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The Curse of Resulting

It is no secret that I love to watch football - pro more than college - but I'll watch it all. I am reminded constantly about the idea of resulting while watching the games.

For those who don't know, resulting is deciding if a decision was good or bad based on the result as opposed to the process and logic of the decision making. The only time that a result should be used when deciding if it was a good or bad decision is if there are no factors beyond your control when making the decision (hint: that is almost impossible).

Football coaches make decisions all game long. Plays to call, when to punt versus go for it on 4th down, kick a field goal or punt, replace a player, etc. It is non stop.

Usually during a critical time during the game, the announcer will say "the coach has an important decision here". If the team gets the desired result, people praise the coach. If they don't, the coach can expect a lot of questions in the post-game press conference.

What fans, announcers, and the media need to focus on is the logic behind the decision. The result does not matter. For example, a coach could go for it on 4th and 1 on the 50 yard line. The right personnel is in and the play called is perfect. Then a defender makes an unbelievable play and stops the team short. The outside factor didn't change whether the coach made the right decision.

Remember when you try to evaluate decisions - focus on process and logic, not result.

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