The Crybaby Cowboys are back. After Dallas lost its Wild Card playoff game to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 on Sunday, there was a lot of blame and finger pointing. Big D’s fingers weren’t pointed at themselves and their ugly running defense, shaky quarterbacking game and inability to avoid committing stupid penalties, were they?
No no, it’s much easier to blame the officials. Let’s shed some light on these guys instead!
The controversy arose at the very end of the game. With the Cowboys trailing by six points with 14 seconds remaining, quarterback Dak Prescott rushed to midfield for 17 yards. As Chris Berman would say, “Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick”. Precious seconds ticked by as referee Ramon George rushed to spot the ball. Once Prescott nailed the ball to stop the clock, the final seconds ticked away and the Cowboys lost the game.
Prescott said in his post-match press conference that the official “needs to be closer to the ball” to spot it faster, and that the outcome of that not happening was “difficult to accept”. Asked about the fans throwing beer bottles and trash at the officiating team, Prescott said: “Thanks to them then. Congratulations to them.
Wow, man. Oh good? Hooray for aggression? Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy chimed in, saying, “We shouldn’t have had a problem getting the ball spotted there.”
It may be news for the Cowboys, but not every NFL official will have blistering speed mixed with the agility of a ballet dancer. The infraction should allow enough time in case the referee does not look like a Cirque du Soleil performer. The Cowboys failed to do so.
The Cowboys also made a huge mistake in the final two minutes. Defensive end Randy Gregory was given a defensive holding penalty for hugging a bear and tackling a 49ers offensive lineman. This stupid penalty had a direct impact on the limited time the Cowboys had at the end of the game. Prescott also had an abysmal 69.3 passer rating. For context, Dak’s 69.3 passer rating against the Niners was actually lower than the abysmal 69.7 passer rating that New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has produced this season. yuck.
But it’s someone else’s fault. Right, the Cowboys? That’s what losers do; they point fingers at others.
For the Cowboys, losing officials is downright embarrassing. They spent more time complaining about things they can’t control (officiating) than they can control (their own performance).
The same thing happens in sports radio. Many. A lot of people in the industry get caught up in what they can’t control rather than what they can. Many hosts focus on the time slot they want or the job they think they should have. Flash info: this is not controllable. It’s also easy to complain about a lack of advertisers or sponsors, why listener engagement isn’t better with more calls and tweets, or why certain post-game sounds are missing from the scoresheet. chopped off.
“We don’t have sound?” How do we not have sound? Everyone has it. How do we miss the same sound that all the other shows have?
MacGyver, man. Find another way. Focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t. As Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says, “Do your job.”
The truth is, there are a lot of things in sports radio that workers want to control, might even think they should control, but don’t really dictate. We can’t push an easy Staples button and automatically make the audience more active, the sales team more diligent, or the publishers collect every bit of sound. But we can focus our attention on many things over which we have control.
Former NFL head coach Jon Gruden once offered some great advice. Before he became known for his emailing ways, Gruden hosted the successful QB camp series on ESPN. I will never forget an episode with former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya. The QB told Gruden: “It’s hard when every week you think, ‘Man, if I don’t play well, if I don’t throw that many yards, if we don’t win, my coach might not be here next week. It’s hard for me because you spend time with these coaches, you meet the families, you meet the kids, you train [Al] Golden recruited me. You approach him.
Gruden stopped Kaaya and said, “Take this note here; care about what you can control. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. ‘Cause if you start worrying about things that are out of your control, you’re gonna be a fucking hopeless case like me.
I love this advice. It is so easy to get derailed by focusing our energy in the wrong areas. The funny thing is that our thoughts can start in the right place but lead to the wrong outcome. Kaaya worried about her coach’s professional status and family. It’s reasonable, but doing so has added unnecessary pressure to the situation and shifted the QB’s focus to things he can’t control. It’s not a good result.
I think it’s smart to be constantly aware of whether something is helping or hurting your ability to perform.
A lot of people in the sports radio industry are competitive freaks. This is not automatically a bad thing at all. Being super competitive can fuel a great work ethic and provide a valuable edge. However, this can evolve into a roadblock once you become a bitter, competitive maniac. This is an other story. The bitter competition freak becomes jaded, frustrated, and clinging to what others have. How is all this useful? It’s better to stay focused on the things that help you do a good job, not to get in the way.
The Cowboys couldn’t control whether the official spotted the ball faster or not, but they could have given more time in case the referee was not Usain Bolt 2.0. They had a lot of control over surrendering under 169 yards rushing to San Fran and Prescott having a much better day. But crybaby Cowboys will whine and whine instead of being more responsible.
Don’t be like them. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, take a closer look at what you can actually control.