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What In The Hell Is Pete Carroll Talking About?

Illustration for article titled What In The Hell Is Pete Carroll Talking About?
Photo: Ted S. Warren (AP)

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had a few really good motivational anecdotes, and then he ran out of them and his players stopped listening to him. Carroll truthered the 9/11 attacks to a four-star general. Carroll’s players started to wonder if he was maybe more Chauncey Gardiner than actual genius when he decided not to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the goal line. (Remember that?) Carroll invited Jordan Peterson to speak to the team. What I’m saying is, this, uh, proclamation by Carroll makes perfect sense in context.


Out of nowhere and seemingly in response to nothing, Carroll put out this, on what he calls “A New Empathy,” and I dare you to distill this into any declarative sentences.

What does this mean? What is this? Is this about anthem protests somehow? Is this a multi-level marketing scam? Is Pete starting a cult? Am I going to need to get audited by a P-meter in order to progress to higher Operating Petan levels?

Most likely, this is just another manifestation of Executive Brain, the disease that eventually comes for anyone who’s told they’re a genius for too long and decide that they are objectively brilliant, rather than any of the things they’ve done, therefore everything they do must brilliant so here’s 500 words on a concept I just made up that I’m going to capitalize but not actually define.

If there’s savvy here it’s in carefully constructing a statement that’s physically incapable of saying anything that might antagonize anyone. “These challenging times.” “Our leaders.” “Discord and division.” Like all coachspeak, it comes apart completely when you actually try to puzzle meaning from it.

Empathy is good! The world would be better if people were more empathetic. I still don’t understand how A New Empathy is any better than regular old empathy. Or what it is. Maybe this is all just a defense of enforced monogamy.

Deputy editor | Deadspin