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Greg Carter
Greg Carter
During the past 20 years, I have explored most of the niches offered in the developing digital technology: multimedia developer, website developer, flash illustrator and animator. I have had clients in gaming, software development, and CGI feature film industries.
 

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Elizabeth Lambert: The Two faces of E?

Nov. 19, 2009 9:44 am
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The two faces of E?

I am writing this in response to the hogwash that I just found written by Jared DeFife at Harvard Medical School (the hogwash is here).

First a possible conflict of interest: my entire soccer career was spent playing defense.

I marvel at the disconnect this author has from what is the real subject matter of the Lambert case. It is not a case of an excuse plagued broken person. It IS a case of an elite athlete, who made the wrong on field decision when facing gamesmanship presented by an opponent. At the elite level, all athletes have long ago cycled through all of the on-field "sportsman-like" methods of attaining a competitive advantage. They have refined their training, polished their skills (the activity's technical aspects) and studied their strategies (the activity's tactical aspects).

This athlete's issues are not with excuses, they are with the correct response to an opponent's gamesmanship. As a closer review of the video evidence will show, this athlete responded to minor provocations with escalation. By doing so, she forfeited most of what she had prepared for in her training. When an athlete "sees red", the activity shifts from discipline to aggression, from creative to destructive.

The only additional information provided by this athlete's interview in the NY Times that is relevant is: "In each of her two previous matches, Lambert had received a yellow-card warning, but those were the only cautions in more than 2,500 minutes of play at New Mexico". Yellow cards for a defender, especially in tournament play, are not unusual (where tactical fouls to stop the run of play are often appropriate). What is relevant is that the video in evidence came from the third game in a row where the athlete was cautioned. Clearly, this athlete has deviated from the pattern of discipline that got her to this point in her career.

Again, and if this is getting redundant - oh well: all that is relevant is what has changed in the last 3 matches to explain the first 3 cautions of her collegiate career? Why has she chosen to escalate when faced with gamesmanship, when she hadn't before?

The histrionics of "soccer-moms", those parents of children who participate in recreational sports, fail to recognize that their children are playing an entirely different game. Their children are not simply at the other end of long spectrum, but are participating in a qualitatively different activity. It is like trying to compare taking a walk on a path to climbing in the himalayas.

 
Anonymous
November 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm
Huh?

I don't understand your criticism of the article at all. I understand you saying that defensive yellow-card infractions are not that uncommon, and thus not a good piece of evidence of rage. But what in the world is an "on field 'sportsman-like' method of attaining a competitive advantage"? How are her actions not related to her anger at all? You make it sound like she made a technical error, "forfeiting her training" and making "the wrong on-field decision."

Thinker's Post
Greg Carter
November 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm

The athlete's choice to react by escalating the gamesmanship (by that I mean all off-the-ball punching jabbing etc. to gain a tactical advantage) is just that. She chose "rage" there and then, whereas in other games she had not. Yes, it is simply a tactical choice. There are many ways to counter the gamesmanship shown by the BYU players, some more successful than others.

There are other tactical forms of gamesmanship that have much more long term damage than what Lambert exhibited. See today's headlines regarding thierry henry's "hand of god" goal to qualify France over Ireland. With that act, and his subsequent unapologetic stance, he has redefined what his legacy in the game will be.

Lambert only needs to react differently next time.

 
 
 
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