Thursday, March 22, 2007

I am Tired of Second Guessing

Every year in late March, a certain argument makes the rounds among sportswriters and fans. And it goes a little something like this: Because Team X and Team Y did so well/poorly in the NCAA tournament, that proves the selection committee was brilliant/retarded in their seeding and at-large bids.

What happens after the fact cannot be used retroactively to justify a decision. For example, this year, people are claiming that because most of the high seeds advanced, the selection committee did a great job, and really had their finger on the pulse of the college basketball scene. That's ridiculous. If every #1 seed had lost in the second round, the selection committee did just as good, or just as poor, of a job with seeding and selections.

You can only logically judge a decision with the information available to the decision-maker at the time. Wisconsin deserved a two seed based on their regular season resume. Losing to UNLV doesn't change that. Just as Syracuse deserved a bid, and losing to Clemson in the NIT doesn't change that.

I'm completely in favor of first-guessing, and tearing sports figures apart when they make idiotic decisions (e.g. leaving Syracuse out, letting Arkansas in). But it's unfair to second guess based on new information, particularly in a situation like the NCAA tournament where luck plays such an enormous role in the outcome. It's just an opportunity for fans to appear more intelligent than they are in bar arguments, and another excuse for writers to churn out a meaningless conjecture-based article to try to earn a paycheck.

To this day, I think Grady Little made the right decision leaving Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (the bullpen had sucked all year, Pedro was done but he was still their best guy). A bloop hit by Posada doesn't change the fact that he made the right call, and was then raped and scapegoated by an entire city.

So, my point is....fuck Boston.