Sometimes, athletes find a way to unwind after (or maybe even before) a big game, in the hopes of getting their minds in focus before it goes down. For many members of the New Orleans Saints, that meant popping in a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 and taking each other on in friendly combat. It is a great game for people to unwind to – although the team is going to need to figure something else out for this weekend.
Sports Illustrated recently reported that, in preparation for the team’s contest against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, the coaches have opted to remove all distractions from the locker room to make sure the team is focused. This includes the miniature basketball hoop, a ping pong table, and, yes, sadly, that Nintendo 64 and copy of Super Smash Bros.
“The coaches wanted a different level of focus, all the attention on what we got ahead of us,” said offensive lineman Terron Armstead, speaking with The Times-Picayune. “The playoffs is a heightened sense of urgency for everybody.”
Although that seems like a good idea in practice, it may be a bad move for the team. After all, if they managed to come this far by getting in their pre and post-game rituals with the likes of Smash Bros., wouldn’t changing that up throw them off? Sure, concentration on plays and everything is one thing, but if it’s a way to keep the team unnerved and ready to go for their big contest, it could make for some bad junu.
SI explained that the team had gotten “palpable camaraderie” in the locker room with these devices, challenging each other to laid-back games of Smash and hoops to see who the better players were. They were always friendly contests, although some avid Smash fans may argue that the game works differently than that. Nahhhh…
We’ll see how the team fares when the NFL contest takes place this Sunday, along with other Wild Card games that are taking place this weekend.