a lot of people countin us out

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by doublead, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. doublead

    doublead First Round Draft Pick

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    i cant wait till the season start honestly i think we have a better team then last season just our defense lack a little
     
  2. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    Don't count me as one of them. I am not counting them out, and especially before any games are played; not even a pre-season game.

    I hope they have the best or second best record in the East and get into the ECF. And that is not a stretch. :fencing:

    We just have to play the games and find out
     
  3. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    even though it didn't turn out to be about this topic exactly, this thread title reminded me of something i pray i do not have to hear from the pistons this year: the whole, nah-we're-not-worried-that-everybody-thinks-we-suck-everybody-always-counts-us-out-we-play-better-that-way.

    on the one hand, i recognize that's part of the (dys)functional psyche of the team.

    on the other hand, i wish they'd kinda grow up already and not require a juvenile, trumped-up sense that the world misunderstands them/is out to get them in order to put some passion into their game
     
  4. Dumars4Ever

    Dumars4Ever Bench Warmer

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    Prof, while I agree that the Pistons have been particularly wrapped up in that particular mindset, I think it's just part of a general trend in pro and college sports over the last few years. It used to be that players would say things like "don't disrespect us, you guys are underrating us, you should recognize that we're better than our reputation," etc. But now it seems like the big thing is to INVITE people to underrate them, disrespect them, "we don't want to be the favorites," etc. I think it was one of the Steelers (don't remember exactly which one of them) last year who was talking to reporters about being the underdogs going into the Super Bowl, and when one of them informed him that the odds had just come out and that Pittsburgh was actually the favorite, the player said, "that's OK, we're still the underdogs," while laughing out loud, obviously realizing how ridiculous it was to be saying something like that. And then there was the comical spectacle of Tom Brady whining about how his team was being disrespected last year--Tom Brady! As if anyone wasn't taking the Patriots seriously.
     
  5. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Absolutely agree D4. The Pistons are not the only ones caught up in that. They're just the only ones that I care about. Perhaps it's not so terrible either, taken just in itself, as one among many psychological tools players might use to motivate themselves over the course of a long season filled with what might start to feel like meaningless games. My concern is when players seem to forget that it is just that -- a tool, to be used when effective and discarded when not -- and start to treat it as an identity. At that point, they disable themselves and, in effect (though they never say so explicitly), adopt the position that "we cannot play well unless we are behind, or our backs are against the wall, or the prevailing media attitude is that we've faltered."

    If you don't have any other motivating tools, if you box yourself into believing that being behind or against the wall is critical to your team's identity then it becomes difficult to win easily or when there appears to be little at stake. And this seems to me to show itself in the Pistons inability to put teams away early and for good in a number of games last year. Moreover, it is part -- part, I say, not the whole -- of the reason that they have had so few easy 4-0 or even 4-1 playoff series victories during this run. To the degree that they force themselves, through this attitude, to play harder for longer periods of time (whether going to the final buzzer in a single game, or to a game seven in a playoff game) it also contributes to late season fatigue and to limited playing time for the reserves.

    Then, there's also just the fact that it's a kind of victim mentality that annoys me on style grounds. I'm just personally much more drawn to athletes and people who seem entirely self-sufficient: they know what they do, and they do it, coolly and regardless of the circumstances (because they are so good at doing it that the circumstances don't matter). I admit, I'm a bit schizophrenic on this issue, because on the other hand, as I've written elsewhere, I can also personally identify with roughness or unevenness of the Pistons and I can certainly appreciate the indispensability of that grittiness when it's needed. So I can recognize that quality in myself, and that leads me to accept and at times even to enjoy the roller-coaster ride. Still, there's something very appealing to me about the smooth, cool, effective machine- or assassin-like quality in certain athletes and teams.
     
  6. Dumars4Ever

    Dumars4Ever Bench Warmer

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    I agree with a lot of what you're saying as well, prof, but I also wonder just how seriously the Pistons themselves take all that stuff, precisely because it's such a widespread cliche with top-level athletes these days. Like the Steelers guy who couldn't help laughing at how silly it was that he felt such an obligation to declare themselves as eternal underdogs.

    Managed to find this appropriate smilie with a Google search:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    excellent smilie!

    I don't know how seriously the Pistons take it. I'm just kind of hypothesizing from the ups (when they are behind or cornered) and downs (when they get a big lead or appear to be dominating) of their play. They might not consciously buy it, but I'd say on some level that they seem to have a hard time staying on the ball when things are going smoothly. Finally, my speculation as to why this might be, on a psychological level, is just that: speculation.
     
  8. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    I believe that I have heard most of the Pistons individually say things about being undervalued in the league. So, I believe that they do take it seriously and use it to motivate themselves. They should not have to do that if they have confidence in themselves or their teammates.

    I have been a fan through the years where people tried to not say things that would motivate other teams when they play against them.

    It seems equally inane to hear these players and coaches heaping praise on the team they play next.

    Psychology seems to be having major value in sports today.
     
  9. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    i wonder if psychology is playing a greater role than before, or if two other factors have conspired to make us (and participants) more aware of its importance and more likely to attempt to manipulate it. 1) it seems to me that society as a whole is far more aware of psychological issues as issues. though mental illnesses are still often stigmatized, i think it is much less the case than in the past; therapy is more accepted and normal, as are other tools (meditation and the like) for improving mental health. so perhaps everyone is a little more familiar with and accustomed to hearing and using the vocabulary of psychology. and 2) the media explosion amplifies many factors and elements of sports that might have existed before but were unperceived by most fans. the same explosion also creates opportunities for new elements to come into being that might not have existed before (e.g. disrespecting someone on national television obviously wasn't possible before there was national television, let alone 900 thousand channels, let alone the web).
     
  10. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    professor, The explosion in the television industry is awesome. I was deeply involved in television and motion pictures in my career and to me it mind-boggling the amount of media that is gobbled up every day. It is viewed and old news minute by minute, day after day.

    Having been brought up when there were only three broadcasting systems for so long and then adding piecemeal, we could keep up pretty well with all the goings-on.

    But now, you have more than 20 broadcast companies who are producing their own movies, political programming, series programs, and this whole thing has such an appetite that anything even vaguely newsy is shoved out to the public.

    And by the time each station has put its own point of view on the topics, they get dissected to death.
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    lazy, I was just thinking about this earlier today as I was flipping through my copy of Blue Collar Blueprint.

    When I was first a Pistons fan, the quotes were colorful and entertaining. Everyone was a Rasheed Wallace in front of the microphone.

    These days, with even the most trivial statement being blown up for political correctness, team impact, respect for the game, racial context etc., all of the players undergo media sensitivity training to prevent them from ruining a career with a casual comment.

    The more we consume, the less we actually get. And it is our own loss.
     

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