Monday, February 07, 2011

I guess the Steelers' momentum was distracted.

UPDATE, Monday, 3:30 p.m. So now the media, in desperate need of story lines that will satisfy the afterglow of interest in Super Bowl XLV, are telling us that hobbled Packers defensive back Charles Woodson is at least partly responsible for his team's victory. Woodson gave a tearful locker-room speech at the half that some are comparing for its impact to Rockne's storied "win one for the Gipper" moment. "Whatever he said appeared to work," opines Yahoo! sports contributor Chris Chase.

This, even though Woodson's "inspired" teammates proceeded to run out after halftime and nearly blow the substantial lead they'd already built BEFORE his speech!

Amazing. ... And we listen to this garbage ... why?


Yesterday's Super Bowl g
ave us yet another letter-perfect illustration of why the whole concept of "momentum" is a pointless, meaningless crock. The Packers got off to a fast start, building a 21-3 lead, so if anyone should've had momentum on its side, it was Green Bay. Nonetheless the Steelers came roaring back to within 4, at which point Joe Buck and Troy Aikmen felt obliged to declare for the record that the momentum had formally shifted. But was that momentum shift enough to propel the Steelers on to victory? Manifestly not.

In the end, "momentum shifts" reduce to little more than the normal ebb and flow of the game.

(But remember: Momentum spelled backwards is ... Mutnemom!)

I also think it's interesting that you didn't hear many beat writers and other sports pundits talking much this season about the "distractions" facing the Steelers, in particular their QB, Ben Roethlisberger. That's because Big Ben put up his normal numbers and was his usual competent self in leading the talented Steelers to the Super Bowl. Had Roethlisberger for whatever reason had an off year, and/or had the team as a whole stumbled, football insiders undoubtedly would've blamed it all on those "off the-field distractions." (If you hadn't heard, the Steelers' signal-caller has been dogged by allegations of sexual assault.)

Oh how I wish we could stop talking in cliches and/or stop analyzing life through the lens of quasi-mystical notions. That applies outside the world of sports, too.


Stever Robbins said...

Steve, the one silver lining in all this for me is that I sometimes make my money as an organizational consultant. The preponderance of absurd sports metaphors inappropriately applied to non-analogous business situations is a veritable gold mine. My job becomes little more than saying, "Momentum? Really? What if it wasn't momentum? What if they really had a better product than yours?"

(These days I'm concentrating mainly on personal productivity which is a fascinating field in and of itself. It's not as full of b.s. as the rest of self-help, but there are an awful lot of unchallenged assumptions that have never been tested. Because those assumptions are about business and not angels, most people don't recognize them for the b.s. they are.)

SteveinAz said...

So I guess the media conveniently forgot how bad the Packers played in the 3rd quarter. Woodson's speech must have taken fifteen minutes of play to sink in.

Steve Salerno said...

SteveinAZ: It's a well-known football fact that motivational speeches require a minimum of one full quarter of play to take full effect. ;)