It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. When your sports team fails in the playoffs it's a lonely empty feeling. When your team fails when you know they are very good, it's pretty much death.
There is nothing worse than watching a good team play horribly in the playoffs and lose. When a team gets beat by a better team, you feel bad, but not crushed. When your team is better and gets beat by the underdog, you are shocked. When your team is clearly better and they lose to a lesser team, you want to slit your wrists and bash your brains in.
In essence there are different types of losses. While losing is never acceptable, I believe the reasons and the excuses are losing can be acceptable. The bottom line naturally is winning is everything. There's also the feeling that it doesn't matter how you lose if you lose; it just matters that you lost. Well since winning is everything, that is mostly true. However how your team loses can effect your mood. It can effect your anger, your outlook, your hope.
So how you lose matters. Did you lose because the officials sucked? Did you lose because your best player was hurt? Did you lose because the commissioner of your sport is a Sesame Street character? Did you lose because your team didn't show up? Did you lose because your team is really all smoke and mirrors and full of a bunch of prima donnas who refuse to work hard [insert Italian Soccer Team here]?.
There is losing, and there is Losing. How you lose, matters. That losing determines your potential to win.