Two months ago, the week 7 game between Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals ended in a 6-6 tie. During the overtime, the kickers from both team missed game-winning field goals: Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 24-yarder and Seattle kicker Stephen Hauschka missed a 28-yarder.
In the post-game press conference, the two head coaches, Arizona’s Bruce Arians and Seattle’s Pete Carroll, were asked about their kickers. Here is what they said:
- Bruce Arians: “Make it. This is professional, this ain’t high school, baby. You get paid to make it.“
- Pete Carroll: “[Hauschka] made his kicks to give us a chance and unfortunately he didn’t make the last one. He’s been making kicks for years around here … but he’s gonna hit a lot of winners as we go down the road here. I love him and he’s our guy.“
After the game, people were contrasting the two head coaches’ words. They think Pete Carroll demonstrated better leadership style, regarding how to respond when a member of my team makes a mistake. In one article, the author appraised Pete Carroll for having his kicker’s back.
The author said: “By choosing to focus on the positive, skillfully sharing your own personal experience, or simply reminding the person that everyone has a bad day, you do everything in your power to help that person recover.” The author then asked a rhetorical question: “The question is, can these two kickers come back from their mistakes?”
Now, two months later, we have the answer: Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro recovered, Seattle kicker Stephen Hauschka hasn’t.
Today, in week 16, Seattle Seahawks met Arizona Cardinals again. They tied in 31-31 when there was only one minute left in Q4 and now Seattle was going to kick the extra-point. This time, Seattle kicker Stephen Hauschka missed again. A moment later, Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro hit a field goal and helped Cardinals win the game by 34-31. That’s a perfect redemption of Arizona kicker Chandler Catanzaro: the same rival, scores tied, facing a game-winning field goal. This time he made it.
Bruce Arians was right: this is professional, this ain’t high school. We get paid to make it. We are all grown ups. Why need to sugar-coat it?