By MJ @theonlymj
It’s easy to second guess a decision when you aren’t the person making it. This past Sunday at the Superbowl, the Seattle Seahawks were a touchdown away from beating the New England Patriots. With seconds left on the clock, 1 timeout, and arguably the best running back on the planet, Seattle decided to throw the ball, instead of running it in for what would have likely been a guaranteed touchdown. After the ball was snapped, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson ended up throwing an interception, leading to his team’s defeat.
Moments later the internet blew up. Millions of households around the globe erupted in contempt and outrage. “Why didn’t they run the FUCKING ball,” yelled untold numbers of angry viewers. This question rolled into the following days while armchair coaches and quarterbacks alike bemoaned the decision to pass the ball instead of running.
Welcome to 2015, where everybody knows what’s best. If a TV show doesn’t end the way a person thinks it should, they complain on Twitter. People come up with 3 different potential endings that would have satisfied them more. If a person hates the way her favorite book franchise killed off a character, she insists that the writer bring that character back from the dead. The thing is, it’s incredibly easy for people to see a mistake when they aren’t the ones making it, and it’s even easier to label something a mistake when it’s simply different than what they think they might have done.
Had Russell Wilson completed the pass in the Superbowl, and led his team to victory, no one would have second guessed the decision. It is only because of the result that everyone seems to know that it was the absolute wrong call in that situation.
Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seahawks, has been coaching football for a very long time, longer than I’ve been alive in fact. He made it to consecutive Superbowls, and because of one play, people are calling his decisions into question. What about all the good play calls that were made to get the team into a position to win in the first place? If the man was good enough to coach a team into the Superbowl for two straight seasons, he might just know how to do his job.
Two weeks ago the WWE hosted it’s annual Pay-Per-View extravaganza: The Royal Rumble. During this event, 30 men enter the ring and attempt to eliminate each other in a battle royal by throwing a man over the top ropes. This year, perennial fan favorite Daniel Bryan entered the Royal Rumble, only to be eliminated sooner than fans thought he should be. By the time fan favorite Roman Reigns won the Rumble, the fans of Philadelphia had turned on him, even booing Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson after he came down to the ring to help Reigns win the match.
Later that evening the hashtag #CancelWWENetwork was trending worldwide. The fans were outraged, and they thought that the event should have ended differently. Earlier at the event, a title match was held featuring John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Brock Lesnar. During and directly following the match, Twitter was abuzz with positive comments about the match, heaping heavy praise on the participants and the way that WWE booked the match. Approximately an hour later, the same fans that were so stoked about the title match were tweeting #CancelWWENetwork because Roman Reigns won the Rumble.
These sort of knee jerk reactions are a spreading epidemic. Social media is a very powerful tool for people to express themselves, but at a certain point society has to let the professionals be professionals. As much as we all would like to think that we could create a better product or make a better play call than the person that’s in charge, the reality is we probably couldn’t. If we could, we wouldn’t be sitting at our computers or using our phones to complain about other people's decisions, we’d be making them.