In the martial arts and in sports there is a certain degree of luck involved with being successful. Generally speaking the most deserving or talented teams or people should win, but that isn't always the case. Last night's Super Bowl game showed that in order to win one must be good as well as lucky. Most of us were a little befuddled why Seattle's Pete Carroll didn't use Marshawn Lynch who is arguably the NFL's best running back when they were 2nd and goal with 26 seconds left. Now I am not an avid football fan and I couldn't even name all the teams in the league but even I thought they should have went with Lynch in that moment. From what I have read millions of people did so too. So was that the right call? In that moment no, but in hindsight and as a martial artist I say yes.
Look at that moment from a bigger picture standpoint. Vox.com’s Matthew Yglesias explains it here:
An incomplete pass stops the game clock. An unsuccessful run does not. A timeout also stops the clock, and Seattle only had one timeout left. So if the Seahawks had run on second down and failed to get a touchdown, they would have had to call timeout.
Now, it's third down, and they have no timeouts left. So if they run on third and fail, the game is over. But if they pass on third and fail, the clock will stop, and they can run another play. So they basically have to pass on third, and the New England defense knows they have to pass.
By contrast, if you throw on second down and fail, the clock stops. Now it's third down, and you still have your time out. That means you could run on third, fail, and use the timeout to stop the clock and run another play on fourth down. That means New England has to defend against both the pass and the run, which puts Seattle in a more advantageous strategic position than they would be had they run and failed.
As a martial artist I have to think in terms of the bigger picture. The martial arts are about strategy. We develop skills and strategies to out maneuver our opponents. Strategy is a series of "What if" contingencies that we base our training upon. Hopefully we are lucky enough to strategize correctly and come out successful or as Seneca said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." One can only prepare so much and the rest is left to god, the universe or whatever. Perhaps that is why many samurai were historically very superstitious. Some days it just pays to be lucky or as Baseball player Lefty Gomez said, "I'd rather be lucky than good."