Bill Simmons' Levels of Losing:

ESPN sports columnist Bill Simmons' has updated his famous column on "Levels of Losing," which categorizes defeats by the level of pain that they inflict on the losing team's fans. His categories make a lot of sense, though he's wrong to claim that Game 6 of the 1986 World Series was the most horrendous Red Sox defeat ever (that dishonor belongs to Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series, which was much worse because 1) it was far more easily preventable, 2) it was against the hated Yankees, and 3) I lived through both and the pain of '86 was far less than that of 2003)).

I wonder if Simmons' categories could be applied to political and legal defeats. For example, when my side lost the Kelo case, it was a Level XVI Princeton Principle loss (everyone expected us to lose much worse and the resulting publicity benefited us more than our opponents). The Democrats' defeat in the 2004 presidential election was probably a Level XV Achilles'Heel (they had a good chance to win, but flaws in the party and its candidate undermined them). And the Republican defeat in the 2006 election was a Level IX "Full-Fledged Butt-Kicking," as everything that could possibly go wrong for the GOP did, thanks to a combination of bad luck and the Party's own numerous disastrous errors.