November 16, 2009

When Arrogance Trumps Wisdom...

Last night I did what I normally don't do; I watched Sunday night football. I only watched because the best two franchises with the best two quarterbacks were playing. Brady vs. Manning is as compelling as the NFL gets. When you throw in 1st year head coach Jim Caldwell vs. legendary coach Bill Belichick, the drama & storyline thickens. I even heard analysts Sunday morning say that the game would likely come down to a coaching decision, & of course, they gave the edge to Belichick. Who wouldn't? The guy is a legend; some say he's the best ever.

And guess what? They were right. The game came down to a coaching decision, & the great Bill Belichick very likely coached himself out of a win. On a 4th and 2 play from his own 28 yard line, Coach Belichick decided to go for it rather than punt & force Manning & the Colts to drive 65 to 70 yards to win the game. If you watched or if you've even remotely paid attention to a sports report today you know they didn't get it. Then Peyton Manning took the field & marched right down & threw a great TD pass to win the game.

Why did this happen? I'm sure analysts have all kinds of theories. In fact, I heard one guy who is really sharp talking about how Manning's greatness & the respect he demands influenced Belichick's decision making even though Manning wasn't on the field. That's a valid insight, but I think there's something more at play, & I'll talk about it more this week. I think this is a classic case of arrogance trumping wisdom, & when arrogance trumps wisdom, bad things happen. It can be a football game or it can be life, but it's a principle that never changes: When Arrogance Trumps Wisdom, Bad Things Happen.

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