Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?
posted at 6/5/2011 11:25 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Clutch, intangible or nonexistent?
[QUOTE]But, can a "clutch player" also "choke" at some point? Yes, it is inevitable. Once you get the reputation as a clutch player , people expect it all the time. And then the one time you are not "clutch" , you are a "choker."
Posted by ZILLAGOD[/QUOTE]
That's true. However, just because you don't come through in the clutch doesn't mean you choked. There certainly are instances where you can say the player choked. Most times that's in a sport where the opposition can't affect what you do -- golf, shooting free throws in basketball, for example.
It's trickier when there's another person involved. For example in tennis, if a player makes a dramatic comeback, was he clutch or did the other player choke. Often it's both. If the player who loses makes a lot of unforced errors, then yeah, he choked. If the other player simply makes a lot of great shots, then he was more clutch than the other player choking.
Here's a specific case. Yaz has great stats in clutch situations -- playoffs, key games in pennant runs, etc. In the 1978 playoff game, he was involved in three of the four runs Boston scored, so he was clutch in that game.
But ... he made the last out with a runner on base with the chance to at least tie the score. Yet he popped up. Did he choke? No. Gossage was simply better.
I get sick and tired after every big game where instead of discussing how good the winning team was and giving credit there, the discussion seems to always start -- Who's to blame? Too many would rather label someone a choker instead of giving credit to the winner.
Sometimes clutch is simply being lucky, but I'd rather call it clutch than play the blame game all the time.