Perfection is defined as freedom from fault or defect: Flawlessness. Perfection is also defined as the quality or state of being saintly. I didn’t make that one up. It’s there in the Merriam Webster Dictionary. The Saints will need to be flawless and perfect to make it to 10-6. Anything is possible.
The opponents aren’t going to matter if the Saints wanna pull one of the unimaginable feats in Saints history.. A six game winning streak just doesn’t happen. Some people may believe in luck or maybe some divine intervention to help their squad to reach perfection. Try and tell that to John Wooden.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”- John Wooden
Wooden was not known for his off the cusp tirades or lengthy vocal breakdowns that would fill up any ESPN top moments. No Wooden was a totally different type of leader. He talked so much about humility and sincerity that one would wonder if Wooden was maybe a pastor not a coach. He never swore. And I mean never. This type of behavior would be more like a wise grandparent, that would be trying to explain to a child how to be humble in this world. Does this sound like a basketball coach? Maybe not. Above all, the results cannot be argued with.
So what does this have to do with the Saints you might ask? Everything. Another words, think of that streak for a second. The Bruins won 88 consecutive games in a row. All the Saints would need is only a drop in a bucket compared to that. Every single player though would need to be on the same page. This goes for the coaches as well. This is a great quote from one of Wooden’s former players about how details mattered to Coach Wooden.
Andre McCarter played for Wooden as the point guard and clashed with Wooden constantly, until he realized that Wooden had a point. McCarter, as he got older even wrote a book about him and tried to communicate what made this man so special. McCarter came from from Philly and was known for no-look passes, crossovers, and a lot of razzle dazzle. He recalls this conversation.
“Boy here he comes. He’s coming and fussing at me from across the court. So I go into his office on Monday, like we’ve got to get this stuff straight. This is how I play. This is what makes me who you recruited. So I said coach, ‘I made the pass, everything came out good, why do you keep picking on me?’
He starts digging in his drawer and I’m thinking, ‘What do you have to dig for? I asked you a question? Why are you looking in your drawer?’ You know, I’m hot about it,” McCarter said.
“Then he pulls out these statistics he keeps and says to me, “That play you made, we’ve been keeping statistics on 2-on-1’s and the percentage of what you did is around 70 or 72 percent. If you make the straight, basic pass, it’ll be like 98 percent. All the steam and hot air I had…I mean, unless I’m an idiot I’m going to go with the 98 percent right? He kind of diffused my whole go-off. I left out of the room like, ‘OK coach, go ahead.”
The Saints could use some of this. Also, Sean Payton will also need to hold players accountable for any type of mistake, even if it’s minimal. More than anything, the players need to want to perform for Payton. It does no good, if the players are not 100% bought in and committed to winning and their teammates.