It’s been suggested that conspiracy theories are an attempt to match causes to effects. It’s hard to believe that random, mundane events could have earth-shattering consequences. It’s tempting to supply causes that match the events in their scope and complexity.
A similar thing happens in games. When a decision has disastrous consequences, it’s tempting to cast it as a blunder retrospectively, even if it was only a minor mistake, or not a mistake at all.
An example is the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to pass from the goalline in the Super Bowl. Memorably, this decision resulted in an interception that cost Seattle the game. There was immediately an outcry on social media with many fans and commentators blaming Seattle’s loss on their decision to pass. Yet, sober analysis indicated that the decision may have been a good one, or, at any rate, can’t really have been that bad. In the 2014 season, passes from the 1-yard line had resulted in 66 touchdowns and no interceptions before the one in the Super Bowl. Nonetheless, there was a need to make the decision to pass a blunder commensurate with the disastrous outcome.
Chances are, your biggest mistakes aren’t the ones you remember.