Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sports Psychology & Our Competitive Advantage

Your mind is what makes everything else work.
-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball player

What is best in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
-Conan, barbarian

NFL teams are basically even. Yes, there are teams who consistently win and those like the Lions who do the complete opposite. There are a handful of reasons for this but the amazing athletes in this talent pool still represent the 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%. So this begs the question that if they are all on the same physical playing field, where does one gain the competitive advantage? By hitting the gym harder? Sure, a focused effort may produce a small degree of separation. Through illegal means? This has proven to work but the inherent risks are too great for most. The answer, my friends, is by mastering the mental game.

If you think about it, players do almost nothing but mentally prepare for games. They watch film, discuss strategy and even as they practice on the field and prepare their bodies, they are being mentally groomed for the action that lies ahead. Professional athletes, especially, should be as mentally strong and focused as a person can get. To compete at the highest level, such as Super Bowl 47, it’s simply a necessity.

But what happens when a player loses his mental edge? Or on a grander scale, what happens when an entire team loses its collective mental strength? Then that player and that team become no more of a worthy opponent than the buzzing of flies is to Vigo the Carpathian.

Nothing I have said thus far can be disputed. This knowledge is plucked from both recognized sources as well as conventional wisdom. However, the means with which I propose the Packers systematically dismantle our opponents’ psyche is indeed far from convention.

To do this, I need your help envisioning the Packers scoring a touchdown at Lambeau. Let’s pretend that Rodgers just hit James Jones for a 50-yard bomb to start off the 2nd quarter. The crowd cheers, Jones spikes the ball and then this video plays on the Jumbotron as loud as it can possibly go…

Yes, they will laugh. Yes, they will scoff and throw tomatoes in your general direction. It is because they do not know and therefore cannot possibly understand. However, do not throw the tomatoes back. Eat the fruit (tomatoes are a fruit, btw). Let them fully digest. Then throw them back in their faces while you laugh.

You may have laughed. And that is OK. But just for a moment, I invite you consider the alternative, and truly embrace this Trololo concept, and think of the rewards. Think of how humiliating this will make our opponents feel when it’s played on the Jumbotron. This video is almost three minutes long, allowing ample time to rub salt in their collective wounds. Upon one single viewing, opponents will be rendered almost completely deflated. And may the Lord have mercy on them on a day when QB1 really goes off.

While 70,000+ fans are all dancing, singing and laughing, the other team will ooze with contempt, waste precious energy through their anxiety, lose focus, discipline and ultimately, assuredly fail. Each score and subsequent Trololo viewing will be another proverbial nail in the coffin of any hope of winning and probably make them lose their damn minds in the process and scream “ENOUGH ALREADY! I CAN’T TAKE THIS.” And we will laugh and play the video again. No, there will be no comeback. After all, how can one come back – or go anywhere – when they can’t even escape their own insanity?

This type of grotesque psychological warfare does not go without consequences. The vision of being laughed at by Trololo man Eduard Khil may haunt opposing players for weeks, or in some cases even throughout their entire careers. For that, I do apologize, because I have no desire to ruin a player’s career. However, in the spirit of my own satisfaction and thirst for winning, I accept this collateral damage with the knowledge that the end justifies the means.

Unfortunately for the Packers and their fans, our season is over. But while you’re placing your bets on the Super Bowl at or at your Uncle Eddie’s, I ask you to let this idea marinate. If someone takes the Niners, take the Ravens or vice versa and play this video every time your team scores. If you make it to halftime without getting into it, I'd be shocked.

If you think I’m joking, think again. My agent (and fine auto parts dealer), Tidewater, has made phone calls and emails to the Packers, people. We are looking to have a business meeting with Mark Murphy and Ted Thompson in early spring for a formal proposal. And while I’m there, I’ll be sure to take care of that whole annoying G Force thing, too.


  1. I would love to see this. A psychological edge at Lambeau would be FANTASTIC.


    - JIM (one of the many proud owners of the Green Bay Packers)

  2. Thanks for chiming in, Jim. I truly believe this would have some sort of effect if embraced.

  3. With Trololo on loop all their base would truly belong to us.

  4. Brilliant idea.


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