There’s no shame in reaching the championship game four times and coming up short.
Okay, fine. There might be a little shame in never winning a championship when you come so close on multiple occasions. But former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly, who famously lost four Super Bowls, wants soccer superstar Lionel Messi to know that you have to keep your head held high even when you feel like your world is collapsing.
Messi, of course, was despondent when Argentina lost its Copa America final against Chile this past weekend. It was his fourth finals loss with the national team, which hasn’t won a trophy since 1993. He subsequently announced his retirement from Argentina, although it remains to be seen whether he’ll hold to his word once he has a chance to reflect on his accomplishments and his future with the team.
When it comes to putting things into perspective, Kelly’s a good person to offer advice. Sure, there’s the losing side of things. Kelly’s Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993, which is an incredible stretch by a franchise, regardless of the lack of a championship.
Beyond his playing days, though, Kelly has experienced how much bigger life is than sports. His 8-year-old son Hunter passed away in 2005, and the Hall of Fame quarterback was diagnosed with cancer in his upper jaw in 2013. Kelly has been cancer-free for two years now, however; earlier this week, he told reporters that he’s feeling "awesome" and has regained 30 pounds since his treatment.