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Added: 21 March 2000

Why We Lost

The thing is, they've got a lot of horses. When we've got a team down, we have to learn how to put them away. We can't let them back in the ballgame. You let these guys up for air, let them think they've got a chance, and they'll take advantage every time.

Take the other night. I felt strong, but I grooved a couple over the plate and they took me deep. Of course, we've got guys out hurt, but we have to regroup and find some way to win. Other guys have to step up. We've got some guys on this team, their minds are already on the beach. They're not stepping up to do the job. That's not going to get the job done--on either end of the floor.

The buy-out hurt us, and we're too fat in the middle management layers. Of course, they're building on our infrastructure, but try telling that to the customer. We've just got to dig ourselves out of this hole. We'll be successful if we stay focused and play together. It isn't the guys who are making the excuses that are going to be there in June. It's put up or shut up time.

Things can turn around on you so quick in this game. One day you're having fun, going to the clubs, drinking the wine, enjoying the candlelit dinners, the sex is great. The next thing you know, guy drains a couple of threes and they've opened up a 20 point bulge. If your production people aren't talking to the boys in marketing, it's going to throw off your schedules, your costs, your priorities, and ultimately your life-cycle costing is going to end up totally skewed.

Fatigue was a factor late in the game. I was frankly tired of her bullshit. Then Murpin from accounting comes in and he's whining about procedures and forms, I mean, we're trying to build a strategy here! Guys like him just don't get it. We have to play 94 feet of defense for 48 minutes. If we don't, they'll find a way to hurt us.

They did the things you have to do to win tough games. The essence of systems is relationships, interfaces, form, fit, and function. This was architecting: structuring, simplification, compromise, and balance. It was a see-saw battle that came down to fourth quarter heroics.

Good teams find ways to win, that's the bottom line. You've got to give them credit; they didn't quit. I've been swinging the bat well, I'm just not connecting. I don't want to think too much about my mechanics, and I'm not going through any special rituals. Ultimately, you have to give the people what they want at a price they're willing to pay. It's about character. It's about heart. In our case, we just didn't have the magic anymore.