The Esteem of Harmonyville Through Won-Loss Records

This high school’s esteem, and the local community’s esteem, were tied to the won-loss record of the high school’s signature sports team — the Harmony High Wingers in the nation’s favorite sport.

The first four years of the team were developmental, so no one expected anything spectacular, yet the team and coach did very well, posting respectable won-loss records:

19–11

18–12

17–13

22–8

76–44

This made for some local pride and self-esteem — “not to shabby,” outside observers from the neighboring communities would say.

The next four years saw a gradual improvement, and yes, Harmony High still had all winning seasons:

16–14

24–6

21–9

18–12

79–41

This earned Harmony High more local esteem, and more attention, where the outside gossip was generally positive. As you can see, Harmony had two stellar years (20+ wins) — not enough for wider attention, but enough for general respect among its closer neighbors.

The next four years were astounding — banner years — good enough to propel Harmony High, and the entire greater area, into the minor national spotlight — with the name ‘Harmony High’ ringing with something special, though it was still rather unknown, in the subconscious minds of the nation.

21–9

26–4

23–7

22–8

92–28

Several high-end records were made — keeping the losses in the single-digits for all four years, reaching the 20 win plateau every year, and reaching the 90+ wins plateau for the cumulative four years — plateaus that are reserved for elite teams and programs, and, for our focus, reserved for special local communities. The outlook was very bright in Harmonyville, and the adjacent communities looked on with pride — for they, being in close proximity, thought that they must have contributed something to the success just by some kind of rubbing off, though these things are always a mystery.

Unfortunately for Harmony High, and for those who drew self-esteem from Harmony’s success, darker times were just ahead…

You see, the coach knew that, after such a banner period, there was a good chance of a let-down owing to many factors, and the coach getting old and tired not being the least among them; and just such a four year stretch happened:

19–11

19–11

14–16

16–14

68–52

Harmony High suffered its first losing season — not a bad one, but they struggled the following season, too. They still had more overall wins, with 68, than losses, 52, over the four years, but it was a major step down for such a promising program.

Yet Harmony High was not about to let its celebrity coach go just yet — perhaps he could bring brighter days and broader attention back to Harmony High and the local communities…

But such was not to be. Harmony’s record only got worse — not catastrophically, but just gradually; a seemingly inevitable decline:

11–19

17–13

11–19

20–10

59–61

Searching for silver linings in the losing seasons, they could say that they avoided 20 loss seasons, and they did manage to have a 20 win season, but the overall tally was not good — Harmony suffered its first overall losing record over the four years, 59–61.

The coach was graying rapidly now, and all that he seemed to have left was his celebrity and his dignity, both of which he carried well. He did begin to keep and eye out for a successor — perhaps bringing on some bright talent to nurture for a few years before stepping aside, and then perhaps easing out in a supporting role, while easing his way into retirement…

The next four years for Harmony were dismal indeed — they broke all the losing statistical records:

15–15

11–19

12–18

14–16

52–68

These are the times that try a coach’s character. Harmony failed to have one winning season, although they did manage a.500 record for one season, and another season wasn’t too bad. People were beginning to gossip about whether Harmony had lost all of its good character, but the dignity and character of the old coach put those concerns to rest — he pointed out all the good things that Harmony achieved during this dismal stretch, like improving the percentage of college-bound students, and the Science Department was tearing things up — building a solid reputation of its own and garnering a bit of national attention and admiration… the cheer leading squad was stellar, as always; and the school orchestra was beginning to gain attention and recognition with a few star students, fed by a deep community grassroots program. The result was that, within Harmony High, there grew a healthy measure of internal competition as to who would bring the school and the community the most outside attention, esteem, and admiration.

The coach was gracious — heaping plaudits and attention on all of them, and on neighboring communities for anything he could find…

After such a negative record-breaking dismal stretch, you would think that Harmony would fight back and gradually improve its overall record, which is exactly what happened. During this time, the old coach gave his most promising assistant the full reigns for several of the games, and the community came to terms that their old coach was in his last four year stretch…

19–11

19–11

17–13

9–21

64–56

Things were looking good after the third year, then the ‘Year of the Big Confusion’ happened — just when it looked like Harmony was going to put together a respectable four year stretch, they bombed the last year. The coach knew what it was — experimentation. With the new assistant/future head coach, he wanted to explore more ways of winning. He did find a few, but the cost, as is the rule with such exploration, was a lot of failure. They did improve in a big way — going back over the.500 mark for the four year stretch, though they did suffer their first 20+ loss season.

Now Harmony was facing ‘A New Era’ — with a new young head coach, though the old coach still played minor supporting roles. The community had hoped for a bright new beginning from the last four years, but the improved competition made it otherwise — Harmony had just the average four year stretch, nothing attention-grabbing.

So now the new era was upon Harmony — a new four year stretch with the old coach completely retired, and the young coach fully taking the helm. What would be the fate of Harmony this year? It could go either way — dismally or spectacularly… or something humdrum in between, which was the most likely outcome…

20–10

16–14

18–12

18–12

72–48

Much to Harmony’s relief, and surprise, the new coach took Harmony back to the 70 win level over a four year stretch — something Harmony had not seen since the halcyon days of the Old Coach. Everyone was relieved that the future looked bright again, meaning the dark days of the community psyche were behind them, and they were especially relieved for the young new coach, for whom they all wished success. He earned his first independent 20 win season, and he avoided 20 loss seasons, and he had all winning seasons — all noted accomplishments. Things did indeed look bright for the young coach and the community, which made for some positive media…

Now we are at the present. This year. What will be the fate of Harmony High? I must now consider Harmony’s ‘collective state of being’ season by season, and even by stretches of games…

But first I will pay homage to the Old Coach, who just passed away. He set the benchmark for wins in a season and over a standard 4 year stretch, and he set the bar for gaining broader recognition and attention for Harmony and the surrounding communities. We can only see if the bars he set will ever be reached again, or surpassed…

Harmony’s season has begun… let’s see how their season progresses, adding commentary…

The got off the an 11–3 start. That is psyche boosting indeed, though in too small of an amount to have any real community impact…

Now they are at 16–7 — a very respectable record so far — they have joined the upper echelon of teams again…

They finished 19–11 — a slow finish, robbing them, by one win, of a stellar 20 game win season, but, considering that they could have gone 11–19, 19–11 was completely satisfactory, and it left room for a continual hunger to win…

Let’s follow the second season of this young coach’s second four year stretch… the pundits are predicting an average to bad season — they are always on the negative side of predictions for all but their favorite celebrity teams, which Harmony was currently not — though it was a sentimental ‘has-been’…

Ouch, Harmony starts out at 0–4…

Now the are 4–5 — nearly pulling even… but wait, one game was reversed during review, so they started out 1–3, and are now 5–4 — back on the winning side of.500…

Now they are at 10–9 — barely keeping their heads above water… this season is going to be a struggle, no walk-through this year…

14–12 with four tough games to go… will Harmony escape with a winning record?

YES! They went 2–2 for a 16–14 record. The new coach can wipe the sweat from his brow.

The third season of the coach’s second stretch is upon Harmony now…

They begin 5–2, but one small win streak does not a full season make…

They survive a road stretch, and are now 8–5, with a long cupcake span in their schedule which should make them look temporarily good afterwards… such limelights are fleeting, and when one is just an average team, one should enjoy such spotlights to the fullest while they last… and that is what the coach and team did afterward — engaging in community outreaches and generally spreading their winning name around.

Harmony is now 17–7 — a 9–2 run, making them look very good, as was predicted; but the critics in the know knew that they had a cupcake stretch. The last six games should be revealing…

20–10! Although Harmony only went 3–3 for the last six tough games, they did manage to reach the exalted 20 wins plateau — good enough for extended doting by the paper and some community spotlight, and some local celebrity. Why, the coach and a few players were even featured in a used car commercial, and they were welcomed by the Children’s Hospital to hand-out sentimental memorabilia…

Now the last season of the young coach’s second four year stretch is upon Harmony. Can they hang on to their winning ways? Will they do something spectacular, or will they collapse, or will it be just a humdrum average season…

The began at 5–1, mostly owing to a central star player, who, single handedly, won all of those games… the young coach can only hope that the rest of the team is resting, and will be able to step-up if the star slows down…

Now they are at 10–5 — after a stretch barely above.500… which may seem disappointing, but it isn’t, knowing that things could have gone much worse…

Now they are at 14–9, with seven games to go… still struggling along at around.500… the young coach knows that they could still lose the entire season with a catastrophic collapse, which is not out of the question…

20–10. They finished with a very strong 6–1 mark to reach the vaulted 20 game win plateau for two seasons in a row — nothing compared to the Old Coach’s run of six such seasons out of seven, all within a run of nine seasons with only one below 19 wins (the one with 18) — so that stellar benchmark is still very safe… but two 20 win seasons and a 19 win season, with an additional winning season of 16–14 — not too bad for the young coach for his second four season stretch… now the question is, will he rest on his laurels… or will he still be hungry for more… only the amount of luck he has will tell…

Second Four Year Stretch:

19–11

16–14

20–10

20–10

75–45

The young coach still has not earned a single-digit losing season, which is something to strive for, let alone and entire four year stretch with all season losses in the single digits — the Old Coach left a high bar indeed to reach, and surpass…

We will follow Harmony High for two more four year stretches, then we will move on in life, leaving it to wonder how things went for the young coach, the high school, and the communities afterward…

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the young coach has quietly not had a losing season yet — yes, that’s right — he is 8–0 in above.500 seasons, with three 20 win seasons… so far, he is the second best coach (out of two) that Harmony High has had… something he can wear with pride, considering that the Old Coach is becoming a legend…

Now the second from last four year stretch that we will cover is upon Harmony High and its young coach… everything is uncertain…

They went 11–6 for roughly the first half of the season… let’s see if things hold together…

Now they are at 11–10… is the ship sinking? The community news cartoonists depict it…

15–10. No — not sinking quite yet, but with five games to go, anything can happen…

18–12. The young coach extended his winning ways. Not in spectacular fashion, but respectable…

The second season starts out at 15–2. Very healthy. Let’s see if they can maintain that pace, or will they slow down…

20–10. Yes, they slowed considerably, going 5–8 over the last 13 games, but the young coach did manage to hang on to another 20 win season, which is 3 out of 4 seasons now — though it is still too early to set the sights on the Old Coach’s 6 for 7 stretch…

The third season begins…

1–4 Not enough to turn heads yet…

4–7 Things are not looking good… is a winning season in peril?

11–7 A great 7–0 run puts them solidly on top again…

16–8 Another good run, 5–1, and a winning season is secured. Six games left — games that will define the character of this season…

20–10 You might say, “Remarkable” or your might say “Lucky”, but reaching the 20 win plateau after a 4–7 start isn’t anything to sneeze at… it took a 16–3 run to achieve it.

Their four year stretch will be concluded after this season. So far, Harmony’s four year stretch looks like this:

18–12

20–10

20–10

and the 20 win season streak looks like this:

20–10

20–10

18–12

20–10

20–10

Frustratingly, the young coach has never had a season with only single-digit losses. Will it remain forever elusive?

The last season of the four year stretch begins… is last season’s late season momentum still alive?

Yes! They race to a 9–1 start… critics say that the wins occurred before the competition woke up… things should get tougher for Harmony…

14–6 now — yes, things became tougher, and Harmony only went 5–5 over the next 10 games… ten games remain, and only one win away from not having a losing season over the four year stretch (which would give them a 15–15 record); and two wins away from a winning season (16–14), six wins away from another 20 win season, and seven wins away (they must go 7–3) for the young coach to finally have a season with single-digit losses… let’s see how they do over the last 10 games…

1–2 Not a very promising start… the young coach must now finish 6–1 if he wants to reach that magical single-digit loss season… let’s see how he does…

A 2–0 run. Still keeping more losses at bay…

A 3–0 run. The young coach can smell a single-digit loss season… he’s gone 5–0 under the spotlight, and he only has to go 1–1 over the last two games to reach 21 wins and only 9 losses…

0–1 A loss… now it is down to one game… and with their arch-rival, and if you know anything about ‘arch’ it means that is the team you can never beat when it counts, a team that seems to ruin things when they count the most (as you return the ‘favor’ more often than not)…

1–0 Harmony defeats their Boogie Man! Headline community news. I suppose you can stand up and cheer now, and the young coach is doing just that — mostly on the inside, to maintain some dignity… it is just one feather in his cap, but a fine feather it is…

Final season record:

21–9 with a season-ending win over their arch-rival.

A near-stellar four-year stretch by any standards:

18–12

20–10

20–10

21–9

79–41

You can see that the young coach still has several plateaus to reach — an 80 win four year stretch (missed it by one) not to mention 90 and 100 win plateaus, more single-digit loss seasons (always missing them by one game) and more 20 win seasons… and… biggest of all — avoiding a letdown and a return to dark days for Harmony High and Harmonyville…

But now the buzz is on the string of 20 win seasons — the young coach is now at 5 out of 6, which looks like this (just to savor it):

20–10

21–9

18–12

20–10

20–10

21–9

just one 20 win season away from equaling the Old Coach’s string of 6 out of 7…

Now it is the last four years for the young coach, and the last four that we will follow with Harmony High. Let the four year stretch begin…

11–1 — What a breathless start…

16–6 A tough stretch, going only 5–5… 8 games remaining…

22–8 What a finish with a 6–2 run, which propels the season into the ‘Best Ever’ for the young coach. “-Best Ever-”. The young coach will savor that for a while… and the best ever out of some very good seasons… as for the 20 win season stretch, the young coach is 6 out of 7… one more and he will have surpassed the Old Coach’s 6 out of 7… will he do it, or will the Old Coach’s benchmark remain unsurpassed?

The second season begins…

10–3 Things are looking very good for the young coach’s prospects…

13–8 A dismal 3–5 stretch… can the young coach revitalize his team for the last 9 games?

19–11 So close — finishing with a 6–3 stretch, which was good, but one win short of surpassing the Old Coach’s string of 20 win seasons… let’s give the young coach some plaudits — he is nearly achieving legendary status, right behind Pops… but he has one demon — always coming up one win short of something…

Two more seasons to go. What is there to play for now? Motivation is the question… I suppose that winning wildly will create all sorts of good statistics, perhaps in several categories… humdrum seasons will return Harmonyville to its humdrum days, and two catastrophic seasons will bring back The Terrible Darkness again… the fate of the community hangs in the balance… though they are now accustomed to the yo-yo nature of fate, and they no longer tie their emotions and esteem too closely to winning seasons and legendary coaches…

The third season begins:

A 1–3 start. Let’s see which gets to 10 first, wins or losses… wins are a good bet with this young coach… though he is getting up there in years — yet it seems that, in image, he is fated to remain forever ‘young’ in the eyes of the community, being compared to Pops…

10–8. Wins reach 10 first, but it is a close race… how about 15…

15–9. A nice 5–1 stretch. Six games remaining… can the young coach keep the losses at a single digit? That would require finishing 6–0…

20–10. The young coach was denied a single-digit season, coming up one win short once again, which continues to plague the young coach… yet he has another 20 win feather in his cap… 6 out of 8 seasons — not too shabby, and the best part is, no one knows how the young coach did it — which casts a certain mysterious aura around the him, as if he possessed some kind of hidden talent, which is a nice card to play out in the community…

Now comes the last of Harmony High’s seasons that we will follow… will the young coach earn a spot on the community water tower?

A 1–2 start. This will be no guaranteed winning season. The best the young coach can do, if he has a losing season, is to come away showing good character…

10–3 This 9–1 stretch was due to Harmony’s sudden blossoming of its second ‘superstar’…

16–5 now. The whole team contributed more in this 6–2 stretch. Nine games to go…

20–6 with four games to go. Wow…

21–9. A bit of a letdown, going 1–3 to finish the season, but another single digit loss season, and another 20 win season, which puts the young coach at 7 out of 9 and 8 out of 10, which looks like this:

20–10

20–10

18–12

20–10

20–10

21–9 (79–41 — one win short of an 80 win stretch)

22–8

19–11

20–10

21–9

Very, very respectable and consistent. With all of the excitement over all of the 20 win seasons, people have overlooked one thing — that the young coach never had a losing or tied season — all of the seasons were winning seasons, which, over his entire career, looks like this:

20–10

16–14

18–12

18–12

72–48

19–11

16–14

20–10

20–10

75–45

18–12

20–10

20–10

21–9

79–41

22–8

19–11

20–10

21–9

82–38

The young coach reached the 80 win plateau over a four-year stretch, which no one seemed to notice. Analyzing further (which we love to do with sports statistics), the young coach had nine 20-win seasons out of 16 seasons, so that was 9 out of 16 — very stellar, and 16 winning seasons out of 16 seasons. Very nice.

There is one more comparison to analyze, and this is the young coach’s career won-loss record as compared with Pops. Remember that Pops went through some dark times, something that the young coach has avoided so far, though the fate of Pops seems to have swung more wildly that that of the young coach, from über-stellar to downright terrible…

We already know that the young coach finished with a better record for winning seasons compared to losing seasons — going 16–0 as compared with 20–7–1 for Pops.

You can see that Pops had nearly twice as many seasons, 28, to the Young Coach’s 16. So perhaps the young coach will also tire and slow down over his next 16 seasons.

Now for the other test — total career wins and losses, and tallies for each of their four season stretches:

For Pops:

Four-Season Stretches:

76–44

79–41

92–28

68–52

59–61

52–68

64–56

62–58

TOTAL 552–408

for a.575 career winning percentage, with the super stellar 92 wins in a four year stretch, which may account for the longevity of Pops — trying to regain that stellar form, and finally giving up.

His total won-loss record for his eight four-year stretches was 6–2, with his third four year stretch being the the best, and still the high school’s benchmark. none of the young coach’s four-year stretches stack up to this benchmark…

For the Young Coach:

Four-Year Stretches:

70–48

75–45

79–41

82–38

TOTAL 303–175

This for a. 634 career winning percentage. Better than Pops overall, but probably not better than Pop’s benchmark for his first 4 four-year stretch:

Pops First Four Four-Year Stretches:

76–44

79–41

92–28

68–52

TOTAL 315–165

Which is a.656 winning percentage, better than the young coach’s percentage of .634. The young coach came up 12 wins short of Pops out of 480 games — pretty close, 12 out of 480 — that is only a 2.5% difference in wins over sixteen seasons.

The young coach never fell below a 70 win four year stretch, which will become a benchmark in itself. Pops could not do it.

I will sneak a peek at Harmony’s next four four-year stretches with the young coach, just to see how his 32 season career stacks up against Pop’s 28…

21–9

21–9

17–13

19–11

78–42

18–12

22–8

17–13

16–14

73–47

11–19

20–10

19–11

14–16

64–56

20–10

18–12

19–11

17–13

74–46

So the ‘young’ coach began to sputter, falling below .500 twice in one rollercoaster four-year stretch, but he finished respectably strong in his last four-year stretch, and respectability was all that Harmonyville needed. It was time to hang up his cleats.

What did the career of the young coach do for the community? Not much — the less-than-super-stellar seasons of the young coach, which did not attract much attention beyond the local confines of Harmonyville, became a sideshow rather than the central focus of the community. The local paper did keep up with the entertaining statistics, doing the running comparison against Pops. and showing the merits of each coach. The young coach, however, did not take the community to the stars on the national stage like Pops did when he brought the community national starlight, if only for that one stellar four year stretch, a season that rendered the young coach’s entire career ‘boring’ in the eyes of the community, perhaps unfairly, considering the depths that the teams could have fallen to, but that is what happens when you coach in a community that has had a taste of national starlight. They will constantly ask, after every stellar run, ‘Will this get us more national attention?’ and the answer was always ‘no’ with the young coach, who was good, but fell short of ‘legend’. So Pops won on the Legend scale in the hearts of the community, and in the local lore, if but for that one glorious season and their moment among the stars, which Harmonyville still reflects on fondly, if but with a sigh…

They did have further fun comparing Pops to the Young coach…

CAREER WIN-LOSSES:

Pops: TOTAL 552–408

Young Coach: TOTAL: 597–363

The young coach actually did better than Pops by around 40 wins and 40 less losses…

Wins vs. Losses during Young Coach’s Last Four Four-Season Stretches vs. Pop’s First Four-Season Stretches:

Pops First Four Seasons: TOTAL 303–175

Young Coach’s Last Four Seasons: TOTAL 289–191

So no, the Young Coach still did not best Pops over four four-season stretches.

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty, to see how the two coaches compare in wins per season:

POP vs.YOUNG COACH

WINNING SEASONS

20+ wins: 8–14

19 wins: 5–4

18 wins: 2–5

17 wins: 1–3

16 wins: 2–3

18–29

.500 SEASONS:

15 wins: 1–0

1–0

LOSING SEASONS

14 wins: 2–1

13 wins: 0–0

12 wins: 1–0

11 wins: 3–1

10 wins: 0–0

09 wins: 1–0

7–2

STINKER SEASONS

5–1

TOP WINNING SEASONS

Pops: 26 1–0

Pops: 24 1–0

Pops: 23 1–0

Pops/Young Coach: 22 2–1

Pops/Young Coach: 21 2–4

Pops/Young Coach: 20 1–8

Pops/Young Coach: 19 5–5

Pops/Young Coach: 18 2–5

LOWEST LOSING SEASONS:

Pops: 4 1–0

Pops: 6 1–0

Pops: 7 1–0

Pops/Young Coach: 8 2–1

And finally, a Wins per Season chart…

As you can see, Pops, in blue, swung far more wildly than Young Coach did, soaring higher and plummeting lower, but pretty much averaging out where the young coach did over his career. It’s like Pops burned extremely bright and then burned out half way through his career, while the young coach did a steady, semi-bright burn. The flashes are remembered most fondly, however, even though they are followed by the darkest of days, which, mercifully, become buried in time and forgotten.

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Mr. Numi Who~

Mr. Numi Who~

Electronics technician. Writing Style: Unschooled. Philosophy: Humanity has a serious problem. Read the Philosophy of Broader Survival, which addresses it.