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A Brief Diversion From the Rampant Auburn Previews

While I'm always hesitant to discuss matters that are only available on premium websites, I can't help going back to what I saw on Tiger Sports Digest, the site run by Sonny Shipp when he lost the name Tiger Rag in a split with his partners.  TSD really is an excellent site full of great information that is an essential tool with which to follow the Tigers.

On Monday, they posted a pair of interviews with Andrew Hatch and Jarrett Lee.  In watching the videos, I was struck by something troubling.  Andrew Hatch's body language is terrible.  He slouches.  He shrugs his shoulders.  He shakes his head a lot.  If you're a believer in body language, it betrays a certain lack of comfort and lack of confidence.

It may be an illusion, or a mirage.  As an attorney I have grown a certain ability to read body language, but I've also grown a healthy skepticism about it.  What we read as "body language" may simply be nervous tics, or whatever he's feeling or thinking may have little to do with what you think it is about.  A person could appear uncomfortable and unconfident simply if he does not like the person questioning him or does not like the questions being asked.  Or he may just be tired after a long practice and ready to go home.

It's not like he says anything wrong in the interviews.  He speaks a practiced athlete-speak, betraying nothing while speaking timeless platitudes about preparing and trying really hard.  He's not trained enough to control his body language, however.

Jarrett Lee looks a lot better, and according to many reports he looks like the better quarterback in practice.  He doesn't slouch.  He doesn't shrug.  He doesn't shake.  He looks right at the person asking a question and answers it confidently.  He's not showing it in a game yet, though.

I'm a firm believer that it takes moxie to be an elite athlete.  There have been plenty of basketball players with as much athletic ability as Michael Jordan, but what set MJ apart was his competitiveness and confidence.  I once read an article written by a guy who said he predicted early on that Rip Hamilton would be a star by seeing how comfortable he looked while playing poker with other big stars.  Rip Hamilton has moxie.  Jarrett Lee appears to have moxie, or at least confidence.  Hatch, judging purely by his body language, doesn't have it.

I may be reading way too much into this, but I thought you might want to hear it.