KANSAS CITY MO - NOVEMBER 21: Quarterback Derek Anderson #3 of the Arizona Cardinals sits on the field after failing to make a first down during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 21 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
You don't know them. Stop trying.
During the fourth quarter of Monday night's nominally-NBA contest between the Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets, one of the Suns' announcing team referred to 'power forward' Hedo Turkoglu as a "cool customer" after sinking a shot. Nothing riles him up. He doesn't feel stress. Implied within: the veins of Hedo Turkoglu contain the ice water of a winner.
Now let's have the same conversation from a slightly different point of view. Here's Eric Koreen of the (Toronto) National Post on Turkoglu's return to his previous workplace last month:
If Turkoglu thinks Raptors fans are mad at him for the wrong reasons, then Turkoglu also does not fully understand the root of their anger.
It is not that Turkoglu left; it is that he so often appeared as if he did not care while he was here. He looked very much the same way for the majority of his 20 minutes on the floor on Sunday, in which he scored just five points.
Cool customer. Apathetic. Pizza downer. "Ball"er. Oh, he's so complex!
Let's try another example. Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic doesn't care much for Derek Anderson's body language.
Almost as painful as watching Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson miss open receivers is watching his body language.
Botched passes prompt an angry grimace. Frustrations trigger questionable decisions, like throwing the ball to the sidelines Sunday and landing an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.
This is not the behavior of a rally-the-troops kind of guy. Teammates, consciously or not, look to him for a signal.
Also, columnists and idle-minded sports fans.
Hedo Turkoglu doesn't share his emotions with you. Feel free to sketch in your own based on the quality of his shots. (They're pretty good so far.) Derek Anderson's body language is open to criticism because he's Derek F. Anderson but has been slotted into the Kurt Warner role. None of us can live up to that, not at our jobs nor away from them.
Yes, it's frustrating to watch the Cardinals. Yes, it will soon be frustrating to watch Hedo. (Feb. 16 is the over/under date.) No, you don't know them. As humans, we're awfully good at reading body language. Also as humans, we're unexpectedly lousy cognitive thinkers in determining the source of that body language.
Do you know that the rare night Steve Nash misses six shots in a row has to do with a sleepless night due to a possible custody battle? Can you determine the cut of Beanie Wells' jib by the strength of his knee? And, more importantly, is it any of your damned business?
So stop with the moral judgments determined by measures of success already. It's as fake as ice water. (I mean, it's ice or it's water. Pick a side.)