Expert Opinion


Michael Warren

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

It’s definitely football season. And you know how I know? All the football experts are out. They are out in force on sports talk radio, and in the comment section of news stories online. And they are also out of their minds in many cases.

“What Coach (insert name of local coach) should have done was call a run play. Any idiot that sees the okay knows a pass was a terrible call.”

“Is he a moron? Why would you call a blitz then? That leaves man coverage on the edge. Coach (insert the name again) should lose his job.”

And on, and on, and on it goes. Endlessly. The experts weighing in on what the coach should have done.

So, what makes these folks the expert? Training? Nope. Most haven’t had any training since intramural flag football their freshman year in college. Maybe it’s formal education? Wrong again. While beer is certainly a big part of the football culture it hardly makes you an expert play caller.

What is it then? What makes them experts is knowing the outcome. They know how it ends. They know that the defenders stacked in the box dropped back into coverage when a pass was called.

They also know that the cornerback responsible for man coverage on the wide receiver fell down. As a result a touchdown was scored.

And all of this was not known to the coach when the play was called. He couldn’t possibly have known. But somehow the coach is held to this impossible standard.

This is how we handle some decisions made by people in our agencies. We judge those decisions with the advantage of knowing the outcome. And since we know the outcome we don’t understand why they made the choice they did.

Not only is this standard unfair it is also dangerous. When this becomes the level of expectation people hesitate or refuse to make decisions. Often called “paralysis by analysis” this is a dangerous mindset for our people to adopt.

Leaders recognize it’s easy to be an expert when you have all the information. Heck, even I could call a successful play now and then if I knew exactly what each defender was going to do. But that isn’t the world we live in. Sometimes our people have to decide now. Right NOW. And the information they have then should be the basis of judging their decisions. Not from the perspective of the “expert.”