Mental Mistakes

I’m very happy that the Australian baseball season is about to start since there is no point in watching the Dallas Cowboys this year, unless you enjoy pain. With a 1-4 record (actually not the worst in the league, but pretty bad), they’re done. Theoretically, they could start winning, but trends say that is very unlikely.So, since nobody else will say it out loud, I will. They’re done. See you next year.

The new plan for the Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl? StubHub.

The most annoying part of the Cowboys season is that one of the major reasons they keep losing is penalties. Penalties are assessed when you break the rules. The kind term for “not following the rules” is “mental mistakes.” The other term I hear is “lack of discipline.”

Here’s a question that always bothers me – How can you play a game for a living and not know the rules? If you’re at a pro level, you’ve probably been playing for a long, long time. You should have it memorized. Granted, if you do something stupid (horse collars come to mind) and the rules change, you may need a while to remember, but holding has been holding for a long time. Pass interference hasn’t changed in a while.

Why are sports different from other jobs? I have rules I have to follow. When the rules change, my boss tells me. However, he doesn’t have to call me every week to remind me all my business travel needs pre-approvals and I can’t fly first-class. I know this. I was told once, and we have a rulebook I can check if I don’t remember. That was enough.

If I do break the rules (I decide to go visit a customer in France, so I just book a first-class ticket and go), does my boss get fired while I stay? Somehow, I doubt it. However, in sports, the coach (or manage) tend to take the blame for players not following the rules.  I think it’s because it’s easier to fire and replace one person than forty.

Why don’t players get fired? It’s not like there aren’t other people that want to play pro sports. Sure, they’re “not as good”, but if you have a 1-4 team, what does “good” really mean?

I am very tired of hearing from the players that they are a “better team than their record.” You are judged on your record. If this team miraculously makes the playoffs, that will be the record in the books. If they continue a death spiral, that will be the record. I don’t expect to see the record book contain:

2010 Dallas Cowboys 6-10 (*)
* Team was actually a 14-2 team, they just lacked discipline.

So, I think it’s back to baseball, Australian or Texas Rangers style. Otherwise, you can watch the Cowboys but you’re just going to have to find a lot of synonyms for “suck.”