Friday, May 25, 2007

Worst Position To Be In?

Da Realist:

All of these scenarios assume there is no time left (unless the sport doesn't incorporate time)

You're the best player never to have won a title. your team is down 2 in game 7 of the nba finals. you take the last shot but was HACKED with no time left. you are about to take 2 free throws to try and force overtime.

You're down 3 in the super bowl. you're the all-star kicker the team brought in for this moment. you've never won a super bowl. this 35 yarder will decide your team's fate.

Us open. this was YOUR moment. you were up 2 sets to none. he came back to win the third and a heartbreaking 4th set. it is now 5-6 in the 5th. you just had a return scream right by you so fast it looked like a blur. 2 championship points for your opponent. 15-40 your serve...

Master's. you started the day with a 3 stroke lead. some player 2 groups ahead of you shot a -70 and stormed to the lead. you have a tricky 6-foot birdie to force a playoff on the last hole.

Which is the WORSE position to be in?

Gangsta D:

I'd have to go with the kicking scenario. In the other cases, the fate is in the best player's hands. Field goals are always tricky. Kickers have weak psyches and while a 35 yd FG may seem like a chip shot, when the heat is on they can break. In the basketball scenario, if you're the best to never win, you should WANT to take those shots. In tennis, even though you may be down two points, if you play better for two points, you get to duece. In golf, it's up to you to make the birdie. Elite golfers make that put. But in football, the entire team has given it's all for 59:59, but their fate rests in the hands of a 150 lb "athlete" who probably hasn't got his uniform dirty all year? That is the worst position.


But in football, the team can recover as whole when the kicker messes up. Look at the Colts. I thought after Vanderjagt pulled a Norwood two years ago, they were never going to win the SB. They drop him and amazingly win it all. You know what, I just realized I proved your point :-). B/c Vanderjagt was cut and had to watch the team he also questioned a few years ago win a title.

I still don't know....I mean look at Greg Norman. The Shark never recovered from his Masters meltdown and had to live with the title of one of the greatest golfers never to win the big one.

And why no soccer scenarios on here? I can't get any love :-). 1993 Palmetto Athletic Conference State Championshiops. The Cardinal Newman Cardinals, picked to finish next to last in the conference, ride the magical wave of their 4 seniors to finishing 2nd in the conference and also marching to the tournament finals. Their opponent was perennial powerhouse, Porter Gaud, rulers of the conference for the past 5 years. PG finished 1st in the conference and had beat the Cards in both regular season meetings, 1-0 and 2-1.

The Cardinals amazingly go up 2-0 at halftime to shock of even their own fans. And how do the Cards handle the pressure during halftime? By already talking about going to someone's house to get a keg and get drunk. Big mistake, Porter Gaud readjusts their strategy, Cardinal Newman does, and within 25 mins PG has scored 5 unanswered goals. The final score would read 5-2 Porter Gaud and the Cards would have to settle for 2nd place. The one lone black starter, a junior AND voted Most Improved that season, on the team, The Wizard of West Columbia, would have to settle for a consolation prize of Burger King, courtesy of one overzealous mother/fan.

That same boy would never again get close to tasting championship success on the Varsity level. Both his soccer teams and basketball teams would mire in mediocrity his senior year thanks to the bumbling coaching staffs and backstage politics. And he also would never measure up to the family's tradition of bringing home championship trophies on any level (sniff)......

Da Realist:

All of them are tough... but the basketball and tennis ones hit me the most because i've played those sports (although, i suck at tennis)

Basketball -- you're at the line. everybody in the gym, every sports fan in america and even transplants in other countries are watching you right now. you've played 40 minutes and you're tired. sweat dripping off the dome. you have to somehow compose yourself for not one, but TWO free throws. your hands are twitching. this is the moment you've dreamed about. can you push this team into overtime? they call timeout. no one says a word to you in the huddle. they all know this is the moment. they want to give you your space, but it actually makes you feel worse.

What is everyone going to think if you don't come through? miss either one, and you're going to be mentioned all summer long. back in play. somehow you can't stop sweating. will this affect the traction of the ball? how long do i have? 10 seconds? how long has it been? i better hurry and shoot this free throw. one bounce...another bounce.. lift the ball above your head and follow through...

Tennis -- this is it! you're up TWO sets to love. you're starting to imagine the awards ceremony mid-way through the third set. you got this in the bag. you're finally going to win the big one. ooops. you just lost serve. he holds twice and wins the set. no biggie. you're still up 2 sets to 1. the fourth set is nip and tuck all the way before you lose a controversial call to set up his break point on your serve. upset, you double-fault and give him the set.

Now the crowd is in it, tasting blood, cheering him on. everybody's questioning you. do you have the balls to finally win a major? that's what going through your head the whole time. Arthur Ashe is ROCKING by the middle of the set. sean hears about this epic collapse and turns from the titans game to check it out. 5-5. your hands are sweating. your legs feel like rubber. your heart is pumping, but the crowd wants this upset. is the other guy just as nervous? just as tired? doesn't look like it. you can't concentrate. 15-30. two points from choking. you can't choke. you won't choke. DAMN, where did that come from? 15-40. DOUBLE CHAMPIONSHIP POINT. how did this happen? you decide to go out fighting. let it rip. you toss the ball up and ...

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