I came across this quote today by physicist Richard Feynman
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.
It applies to sports fans. It applies to myself. We all want to be better critical thinkers. That requires removing as much bias as possible to strip things down to the core. There are barriers to being a good critical thinker. For example, if you emotionally invest (ego) into a conclusion, motivated reasoning kicks in and distorts and biases critical thinking towards fooling one’s self. It is very possible to have your critical thinking skills lead you to the wrong answer, only to find your more confident than ever in this error because you’re so heavily invested. This results in a “sophisticated rationalization” that feels like truth, making the pattern harder to break. Admitting I/we/you were wrong is part of critical thinking and removing bias. Just keep that in mind. People get mad when new data comes in, and I change my mind. They view it as inconsistency. I view it as discovery. As if changing one’s mind, in the face of overwhelming evidence, is a bad thing. That should be applauded not chided. For example, Johnny Hekker is now a great punter (to my amazement). Great critical thinking should be flexible and not afraid to change.
Anyway, this very human issue is something to be aware of moving forward. It is the curse of Beaverblitz and PureOrange readers. Think how it made them staunchly back Riley for years, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Fall practice doesn’t begin until August 10th (9am precisely), and will go almost through opening day. So what to discuss between now and then? Well, like above, let’s try to all improve our critical thinking for this massive coaching change. Setting reasonable goals for season one is probably a good idea. I’d say 6 wins would be a success. Though, I do think more or fewer are possible, as there are so many variables for which to account.
I don’t have the time to analyze each position right now. Between now and camp I will. I need to familiarize myself with the roster after all the changes, and just haven’t done it yet because I’m not in the football mindset. Now that we’re in June, that will slowly set in. If anyone wants an opinion on a player I’ll give that, etc. Or, just use this as a general thread. I really want to make sure our mindset is right and not make an embarrassment out of AB. Many fans who read this site only knew Riley, so this is going to be a big deal. It’s like breaking up with your first and only girlfriend and going out into the scary world of dating…many emotions, biases, and such. So get that all in check and prepare yourself for the season. Try to set reasonable goals, try to think critically without bias and emotion, try to add a little humor into the mix, etc. Have at it.