While recently pondering the precise definition of the word “deadpan,” I felt compelled to look up a quote that stuck with me as a kid. It comes from Boris Loginov, the coach of the Soviet Union’s motoball team, on the eve of the 1986 Goodwill Games. He was evidently asked to defend his sport, which can seem a bit risky to the uninitiated:
It is one of the least dangerous of motorcycle sports. The most terrible injury is legs being broken. Or sometimes broken collarbones. And the goalkeeper sometimes breaks his hands because the ball is heavy and moves quickly. But we finish the season with the same number of players.
There are benefits to defining success downward.