Baltimore Orioles: Confidence or arrogance?
You have to be confident to be a professional athlete; and there’s no doubt that all members of the Baltimore Orioles have that gene in them. In my case I’m not a professional athlete. In fact I’m not an athlete at all – I play pick up basketball once a week.
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While I tell people that it’s basketball at it’s absolute lowest level, I notice that if there’s not a certain belief in oneself playing the game you end up playing worse. In sports as is the case in life, if you start getting overly tentative you all but play into the hands of your opponents. So if you don’t have the confidence to take the necessary steps to win, you shouldn’t be surprised when perhaps even people with less skill or cunning manage to beat you – because you played “not-to-lose.”
However is there a fine line to toe between confidence and arrogance? In listening to sports talk radio yesterday, I heard an NFL quarterback described as “confident.” This was mentioned in reference to the Ravens’ Joe Flacco in that the hosts felt that he should be more like the quarterback that was being mentioned. Now I’m not going to mention who this other player was – but I’ll simply say that I’m not a fan. He’s a great quarterback, but I’m not big on the arrogant streak, and quite frankly I’d hate to see a nice clean cut guy like Joe Flacco turn into something like that.
Obviously this isn’t a football column. However if you look at the Orioles, you also see a group of guys who come across as fairly clean-cut, and fairly humble. This is NOT to say that they don’t have confidence, because anyone that’s ever spent any time around that group knows that isn’t true. They just don’t feel the need to remind the masses of how great they are at every turn of the way.
And again, I think that’s precisely the way to be. Never doubt your own abilities, unless you’re willing to see inferior talents passing you by. But people shouldn’t “flaunt their stuff” either. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything in my view. But that’s just me.
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But how do you, the fans, feel about this? Would it bother you to see Oriole players throwing their bats in the air (in the form of a bat flip on steroids) after a home run, of simulating the act of Superman flying when they come out of the dugout? Again, speaking for myself I respect the whole concept of just dropping your bat and running, or maybe just giving high-fives in the dugout as opposed to doing end zone-style dances.
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The real question from fans’ standpoints is does that arrogance make you a better athlete and thus make the team better? Would Cam Newton not be as good of a quarterback if he didn’t dance after TD’s? Or perhaps more poignantly for Baltimore, would Joe Flacco be a better QB if he did? That’s up to each person how they form their opinion. But I’m erring on the side of stoicsm.