Monday, December 08, 2008

Patriots 24-Seahawks 21

One of this blogger's deepest beliefs about sports is that victory is to an extent learned behavior, particularly learned group behavior. It's a simple formula. The experience of winning creates an expectation of winning that helps create more winning. Crunch time remains stressful, but those familiar with happy endings tend to get more than their share.

The game tape of New England's win yesterday will henceforth be issued in evidence by yours truly whenever the subject comes up. That was a game decided by the collective memory of the victors. Indeed, the entire Pats season can be seen as a reflection of the fact that sports teams on top usually decline more slowly than one expects, just as teams on the rise usually take a little longer to get to the top than an analysis of their raw ability might indicate. For every 2008 Celtics or 2001 Patriots, there's a 1998-2004 Red Sox or 2003-2006 Colts or, the ultimate example, the Michael Jordan Bulls.

I will admit, however, that this subconscious factor in the Pats' win may not have carried the same weight as the facts Randy Moss and Wes Welker remain very good players, and that the Seahawks' pass defense is a symphony of fail.


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