The Winning Edge

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#124: “The Winning Edge”
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Romans 15:2

2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

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The Winning Edge

“The Winning Edge” is episode #124 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on August 18, 1990.


Bart Rathbone persuades Traci Needlemeyer that winning at any cost is the only thing that matters.



Summertime in Odyssey means softball, and this summer is no exception. Robyn Jacobs is on The Odyssey Coyotes, coached by Tom Riley. Traci Needlemeyer, however, is on the Stingrays, the biggest losers in their division. She isn't happy about it at all, until she meets their new coach, Bart Rathbone. He immediately gives Traci a pep talk and bolsters her self-confidence, doing the same for the rest of the team. Bart whips them into shape and makes them better players. But he also tells the team that winning is everything - and should be attained at any cost.

Traci isn't sure about this philosophy. But when the Stingrays begin rising in the ranks, Traci starts believing that winning is all that matters. And when the team clinches the Western Division title, Traci is a full-fledged convert. The Stingrays will meet the Eastern Division champions, the Coyotes, in the playoffs.

Bart sends Traci to the Coyotes' victory celebration at Whit's End to rattle Robyn. Traci does this by dumping a malt all over her.

Whit recognizes the symptoms of a deeper problem and talks to Bart about easing up on his win-at-all-costs message. But Whit's plea falls on deaf ears. The Stingrays find themselves in trouble in the championship game because of Robyn's powerhouse hitting. Over Traci's objections, Bart orders one of his players to "take [Robyn] out of the game." Liz Hoffman, one of the Stingrays, slides into Robyn, injuring her.

The Stingrays end up winning, but Traci is horrified and cannot enjoy the victory. She visits Robyn at the doctor's office and is relieved to learn that Robyn has suffered no permanent damage. Traci begs for her forgiveness, which Robyn grants. Everyone learns a valuable lesson about not letting their competitive spirit get out of hand.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is it wrong to be competitive?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Why was it so easy for Traci to give in to Bart's win-at-all-costs philosophy?
  3. Is winning at all costs always wrong?
    • Can you think of some instances where it might be okay?
    • If so, explain.


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Rachel Weaver Fred Zachary





Robyn Jacobs: I can hit anything you can throw any day of the week!
Traci Needlemeyer: Yeah, right. Keep thinking that, Robyn, and maybe one day it'll come true — when I'm 90.

John Whittaker: C'mon, everybody — there's a victory celebration going on over at my place. Let's get over there!
Robyn Jacobs: But, Mr. Whittaker... we lost.
John Whittaker: Only the game, Robyn. Only the game.