FanPost

Luck vs. Skill


I've never done a fanpost before, hopefully this is the kind of thing they are designed for.

I've been hearing an exceptional amount about how the Giants aren't the best team in the NFC, don't deserve to be where they are, and that all they have going for them is that luck was on their side. I'd like to take a crack at the role that luck plays in this game.

1. Any Given Sunday - The game of football is an intense one. It wears down a human body very quickly. We just saw a huge outcry by the players over extending the season by 2 games. The game is brutal enough that it is only played once a week, as opposed to 3 or 4 times like hockey, basketball, or (seemingly by Baltimore traffic during Orioles season) 12 times a week like baseball. The game also cannot accommodate a best of 7 series through the playoffs. The more that you condense the season/playoffs, the more luck factors in. This is the game we love, and the game is played with this in mind.

2. Calculated Risk - Every play has an infinite number of variables. Every few plays, something dramatic happens that can alter the game. Think of Osi's sack of Rodgers when it would have been a clear touchdown. As humans, we think rarity = luck, but this isn't always the case. The plan is that occasionally you will reach the QB. When a QB throws, everyone tosses their hands up. The chance of tipping the ball is slim, but it's a better chance than if you didn't try. The goal is to increase these odds as much as possible so those 'lucky' plays happen more often.

3. History is Written by the Victors (and the bitter bloggers) - Generally there are unique plays that will go each way. They get evened out to an extent. The 'luck' of the loser is quickly forgotten, as it clearly wasn't enough. The big plays of the victor are either written off as brilliance or 'luck', when in reality, they tend to fall somewhere in between.

I'll use a recent example to finish my point. The Hail Mary to Nicks at the end of the first half of the Green Bay game. What are the odds he comes down with it? Slim? None? Of course there is a chance, that's why hail marys are thrown at the end of every half. It's a risk/reward balance. If you threw that pass 100 times, and only pull it off once, is it luck? It's a calculated risk. It's part of the game.

This isn't a game that is designed to see who the best team is over the season. Nor is it to see who is the most consistent. The goal is the Super Bowl. The game is to get that trophy, and part of that is in creating 'luck'. It's taking small percentage risks, because eventually they pay off. Playing this game well requires luck, and the best teams understand this and create their own luck through personnel, strategy, and calculated risk.

FanPosts are written by community members. This is simply a way for community members to express opinions too long to be contained in a comment.

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