Tuck: Second-Guesser Club
They should have passed it! Why didn't they run it? You can't go for it there! Take the points! Be more aggressive! Why are we playing prevent? Why did we blitz?
I can go on, but you get the idea. We rip on physical mistakes. We hate when the kicker misses or the quarterback throws a wobbly duck, or the receiver drops the ball. But we love (or hate) the mental errors more. The judgement calls. The decision-making. It drives us crazy.
I'm not saying fans and media can't have opinions. I am not saying we aren't sometimes right.
I am saying we are pretty smart sharing our thoughts on a failed result. Few admit to doing it the same way, because after all, that way didn't work!
We like answers. We want answers. WENEEDANSWERS!
That is why it is so easy to say the Cowboys were up big at halftime they should have run it more in the second half. Perhaps that's true. Of course, when a team has the lead and runs up the middle for no gain, 2 yards, and 1 yard, and punts, the fans and announcers say the team might be getting too conservative.
Strategy canalwaysbe debated. Results cannot. Strategies that follow the book and fail are less likely however to earn public scorn.
That's where the Cowboys failed. That is where the Knicks failed last night by not calling the timeout. If you do what is expected, people are more forgiving because that is what most of them would do.
Even if you don't rock the boat with decision-making, we are quick to attack certain players and coaches. That is why the focus is on Tony Romo, Jason Garrett, and Dez Bryant, instead of a defense that surrendered 34 second-half points! If we are looking for a reason Dallas lost, we might want to start there. The previously inept Packers offense led by the twice-cut Matt Flynn sliced Dallas up for 34 points in 30 minutes and everyone wants to talk about the Cowboys offense.
I'm not saying we can't. I'm not saying I agree with all the decisions. I am just saying there are a lot of moving parts and we are kind of ignoring the most obvious reason they lost.
I love doing my job. I love talking and writing about sports. I make it a point as I watch things to formulate an opinion as they happen or before they happen. What would I do? Doesn't mean I'm right. Not at all. But I can only argue against or for a decision if I can honestly assess what I'd do beforehand.
Of course, the I cannot effect the results, ever. Even if I say pass instead of run, doesn't mean the quarterback is protected, throws a good pass, and completes it. It doesn't mean the play-call is the right one or it works, and the team wins because of it. The earlier in the game a decision is made the more possible outcomes there are.
It is part of what makes us love sports though. We can all have an opinion about who should have done what and how it would have changed things. We deal in absolutes. Wins and losses are black and white. Bad decisions made in a win are overlooked for better story-lines. All the good done in a loss is erased with one mistake.
We are all members of the second-guesser club. Even I am from time to time. I hate it and love it at the same time. That's sports for you.