Kenny went through a number of games where the ball seemed to bounce the wrong way for the Dolphins last year. I tend to believe being lucky and unlucky are directly proportional. If one were to look at it mathematically the sum would always be zero. More importantly the question would seem to be, does a person or a team place themselves in the position of being lucky or unlucky when the happenstance occurs?
Take the Pittsburgh game for example. If we had been winning by 9 points the touchdown would not have made a difference. In this circumstance when Roethlisberger fumbled before crossing the goal line and the official blew the call, he would have gotten the same lucky break, but we would have been in a position where his luck didn’t matter. At what point does conservative coaching have a negative effect on mitigating luck?
The most successful team in the last ten years is the NE patriots. The Patriots never take their foot off the gas and I agree with them. Ask the Huston Oilers what can happen when the cruise control button is pushed. In 1993 the Oilers were winning a playoff game 35 to 6 at halftime and the Bills scored 35 second half points to win 41 to 38. I won’t go into the Dolphins Monday night game against Vinny and the Jets because I choose to forget that game and the TV that did not survive. I liked that TV…
Vince Lombardi once said, “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” How often have we seen a team go into the prevent defense only to prevent themselves from winning? The Patriots try to maintain their confidence and never allow the opponent to gain confidence.
This is why I have a problem with the conservative coaching philosophy Tony Sparano seems to endorse. He will let off the gas and try to run time off the clock, while in the meantime the opponent starts to pick up confidence. Before long the game turns into a Michael Vick dog fight (couldn’t resist that!) and comes down to the final possession, much like the Pittsburgh game…
Henne falls victim to the same coaching philosophy. He gets on a roll, throwing with confidence and then the wildcat comes in or two dive plays gaining nothing and suddenly he’s in a 3rd and long. The defense has the upper hand because he has to throw and they know it. How often did Henne throw on 1st down and for that matter, when was the last time he threw deep on 1st down?
Confidence is a fickle thing, getting it and keeping it are the keys to winning at anything. Playing conservative allows the other team to gain confidence, switching momentum and bringing luck into the equation. Confident teams do not worry about running the clock. Confident teams score enough points to mitigate luck. The Dolphins were not unlucky last year they were too conservative and thus allowed the other team’s luck to come into the equation.