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The Ecstasy of Defeat
Steve Rushin
September 16, 2002
I saw the mystified American basketball team lose last week to teams from troubled Argentina (whose peso is equal in value to those gold-foiled novelty chocolate doubloons) and Yugoslavia (which has roughly the same land mass, and command of English, as Kentucky). And when the games ended I felt not anger nor disgust nor embarrassment, but delight. As the U.S. squad—12 guys in 12 Bentleys—Hindenburged, I was overcome by a shameful joy, a malicious satisfaction in the Dream Team's demise. The Germans have a word for this emotion, as well they should, having inflicted on the world Milli Vanilli and Siegfried & Roy. They call it Schadenfreude: pleasure in another's misfortune.
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September 16, 2002

The Ecstasy Of Defeat

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Imagine. Every time Bonds stepped to the plate, the principals would see the linked S and F on his helmet and think not of San Francisco but of Schaden and Freude, damage and joy. Farfetched, perhaps, but a guy can dream, can't he?

It isn't much, as dreams go. But then dreams aren't what they used to be. Ask the Dream Team, from the U.S., the world's sixth-ranked basketball power—two spots behind New Zealand.

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