the things that make youth sports great. We would have liked to have won a game, but I guess there is a lesson there as well.

Sometimes the best intentions have unintended consequences. Sometimes hard work and effort aren’t going to be enough. The good guys don’t always win.


Thor: Ragnarok is full of conflicted characters. Other than the titular hero and Hela, the Goddess of Death, (spoiler alert: she’s the bad guy) everyone else is flawed but ultimately make the right choices.

Maybe that’s what I should be teaching her. That in the end the most important thing is trying her best, trying to do the right thing as she determines it. To recognize the grey but to remain optimistic that in the end there is enough good in people that things are going to be OK. That there are many more Lokis out there than Thors but the good guys still win enough that we can never stop fighting.

It works in the movies.




36 thoughts on “The Good Guys Don’t Always Win”

  1. It made me think of “nice guys finish last” I think in the long game the good guys do win but with any luck, we all have a balance of good and bad or the world would be a boring place. (welcome to the mass random confusion called heidi)

  2. Oh I loved the movie and your interpretation of it is so beautiful too. My 11-year-old daughter enjoyed it too and she is finally at the age when she can sense the nuanced levels of grey although she still sees largely black and white. A part of me doesn’t want that to change. Sigh.

    She’ll be okay, your kid. She will, don’t worry.

  3. The connection with the latest Marvel movie and a soccer match in this case was great. Your daughter may have lost the game, but sounds like she’s winning the larger “war.”

  4. I love your analogy! Here’s to hoping the next generation produces more good guys and a few less bad ones.

    I actually felt really bad for Hela. Her dad used her skills when he needed them and cultivated her love of destruction – then he destroyed her for it. So very sad. I don’t blame her for coming back with a vengeance. #AnythingGoes

  5. It’s hard for kids when they realise that the world isn’t black and white any more. It’s all part of growing up though. Sounds like she’s got her head screwed on though.

  6. That is a very good way to put it in terms of soccer but also for real life. I haven’t seen the new Thor movie (though I really want to – love Loki) but I get what you’re saying. Most of us are just out here trying to live our lives the best way we can and do the right thing. Sometimes we mess up and make mistakes but we are supposed to. Otherwise we’d never learn and evolve as individuals. #anythinggoes

  7. Yep. A whole world full of lots and lots of gray.

    When my kids were babies I thought “This is the hard part. When they are bigger it will be so easy.” Ha! Changing diapers and midnight feedings are nothing compared to explaining the world to your very kind and trusting 5th grader.

  8. Brilliant read. That last paragraph of yours sums it up perfectly. We’ve got to keep believing that, as hard as it is, the good guys will ultimately prevail! #TriumphantTales

  9. It’s definitely all about the effort and not the end result but sometimes the end result is flawed and the best man doesn’t win – so many life lessons to be learnt. I love that soccer is so big for girls in the States – my god-daughter in New Orleans is mad about it! #TriumphantTales

  10. I think trying your best is the best lesson here… as long as she can say she couldnt have given anymore – I think thats all that matters! Especially when it comes to little ones who take everything so literally, bless them!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  11. Looks like your collective wisdom led you to the right path of knowledge for her. Bravo. I wish it was as simple as all that, but we live messy and loud. And, sometimes, good guys win. I need to remember that after/during/somehow with this administration. Great post, Jeremy. #kcacols xo

  12. I think sometimes when it comes to life, there are no bad guys, even if the good guys don’t win. And visa versa. It’s hard to explain to a kid but you’re doing great. #kcacols

  13. Brilliant read. That last paragraph sums it up perfectly, I guess we all have to think that the good guy will get there in the end. Thank you for linking up with #KCACOLS and we hope to see you next tone.

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