my facebook status from dec. 7th, 3 days before cam was fired and the repost of "flacco, brady and microexpressions"
"since kevin van valkenburg has given up writing the column "five things we learned about the ravens" and we're definitely not learning anything new and interesting anymore after each respective ravens game (sorry matt vensel, your rendition of the column is more like "five really obvious things even every peripheral fan has already figured out before by themselves") i see myself picking up the slack and so i'm writing something daring and prophetic about the ravens of 2012:
barring a surprising outbreak of team-magic (not unlikely) over the course of the remaining 4 regular season games, including an ensueing play-off run that goes beyond everyone's expectations, the window is closing and an era will end.
then, if harbaugh (out of honorable loyalty and friendship) keeps cameron around after this, and binds his legacy to the unimaginably unimaginative mind of cam, falling short will be the definition of his career and his teams; as well as flacco's and above all rice's talent will never reach superbowl fame, elite status and will be forgotten like the bills of 3 decades ago.
and then again, we could be the eagles.. :) "
- a ridiculously daring journey of a psychology layman into a warrior's mind.
my basic premises: cameron is gone. everything will change. it will be awesome. the offense is gonna fullfill it's potential. flacco will be amazing. the ravens are gonna win, or ever so handsomely close and dramatically be loosers in the superbowl.
the offense will have a different look. people will look at the ravens offense differently. flacco will have a different look.
in his face!
here's my daring explanation for flacco's, and by proxy, the offense's underwhelming and erratic performances and also it's immanent and awesomely perplexing future change.
it has to do with flacco's mind. the makeup of his psychology and how it reveals itself in his facial microexpressions.
yes, it goes there - and back again.
true story: a comparison; brady is highly competitive. flacco. just as much!
why then, does one look like an angry warrior in the face of criticism and failure ready to respond with a whack of his sword arm, and the other like a 5 year old who has just been scolded by his mom and now is on the brink of crying? why is one playing amazing one quarter and then like a timid puppy the next? and why is the other playing amazing all the quarters of football? is it just because one has a cover face for GQ magazine and the other has a unibrow?
no. (think bella in the first twilight movie)
the psychology of their competitiveness is just completely different.
look at their sideline faces in the face of adversity. specifically at their microexpressions. even more specifically their general position of the corners of their mouth.
follow this wild dive:
brady's are slightly slanted upward teeming with arrogance, outright confidence and swag. flacco's are pulled downward. despondency? frustration? fear? disgust or cosmic loneliness?
and then it hit me like a car when on a bike in baltimore:
it's none of the above. it's:
when you don't know how to stir that kind of competitiveness, in a guy like flacco, then that's what you get. defiance. and it obviously made him a much, much worse player. from one moment to the next. for some reason cameron must have evoked that emotion that then caused this recurring theme of nightmare-paralysis in the body and in the mind of flacco and in the pocket of the ravens.
flacco is highly competitive and wants to steer the ship. tap into his own, inherent warrior psychology and let him do so (caldwell), and he'll be awesome. stifle him (cameron) and he'll give you: defiance.
harbaugh took the risk, and it will define his career. and he'll get a smile. watch the smile on flacco's face the rest of the season. i guarantee.