Playing With Nothing to Lose vs. Playing With Nothing to Gain

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Shouright, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    I've heard the explanation that the team has been successful as of late because "they have nothing to lose, so they're playing very relaxed, without any pressure."

    For the people who believe that, I ask you: why does playing with nothing to lose inspire better play, when it's also the case that you're playing with nothing to gain?

    And if you're playing with nothing to gain, why wouldn't you play flat, with no fire, effort, or intensity?

    Please, someone explain that for me.

    There was a thread here last week that expressed concern that the team would give poor effort against Oakland, because with the loss to Dallas, the playoffs are all but out of reach.

    That concern is borne of the idea that, with nothing to gain, a team would give less effort.

    How could it also be the case that the team would play better because it has nothing to lose?

    Will the Green Bay Packers play poorly next week because they have something to lose, an undefeated season?

    Will the Denver Broncos play poorly next week because they have something to lose, the final playoff spot in the AFC?

    Does the pressure of having something to lose equal poor play?

    If it doesn't, then how can having nothing to lose equal good play?
     
  2. dlockz

    dlockz Hall Of Famer

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    I think we have played better although against mostly bad teams
     
  3. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    :confused:
     
  4. CedarPhin

    CedarPhin Finheaven Hall of Shame Hammered

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    Great thread. Solid work everyone.
     
  5. dlockz

    dlockz Hall Of Famer

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    Buffalo, Washington and Kc all have losing records
     
  6. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    Great stuff eh?

    I suspect the position of "they're winning because they have nothing to lose and the pressure is off" isn't really defensible.
     
  7. dlockz

    dlockz Hall Of Famer

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    probably all kinds of reasons they are winning and plenty of reasons they started 0-7. Fact is this regime has not produced a winning team in the last three years and that is not defensable esp when Harbaugh has the Niners at 10-2 with more issues than we had.
     
  8. DcDolfan420

    DcDolfan420 Banned Hammered

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    Because when you play with nothing to lose there is no pressure. It's like going into any fight, the irony is the fighter who is most willing to die usually lives, it's because they've already accepted defeat and are just focused on the fight. It's when your undefeated and start thinking about other stuff is when you loose your competetive edge, just ask Tom Brady.
     
  9. DcDolfan420

    DcDolfan420 Banned Hammered

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    Also seriously where the f are all the haters, it's like nobody wants to talk about the Dolphins fairly. When were winning it's all sunshine and roses and when were loosing these idiots come on this board and talk about how Ireland has no idea how to run a football organization (like they do) even though he has a history of good scouting. Lets be fair people.
     
  10. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    Why is pressure bad?

    Using your example, why is the pressure of wanting an undefeated season bad?

    Why isn't that the same pressure that motivates you to play your best and reach your goal?

    Personally, the times when I've had pressure in my life are the times I rose to the occasion and reached my goal.

    The pressure was what made me view the task at hand as a competition -- me versus whatever was between me and my goal.

    It brought out the best in me, my fire, my intensity.

    How can these professional athletes who have accomplished so much view it so differently, such that pressure is a "bad" thing for them, that they need "no pressure" to play their best?

    How is that possible?
     
  11. DcDolfan420

    DcDolfan420 Banned Hammered

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    I think you just play faster, more confident when less is on the line. Like that cowboys kicker yesterday. Yea he made the kick when he knew damn well it didn't count. It's when he had the time to think about all the things that could go wrong, well that's just when things go wrong.
     
  12. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    So do you actually think that in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, for example, when a lot more is on the line, teams play slower and with less confidence?
     
  13. DcDolfan420

    DcDolfan420 Banned Hammered

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    Yea kind of, the thing thing is in the playoffs everyones scared to death, so that kind of evens the playing feild. I don't think the only reason or even the main reason this team is winning now is because of a lack of pressure but I do think it's a factor. The real reason were winning is because were LOADED and Sean Smith has somehow managed to pull his head out of his ***, dude's 6'3.5 and LOOOONNGGG, it's about freakin time. I mean I remember a game the Dolphins played against the Vikings a few years back when the Vikings had Culpepper. It was the end of the year and we needed to win to get in the playoffs and they were mathametically out. I remember they had the ball and it was 4th and 2 or 3 on like the 50 or something. If they punted they had a great chance to win but if they went for it and got it they would win. So what did the a******* do, they wen't for cause s***, they had NOTHING TO LOOSE. Of course they got it and won, God I hate Culpooper.
     
  14. TonyGsharp

    TonyGsharp As good as any but better than most

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    I have to disagree with you. They are very much so playing for gain. They are playing for:

    Jobs (No one wants to get cut or traded. They want to prove they belong on this roster. They want their stable paychecks.)
    Pride (You'd be hard pressed to find a professional athlete that wants to be a loser.)
    Ego (They want to forget as much as possible about that 0-7 start and prove to themselves and others that they are good football players.)
     
  15. TonyGsharp

    TonyGsharp As good as any but better than most

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    If I wanted, I could also make an argument for the "winning with no pressure" excuse.

    We're an abysmal 0-7, and since the season appears lost, we beat the Chiefs, Redskins, and Bills.
    Then, when it seems like there could be a chance to make the playoffs and win out, we feel the pressure against Dallas and lose.
    Finally, after the playoffs are almost impossible to reach, we beat Oakland.

    I'm not sure if I 100% believe that because I do think we have talent on this team, I'm just pointing out that it makes sense. We'll need to see how we finish the season.
     
  16. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    So does all that create pressure? And if it does, then how can the absence of pressure be the active ingredient in winning here?

    And you wouldn't be disagreeing with me, because I haven't said they're playing with nothing to lose.

    Again, the "playing with nothing to lose" point is what others have said. I'm simply asking for someone to justify how that would translate to winning, because to me it makes no sense.

    When I see Green Bay go down the field in under a minute for the winning field goal against New York, for example, I have trouble believing that these athletes thrive when there is "nothing to lose" and "no pressure," as opposed to playing better the more there is to play for.
     
  17. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    That's not really an argument for how the absence of pressure translates to winning.

    How is it exactly that the absence of pressure makes a team play better? What is the mechanism of action there?

    Until someone can provide that explanation, the theory makes no sense.

    Here's an analogue to your point: every morning we see the sun come up, and at night we see it go down. So therefore space aliens are pulling the sun in and out of our line of vision at those times of day. We can't see them doing this because they're too far away.

    The explanation fits with the observable data, but it doesn't make sense theoretically.

    Same with your example. Playing with no pressure fits with the observable data, but the theory of how playing without pressure translates to better play is absent.
     
  18. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    So in the playoffs and the Super Bowl, teams play slower and with less confidence because they're scared to death.

    Your argument is crumbling.

    Not everyone curls up into a fetal position when there's something on the line, and certainly not athletes with the track records of NFL players.
     
  19. tylerdolphin

    tylerdolphin More Smug than Birthday Dog Moderator Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I dont think pressure factored in one way or the other. I just think the team is playing better now because of a new QB and God knows what happened on defense.
     
  20. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    On defense I suspect the issue is that the leader on that side of the ball and the "quarterback" of the defense, Karlos Dansby, has rallied around Tony Sparano and gotten his teammates to do the same.

    That IMO has taken the group from a very complacent bunch to a very driven one.
     
  21. MadDog 88

    MadDog 88 Smoke 'em Jay Finheaven VIP

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    if you're looking for reasons why they are winning there are several IMO. The defense struggled through some injuries that caused them to use a lot more zone coverages. They are healthier and use more press and man as they did last year. Time for the Henne followers to realize how much better Matt Moore is then your boy. He limits his mistakes and scores in the red zone. It's quite obvious the offense not only functions better with Moore but is more confident. Moores play has also taken a lot of pressure off the run game. The schedule is also a factor but not as significantly as some make it out to be. The Dolphins are not just beating bad or injured teams, they are pummeling them.

    Toughest game left is the Pats which will provide an assessment of where exactly this team is. I am surprised I am saying this but that may be the only game left that they lose.
     
  22. Shouright

    Shouright Banned Hammered

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    Any explanation or set of explanations that doesn't put emotion front and center is suspect IMO.

    There is something going on with the emotion of this team that accounts for how radically different they're playing.

    What's creating the emotion is debatable, but it's definitely something emotional IMO.

    These guys are playing with a fire and a togetherness that's palpable, and something about the team changed dramatically to make that happen.

    What I would bet all of my money on is that it's most definitely NOT that they "have nothing to lose." That explanation doesn't stand up to even the simplest of criticisms.
     
  23. greasyObnoxious

    greasyObnoxious I love lamp Finheaven VIP Donator

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    lol
    belittling our wins while San Francisco has beat Arizona, Seattle, Washington, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Philadelphia among others. wins in which they sometimes hung on by their teeth.
     
  24. MadDog 88

    MadDog 88 Smoke 'em Jay Finheaven VIP

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    I am inclined to agree with this and have thought that possibly the enormous amount of ridicule pulled them together. Not only was the national media calling them hopeless but the local media was soliciting SFL parodyies and the local fanbase embraced SFL. They heard it so maybe it's not so far fetched to think that may have played a role. I agree that something happened that changed the emotion of the team but one can only speculate as to what it was.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2011

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