FanPost

Confirmation Bias.... Houston we have a problem. (HE JUST WINS!!! or not)

Football is a interesting sport to me. I find it very interesting to not only follow the sport but also to break it down into all of its moving parts. I don't tend to get caught up in the emotional side from a fan stand point. So I rarely have rose colored glasses on when I try to ascertain the "why?"

My issue today isn't the sport its self. But instead the fans and the media and the football decision makers. There is a flaw in some of these individuals logic circuits that allows some to believe that football is fairly close to magic. Where if you put a certain player in the game regardless of circumstances that player will lead to a certain specific set of results. HE JUST WINS!!!!

My issue with the "HE JUST WINS!!!" crowd is. I believe that this is a expression of >>> "i have no clue how that happened or why, but because it did happen the end results are all the proof I need" .... and this may describe your beliefs when it comes too sports or football or life. However, what I believe is the most relevant that gets overlooked is >>>> circumstances. Too some circumstances just sounds like an excuse. A bunch of excuses that have too many moving parts and therefore can't be explained or understood clearly "so lets just stick with HE JUST WINS".... This is where I honestly feel like the "HE JUST WINS" crowd sat next to the "THE EARTH IS FLAT" crowd in class. Once we start to talking about things in detail and break down the "WHY?" the "HE JUST WINS CROWD" gets annoyed. Then it becomes to complicated. Nope Nope NOPE lets go back to "HE JUST WINS!!!" because that is easier to understand.

All of this is symptoms of >> Confirmation Bias <<. We want to be able to understand things yet it is easier to have a preconceived notion. We then begin to justify those notions with information we gather. Even if the information we gather directly disputes the preconceived notion.

Cam Newton is a study of this phenomenon. There are fans, and media personnel and NFL decision makers that view Cam Newton either through logic that allows them to either break down and understand all of the moving parts involved. OR they act on their own Confirmation Bias with stories that I am sure most of you have read on NFL.com from Adam Schein

"I don't believe Newton has what it takes to eradicate and/or mask areas of deficiency. I don't believe he is an elite, upper-echelon quarterback. The Panthers have finished under .500 in both of Newton's seasons as the quarterback. Cam can be dazzling and, at times, absolutely breathtaking. He also can be inconsistent when it comes to protecting the ball and downright maddening in terms of how he handles the "fifth quarter" responsibilities that come with being an NFL quarterback. Remember the press conference during which he asked for the suggestion box? Franchise quarterbacks and team leaders don't do that. Newton rightly drew ire for performing his Superman routine when Carolina was losing big. Newton seemed aloof on the bench during losses, especially a 29-point, nationally televised defeat to the New York Giants on NFL Network. His teammates have yet to vote him captain. That tells me something. Newton still needs to grow up. That's a problem."

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via i.imgur.com


These thoughts didn't just pop into peoples heads. These are the type of things that you will hear from fans and media and likely NFL people about Cam Newton..... and many of them had these same thoughts before he ever took a NFL snap. There are some that believe he will be great and what they have seen only confirms that (in those individuals minds). There are some that think some of his actions are signs of immaturity issues and he has a instances that confirm that (in those individuals minds)

A lot of times our bias starts with what we relate too and life experience. It isn't strange to imagine how some of us live in completely different worlds. Some simply relate to things differently. For example, the towel.... some chose to look at Newton wearing a towel on his head and associated this with sulking and having a bad attitude. But could it be possible that Cam Newton has a different association with sports figures on the sidelines with towels on their heads?

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via nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com

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via news.bbc.co.uk

When I was little I remember hating the Bulls being from Detroit. Yet I must admit so many cultural things that just go unnoticed tended to stick. I just remember going to the court and everyone not in the game had a towel on their head next thing you know I have a damn towel on my head. Even at high school football games it was the same thing. Anybody notice that this "towel on the head" thing isn't really unique? In fact athletes have been doing this for years.

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via www.thelostogle.com

Wait, Durant you too? I never really thought about why this is happening. Yet when I look around I have seen this every where.

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via ksrcollege.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

Rondo too? Could this be more than a isolated instance of towel head wear? Is Gator aid really that demonic?

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via nba247365.com

Russell Westbrook as well? Is this a basketball thing.... right?

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via binaryapi.ap.org

Well, maybe not........

Ok well when it comes to behavior Cam Newton in the eyes of those that felt he was immature will see what has happened already and that will confirm what they already thought. No way a quarterback should yell at the Ref and act like a baby like....NOOOO good quarterbacks do that!!!!!

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via cdn0.sbnation.com

oh wait.....

Well nobody talks to the media and throws his teammates under the bus like that too the media...not any good quarterbacks.....right? >>>>> oops .... What type of spin do you think Newton would get from those that already have their minds made up on Newton if you witnessed this type of display >>>> here I think it is good leadership however for those that have their own opinions prior too any event there are a lot of different perspectives that can be gained from that type of exchange.

Point is the there will be people that see Cam Newton like this..... And the more the Panthers win the more people that already see him that way confirm their initial thought. Those that are in the middle will gravitate toward this mental image..........

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via i.imgur.com

Now if the Panthers are losing those who's opinions are more in the middle ALONG with our esteemed Mister Adam Schein will tends to conjure this mental imagine/perspective that is already in their heads that only confirms this..........

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via media.thethousands.com.au

For myself, I feel very blessed to be able to recognize when I myself am doing this. And actively try to gain perspective on a case by case basis. If mister Schein had done so he would have seen in more detail that Newton is immature AND that many of the Panthers struggles had more to do with Scheme issues than "ability" or lack there of.... I can't speak to the leadership aspect of it and I would find it hard for a objective person to do so without being in that locker room. But I do think once I step back and look at things historically. I get a more optimistic perspective than Mister Schein's end of the world scenario.

P.S. lets see some of your funny images of athletes with towels on their heads (or anyone for that matter) in the comment section :).

Per request for Jovox.....

Happy Towel Day!

The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams' work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)[3] —Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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