The Losing Edge
|"The Losing Edge"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Featured music||"You're the Best"
by Joe Esposito
|Original air date||April 6, 2005|
The South Park Cows are South Park's Little League baseball team, although nobody on the team enjoys the sport at all. They find baseball repetitive and boring, playing only because of their parents' enthusiasm for the sport. When they win their final game, they are at first overjoyed that now they can finally enjoy their summer vacation while it lasts, until they discover that since placed first in their division, they will have to continue playing in the post-season playoffs, much to their horror. During a 'celebration' meal Butters despondently reminds them that their parents won't mind too much if they lose, but they do have to fool everybody into believing that they tried, or they'll get trouble if they don't try to play baseball ("My dad always said, 'It's okay to lose. But if you don't try, well then, you're grounded, mister.'"). Stan encourages everybody, telling them that they can lose if they try.
They decide to try losing their next game on purpose, and thereby get out of the running for the state championship, but the teams they oppose all have exactly the same idea - they hate baseball as much as the South Park kids do, and while trying desperately to lose, the South Park Cows manage again and again to beat their opponents, whose efforts at throwing games are more successful. A parody of a sports montage set to the song "You're the Best" shows the Cows playing Little League teams from other locations (Fort Collins, Greeley and Pueblo), cheering on their players to throw balls and strike out and being disappointed and annoyed when they make hits, and the pitching team arguing with the umpire against strikes. Eventually, they get to the state championship game, which is held at Coors Field in Denver. To their horror, they realise that if they win that game, their season will start over on the national circuit, meaning they will have to play baseball all summer, traveling the country to such places as Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming.
Stan's father Randy has long taken up the hobby of being a "trash-talking dad", being generally obnoxious at every game so as to get into fights with other, equally obnoxious fathers - and ultimately embarrassing his wife, Sharon, and Stan, since (after most fights) he is led away by the police drunk and in his underwear while arguing with the cops - (usually pleading with the police to let him go, saying, "I thought this was America! Isn't this America?!") Stan wanted to tell his father that he didn't want to play baseball in the summer; however, Randy is looking forward to the championship to fight the other fathers and Stan, (thinking that his father is proud of his son) decide not to tell his father the truth. While training to be the best fighter he can be, Randy becomes terrified when he meets the Denver Little League team's "Bat Dad", who wears a purple Batman cowl and cape, is much bigger than him, and behaves even more obnoxiously. He decides not to attend the game, angering Sharon, who thinks he should be there to support his son and that he should keep himself from getting into fights. Randy, being delusional, thinks Sharon is encouraging him to fight.
Cartman tells the team that they need someone who "totally sucks ass" to join their team. Kyle says he knows just the person: his stereotypically Jewish cousin Kyle Schwartz, as he knows his cousin is terrible at any sport. Stan and the others play their game against Denver, who, like the other opponents, do not want to win either. Even drafting Kyle's cousin fails, as the pitcher has been practicing and manages to hit his bat, resulting in a bunt and subsequent home run after he rounds the bases with no effort from Denver to throw him out. When the Denver kids step up to bat, it is further revealed that they have also learned to "bat themselves out" - deliberately hitting the ball so that it lands in the gloves of one of the fielders.
Just as it seems the South Park team is sure to win, Randy shows up, insults Denver, drinks heavily, and begins a huge fight with Bat Dad that spills onto the field, leading the umpires to warn that if either man continues to fight, his team will be disqualified. The South Park team realizes they can lose despite the lopsided score and encourage Randy to continue to fight. Randy gets back up as the Rocky theme "Fanfare For Rocky" is playing, and soundly defeats Bat Dad, resulting in South Park being disqualified, leaving Denver to waste their whole summer on the national circuit. The townspeople of South Park are sad that they lost. Kyle's cousin Kyle is the only boy who is sad that they lost, having been ecstatic when it seemed he was about to win a sports event for the first time. Amongst the overjoyed boys, Stan tells his father, "You're the greatest", as he is once again led away by the police in his underwear. After hearing his son praise him, Randy jumps for joy as "You're the Best" plays.
- When "Bat Dad" is first shown you are told his name is "Tom Nelson" later his wife calls him "Chris".
- The Losing Edge Full episode at South Park Studios
- The Losing Edge Episode guide at South Park Studios
- The Losing Edge South Park Wiki