RE: Buddy Up, Contest. Pride.
I enjoyed reading your perspective on pride. I agree with pride in a way that it is even related to efforts, to knowing you have tried (and maybe did your best). Trying is already an achievement in itself, for you are facing fears and being courageous.
As well, I agree with the concept that ego is the one that holds people back; being unable to accept failure and such. I can understand the concept of shared pride. Maybe I do not understand as to why people feel proud of their national sports team, especially when they had no affect, influence, or direct relation to it.
For instance, I am Maltese, we tend to lose at everything (small country, low investment in art, culture and sports). I find it baffling to how we can perform badly, and many citizens will be "We are proud of you.", and in the same breath they accuse winners of cheating, unfairness, undeserving. Sometimes, that 'shared' or 'national' pride is a source of national ego, patriotic ego, which is as faulty as the personal ego. Unable to take defeat, having to bring those who tried harder and eventually won down. There is no fault in appreciating the efforts of the losers in competitions, however, this sort of 'pride', or ego, as you said, blocks people from celebrating with the winners. It's an interesting phenomenon.