What’s Obvious Ain’t

We too often respond to what’s obvious with what’s comfortable. What’s comfortable too often results in what’s mediocre.

Here are two examples — a football game and a piano — of looking differently at the obvious and producing results that are obviously different than what would be expected.

Example #1: Football

Football has two desperation moves for a team that is losing a game:

  • onside kick that, after 10 yards, gives your team only a slim chance to grab it; and
  • running or passing on fourth down rather than punting the ball to the opposing team, which would push them further away from getting a touchdown.

Both are long-shots, for sure, but occasionally they work.

Why, then, would Pulaski Academy of Little Rock, Arkansas frequently try onside kicks and always run a play rather than kick on fourth down? Dumb. Not really: the team’s record over the past decade is 124 wins and 22 losses, and football coach Kevin Killian’s teams have won three state titles.  Check out the video.
Example #2: Piano

A piano is an instrument played on keys by someone sitting on a bench. Not really. A piano is a music machine manipulated by clever people, like those in this video.

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