Giant Killing 4 – One Cog in the Machine (or FLOPPERS ARE SATAN)
Still definitely liking Giant Killing‘s approach to teamwork and structure. I’m now certain this series is aware of The Secret.
What really makes it is that while players like Gino and Tsubaki have elite skills, they’re not taking over games and dominating in an unrealistic manner. Even those with elite skills need to fill a role and have all their teammates fulfilling specific roles and executing to at least an adequate extent to have a chance at victory.
Even in the NBA, where elite players are certainly capable of winning games by themselves, a team-oriented nature takes hold. Look at the Miami Heat, recently eliminated from the NBA Playoffs by the Boston Celtics — that team is the superhuman Dwyane Wade and a bunch of garbage. Wade won game four essentially by himself (46 points, asserted himself everywhere he needed to be) and kept the Heat close in other games, but they lost four games to one because that team just blows and can’t execute at a proper level. Miami’s players did not fulfill the needed roles. There are maybe a dozen players in NBA history (and that is debatable) who were capable of carrying a team to a title when surrounded by a decent-to-solid team.
Everyone else is prey to The Secret.
Tatsumi understands this. Gino’s good, but he is not so good that he can excel when every player is bearing down upon him from all fronts. (By the way, sneaky good strategy by Tatsumi in making Gino the captain so that the other team would focus that much more upon him and overlook everyone else on the team.) When an athlete gets to the pro, unless he or she is truly elite, then there is probably not much more development to be had. Some, like Tsubaki, are probably really fast; some, like Gino, are gifted passers and shooters; some are physical and unafraid to rough things up a bit to protect their teammates; and so on. Teams need to be built around the specific attributes possessed by the players, and if those attributes do not mesh, then there is trouble.
The well-oiled machine metaphor has long been a cliche, but it fits — everyone on a team fulfills his or her role for the benefit of the whole. If even one person cannot fulfill that role, then that can derail the whole team. Gino gets the glory of scoring the goal — not to mention the adulation from the crowd — but he absolutely could not have scored that goal without Tsubaki fulfilling his role (surprising the other squad with his speed, shifting the focus to himself and successfully pulling off the feint that allowed Gino to score), without he himself setting up Tsubaki’s role with his passing and even the seemingly miniscule act of Murakoshi taking the ball, dribbling it a bit and passing to Gino when the time is right.
All these jobs seem simple, and that is often the danger about them: They are simple, which is why The Secret is often not sustainable (at least in basketball) for more than a season or two. How many teams have fallen apart because egos enter the picture, and players think they are bigger than reality? When players fail to live up to their promise? When veterans grow irritated with rookies supplanting their roles on the team? When a player’s skill simply degrades? It’s easy for a team to win; it’s tough for a team to be the winner constantly.
(Random side note: I’m glad Tatsumi dresses in his normal duds for games. You know what is really weird? Baseball managers wearing uniforms during games. They’re (usually) a bunch of wrinkly old white dudes; come on, be professional, wear a damn suit. Who cares if it looks strange? Hockey coaches look weird wearing suits in the box, and they still do it. Most baseball managers look like they’re in a midlife crisis, hoping to jump in on a Little League game. It’s creepy.)
Allow me a personal rant to finish off this post: That Mochida asshole is immediately my most hated villain of the season so far. Why? BECAUSE HE’S A GOD DAMN FLOPPER.
What is flopping? (Or “diving” in the parlance of our friends across the pond and beyond, as Scamp informed me.) It’s when a player accentuates often incidental (or nonexistent) contact to draw a favorable call from a referee. It’s a dirty ass trick, and only douchefucks of the highest order pull that crap on the field. Where is the skill in that? It’s just horrible sportsmanship and, frankly, more evil than anything any of us will ever do in our lives. When a player on one of my favorite teams pulls this sort of bullshit, I feel as if I’ve supported the killing of a cute kitten. “WHERE HAS THIS BLOOD ON MY HANDS COME FROM”
Unfortunately, flopping is implicitly encouraged because referees suck and will call almost anything that even remotely looks like a foul unless it’s obviously not a foul. (And even then . . .) Players do it because it works and helps the team win. But it’s horrible for the fans to watch and ruins the product; therefore, it is evil of the highest magnitude. I am 100 percent serious about this.
Flopping must die.