Yes. It is possible.
I work as a freelance camera operator. As such I get the opportunity to work a variety of sporting events. Last night I saw what appeared to me to be a group of young men who, because they were focused too far down the road ran straight into a pothole. Part of my camera responsibilities last night were to bring quarterbacks onto and off the field and to maintain a constant lock on them. I was also responsible for a lot of those cool close-ups you see where the screen is filled with shoulder pads and face masks–where you get to look directly into player’s eyes.
I do that for the entire game. Viewers get to see those shots occasionally but I live with lots and lots of faces and eyes and last night, the San Diego State University Aztecs had the look of a hungry not-supposed-to-win contender who had read the pre-fight commentary and were determined to prove them wrong.
The Boise State Broncos on the other hand appeared a tad confused they weren’t winning. As much as I’d like to blame the players or allow Coach Peterson to take the blame (which he will because in the end he’s a good coach and good coaches know they hold ultimate responsibility) I prefer to blame the local media. Here’s why:
In the past couple of weeks the local rag and the local “newschannel” have relentlessly pushing the idea that a BCS bowl bid and a trip to the Orange Bowl were realistically within the Bronco’s grasp. Which is true. And false. Like anything hopeful there was a mathematical possibility. However, there wasn’t much of a POLITICAL possibility. Let’s be reasonable, in the end it’s about money and name status and this year the Broncos are a bit off the radar.
But if you’re a young team (like the Broncos) in a small metropolitan area (like Boise) then there’s a good chance you’re getting some pretty good input from the community that you’re future is pretty dang bright.
And if you believe the hype? You’re likely to take your eyes off the road immediately in front of you and focus on the wrong thing–you get fixed on the road signs and forget to watch the road and then? When you put your front wheel smack in the middle of that nasty pothole (like having the opening kickoff returned for a TD)? You react with panic and confusion and you’re suddenly off your game and, well, you don’t recover well.
Who’s fault is it? In the end it’s coaches because they’re the leaders responsible for helping the players ignore the hype. In the short term? It’s a case of not making the hype.