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Do you believe in "clutch" players?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ice_Ice_Brady, Jun 6, 2012.

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  1. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    Just wondering how Pats nation feels about the ability to come up "clutch". Do you think there is actually such thing as clutch? Or do you think that it is merely a lot of hoopla about a very small sample pool.

    For example, Tom Brady was considered highly "clutch" in his first three Super Bowls and not as "clutch" during the last two. However, there was very little that was different about Brady's actual play. In all five Super Bowls, he's been cool in the pocket, thrown accurate passes, and taken what the defense has given him. He may have gotten too much credit for the first three, and his legacy will probably receive too much blame for the last two. But the bottom line is that every SB was decided by 3-4 points, and the law of averages suggests that 3-2 or 2-3 is a likely outcome.

    Joe Montana is considered the most "clutch" quarterback in NFL history, but in his third Super Bowl against the Bengals, he threw a sure interception that was dropped by a Bengals defender just before he threw the game winner. Had Montana thrown that same pass 10 times, it is probably intercepted 8 times. Montana is known as great SB quarterback, and he was, but the opponents were often inferior, and two of his games were blowouts. If you put Montana in five Super Bowls that would all be decided by 3 points, what do you think his record would be?

    Likewise, if Eli Manning only plays in two and is 2-0, is he really one of the most "clutch" QBs in NFL history, or merely a guy who wasn't good enough to get to more than 2? Is he more clutch than Brady, or just a product of luck within a small sample size. If you needed a quarterback to play in 10 Super Bowls, would you take Eli Manning (considered clutch) or Peyton Manning (considered un-clutch.)???

    This extends beyond football and into other sports. Although Derek Jeter is considered "clutch", his postseason batting average is not higher than his regular season batting average. The difference is that in some crucial moments, he has made some memorable hits that stick with us. But he's also struck out in key situations many times. Alex Rodriguez is considered "un-clutch"- yet if he played as many postseason games as Jeter, wouldn't he get his share of game winning hits and have a batting average close to his career reg. season?

    In the NBA, a recent study showed that although star players are known for being "clutch", nearly all of them have lower shooting percentages with the game on the line, including Kobe Bryant. This was due to taking lower percentage shots, but the point was that we tend to think of players as clutch and choker, and then we tend to ignore evidence to the contrary once the assumption is made. Michael Jordan missed a ton of game winners, but we don't really think about those because he made the big ones in the big games, particularly the last Utah game- but did he make most of those shots because he was clutch, or because he was great?

    It is something that I think about often. What are your thoughts? How much is clutch and how much is luck?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  2. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think what we call clutch is just steady nerves.

    Regardless, yes, clutch does exist. See Paul Pierce, draining that monster 3 in Lebron's face. Some people don't let the situation affect their play as much as others.
     
  3. PlainOldEd

    PlainOldEd Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    This. It's not about being better during high pressure situations, it's about not being worse. It doesn't mean you'll make every pass/shot, it just means you are no less likely to.
     
  4. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I believe in "clutch". I also think people misuse the term a lot, and that people often act as if only the winner of a contest can be clutch. Maybe it's about definition, maybe it's about application. I define "clutch" as coming through with a game clearly in the balance.

    I look at it differently from "big game player", which I define as a player who tends to play well, overall, in big games. For Celtics fans, last night is a good example. Last night, Pierce did not play like a "big game player", but he was clutch.
     
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Larry Bird was a big game player who was clutch.
     
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's a little bit easier in basketball than in football. You make the jump shot with the game on the line, you're clutch. But in football so much depends on your teammates. If Wes Welker makes a difficult catch on a poorly thrown ball by Tom Brady we'd all be lauding Brady for coming through in the clutch again. And if Brady had thrown the ball just a bit better we'd probably be lauding Welker for being his go-to guy in the clutch.
     
  7. Tasco

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    I don't think that "clutch" exists per se.

    There are athletes who play on the same level in tough situations, but that's not something special in my opinion, but something that is or should be normal.
    Then there are athletes who get nervous under pressure, are not focused enough and error prone.

    So basically I think that the perception of being "clutch" is accomunated wrongly to a positive trait, but it's rather the standard/normal capability of a top-athlete boosted by negative perfomances under pressure by other athletes.
     
  8. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You'll get no argument on that from me. It's a large part of why I consider Bird the best non-center ever to play in the NBA.
     
  9. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BIRD was as clutch as they come AND a very big "big game player".
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  10. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Just wondering how Pats nation feels about the ability to come up "clutch". Do you think there is actually such thing as clutch? Or do you think that it is merely a lot of hoopla about a very small sample pool.

    I would say yes, there is a 'clutch' factor - and also yes, the term is way overused and overemphasized.


    One specific way that the term is misused is that for far too many they apply the term strictly to a championship game. This to me makes no sense because there are many 'win or the season is over' situations leading up to that final game. What logic is there that losing Must Win Game A doesn't count for or against player, but losing Must Win Game B does?

    For example, many will imply or come right out and say that Montana and Eli are perfect in clutch situations, but others such as Brady are not. I'm not taking anything away from the other two, but Montana played for 13 years and won four championships; my math tells me that he is not perfect if the team he was with did not win the championship nine times. The Giants failed to win the games necessary to qualify for the playoffs three times with Eli as their QB, and three other times they made it but were one and done. Despite this Eli and the Giants are considered to be perfect in clutch situations. Huh?

    To take it a step further let's say that in the four years that Montana's team were one-and-done they instead performed better, won the next round, won the conference championship, but lost in the SB. Logically that is playing better, winning more 'win or go home games', therefore being more clutch, right?

    Yet if that were to have happened Montana would be 4-4 in the Super Bowl and by these people's same logic he would no longer be referred to as being clutch.

    That to me makes no sense at all - yet it is exactly the way many view who is clutch and who is not. By their logic if the Patriots had lost in the AFCCG or earlier in 2007 and 2011, then he would be more clutch than he is for winning those games. How does that make any sense?



    The other factor is that football is more of a team sport than any other sport. This isn't tennis or boxing, where it is just you going head-to-head with your opponent. This isn't baseball, where it is the pitcher versus the batter. In football, no matter how well any one player performs he cannot win a game, much less a championship by himself.
     
  11. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Brady was clutch in SB42. He had one drive of consequence in the 4th and it chewed up the bulk of the entire quarter and got them a TD to win the game. Then things went awry.

    SB46, he was one play away from being clutch, and now history will remember it as a fourth quarter failure.

    It is a shame how those things work out.

    No matter how you want to cut it, the reality we as Pats fans must struggle with is that we still need a 4th ring to see Brady and Belichick get the recognition for their accomplishments that they deserve.
     
  12. Steve:Section 102

    Steve:Section 102 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Absolutely believe in clutch. Tedy Bruschi was clutch, with his strip vs. colts (they ain't got it). Bruschi had many clutch performances, and I might rate him the most clutch Patriot. Ty Law was clutch, witness his many picks vs. Manning in the AFC Championship and the pick 6 in Super Bowl XXXVI. Troy Brown was clutch, Adam was.

    David Ortiz is clutch. Tim Thomas was last season, Pierce was last night.
     
  13. mayoclinic

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  14. signbabybrady

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    How can you not believe in clutch? Sports show time and time again it exists. You can argue the term gets mis-used or used to much but clearly it exists.

    No more evident than this Celts Heat Series. Pierce and Ray draining clutch shots like crazy even during spells of awful shooting and then on the flip side you have Lebron who seems to turn into Shaq on the free throw line when it comes clutch time.

    I agree with Deus that clutch doesnt always mean winning. Example Brady in the SB42 - The Giants D stimied him most of the day but 4 some odd minutes left and his clutchness kicks in and they drive down the field for the go ahead score. Unfortuanately too much time was left for Eli. Eli might be another example too as clearly his brother is he better QB but I also feel clearly Eli is more Clutch.
     
  15. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Pierce is better :D
     
  16. Jackson 2

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    I love Paul Pierce, and did long before last night. But, it's hard for me to believe that anyone who has seen both Bird's and Pierce's entire careers could possibly conclude that Pierce is better. Please, I mean no disrespect or insult, but I believe you're dead wrong on that one. Just my opinion.
     
  17. pork3

    pork3 On the Game Day Roster

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    To this day, comments like this bring me precariously near to emesis. If I had a choice, I'd eliminate that goddamned game from my memory.

    -Jamman
     
  18. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Two games from Bird personified why he was better. In one, game on the line with time running out, he steps behind the third point line and drills it for the game winner. Portland IIRc. Next game versus Detroit, virtually same scenario and he knows the player saw him drain a three pointer to win the last game, he steps back like he's going to shoot another three, defender overplays it and he blows past him for the easy lay in to win it....
    Pierce is very good, Bird is in that rarified class of few....
     
  19. Raymond

    Raymond Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Exactly, I'll even say clutch also means a player who will always be willing to take the shot themselves every time if necessary. No fear of failure in the moment.

    That was Bird.
     
  20. Jackson 2

    Jackson 2 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup. The Portland shot was on a Sunday afternoon from the left corner. Remember both games well.
     
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