I was doing some pondering tonight like I sometimes am known to do and I couldn’t help but think about Machiavelli and his debate on whether it is better to be feared or better to be loved. The NABA seems to follow the same sort of distinct juxtaposition between teams that are loved and teams that are feared and a case can be made as to whether a team should be feared or loved.
Here in a nut shell is what Machiavelli says:
“Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with……….for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”
So where do the teams of the NABA fall according to Machiavelli? I would venture to say that most would agree that the Owlz and the Blacksox fall under the feared category, whereas the Ducks and Bulldogs tend to fall under the loved category. The current records go to show that perhaps Machiavelli is correct.
But is being feared really all its cracked up to be? Sure it might give you the best shot of winning, and no doubt it gives you the psychological edge in a head to head matchup, but one point that Machiavelli grossly underestimates is the loyalty between players on teams that are loved and the lack there of on teams that are feared. For example, the custody battle over pitcher Warren between the Owlz and the Blacksox and how about the comments Fago made about his former skipper Mr. Cool.
In conclusion, I must disagree with Machiavelli when it comes to NABA baseball and say it is better to be loved than feared. Being feared might be the quick and easiest way to a title, but the loyalty of the players toward their loved teams trumps fear any day. Success might not come as quickly, but when it does it is nearly impossible to break a loved team apart.
Ducks For Life.