Losers Say They’ll Do Their Best. Winners Go Home and…

At Monday evening’s 24 gathering, as the ping-pong smack talk between local angel investor David Cohen and me began, Brad Feld took me aside, looked me firm in the eye and said, "I want you to beat him, you understand?"

"I’ll do my best, sir," I said to The Man.

"Losers say they’ll do their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen," Brad could have responded (he didn’t), the immortal words from Nicholas Cage in The Rock.

Tuesday morning David showed up at my condo with a water bottle, sports pants, and a tennis tournament t-shirt. I was dressed in baggy shorts and a tight-fitting t-shirt (all my t-shirts seem too tight — guess I’m wearing hand-me-downs from my brothers). We both went into the bathroom and produced urine samples, the standard practice in competitive table tennis. Overdramatization aside, we played five very competitive matches, sweat streaming down my face by the fourth game.

I would have rather not shared who won 3 out of the 5 games, but I guess it’s common knowledge: When I showed up to a Mobius VC company board meeting today, Brad noted, "I hear you lost in ping-pong." I mumbled something incoherent, the guilt like toothpaste out of a tube — once it’s out, it’s out — and Brad repeated, "I hear you lost in ping-pong." I could muster only the most embarrassing of smiles, and pulled out my BlackBerry and typed a quick note: "Kick David Cohen’s ass."

As if an exhausting but nonetheless exhilarating morning of ping-pong wasn’t enough, at noontime Dave Jilk and I hiked Mt. Sanitas in Boulder. It was a beautiful day and intense hike. Dave doesn’t screw around — we charged right up, braving steep inclines and rocks and ice. We reached the summit in about 30 minutes which I’m told is an impressive feat. Thanks Dave for leading me on a fun climb!

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10 Responses to Losers Say They’ll Do Their Best. Winners Go Home and…

  1. Actually it was Sean Connery who had the quote about losers & prom queens.

  2. Jonah Spear says:

    I think I have some memory of playing ping pong with you Ben. It might have been a dream about a picnic in the park, or a walk on the beach, or maybe it was a dream about shooting fish in a barrel or taking candy from a baby… I can’t really recall. All I remember is wiping the blood from my paddle and some delightfully pungent smell- what was that smell? Ah- Victory.

  3. Jonah says:

    Just kidding- we had a good solid match.

    But I still won.

  4. Jonah says:

    And Nicholas Cage responds, “Carla was the prom queen.”

  5. David Cohen says:

    Ben, of course Brad knew when you got in. He texted me like 4 times during our match wanting to know the score. The man is obsessed.

    Oh, and when you added “kick David Cohen’s ass” to your to-do list, I’m assuming you implicitly meant “in ping-pong” right? If not, the please remember two things. 1) I am your edler. 2) I wear glasses.

  6. Theodore says:

    Happy Birthday.

  7. ER Wolf says:

    Ben,
    Great story… Plus great hike. Mt. Sanitas has got to be one of the better trails in boulder it you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up. Glad to hear you took the rocky path, most people just take the trail in the center, but you can’t beat the view at the top. A well deserved reward.

    Well just wanted to wish you a happy B-Day and better luck at your next ping-pong matchup. I hear that David Cohen is quite the ringer, even been acused of ping-pong doping, so watch out (J/K). You going to the boulder live pitch tomorrow? Hope to see you there.
    Cheers,
    ER

  8. maria says:

    ベン君、お誕生日おめでとうございます!(Ben-kun, otanjyoubi ome de tou gozaimasu!) Happy Birthday, Ben! May you keep on taking the rocky path and one day rise to global ping-pong domination.

  9. Matt Maupin says:

    Ben, it is posts like this one that remind me how brilliant you will be ten years from now.

  10. John Mason: Are you sure you’re ready for this?
    Stanley Goodspeed: I’ll do my best.
    (Sean Connery ) John Mason: Your “best”! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.
    (Nicholas Cage ) Stanley Goodspeed: Carla was the prom queen.
    John Mason: Really?
    Stanley Goodspeed: [cocks his gun] Yeah.

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