– Formulas get a bad rap. Nobody wants to be formulaic, especially artists. I live near Hollywood. Oh, man, nobody wants to be formulaic, man. I’m an individual. I’m an artist, man. I don’t want to be part of a formula.
But even artists have formulas. You ever notice you listen to your favorite band? I can listen to the Eagles, U2, Tom Petty, The Who, I’m two chords in, I’m like, yeah, that’s the Eagles. Why? Because even bands have a certain sound. It’s a formula.
Ever walk in– not to go high-end art dealer here. But you ever go into an art gallery? You can tell a Picasso from a Monet from a Matisse instantly. Is it because I know art? No. Because even artists have formulas and habits and styles.
Formula gets a bad name. I’m a fan of formulas. It’s why, when you go to Starbucks in Seattle, in Secaucus, the coffee taste the same. It’s why at McDonald’s, Beijing or Boise, that cheeseburger tastes the same.
There is a reason the Pittsburgh Steelers are all over the map, play great in big games, horrible against bad teams. Because the Pittsburgh Steelers have no formula. They are not a tight, well-oiled system. They are not a buttoned-up, brilliantly coached formula. They have none. They just win based on stars. They are utterly reliant on stars making big plays. And the good news is, right now, they’ve got them.
How do I know they have no formula? Because they’re all over the map week-to-week,. Ask yourself, when’s the last time you turned in, you missed the first quarter of a Patriot game, you turned the TV on, looked at the score and went, what the hell? No, they’re always up 14-0. But with the Steelers, you miss the first 12 minutes, you tune in– what the hell? You’re trailing to the Packers? You’re getting dominated by the Colts?
This is why Starbucks, McDonald’s, the Patriots give you the same thing every week. And formulas are great for locker rooms. New England never has a problem with their locker room. The Spurs never have a problem with their locker room. Because players know what to expect driving to work.
This is why they’ve done studies that people who have habits are happier and live longer than people who wake up and make it up as they go. New England has enough talent, but a great formula. Pittsburgh’s got great talent and no formula. And that’s why New England will and has dominated Pittsburgh.
You think formulas say you can’t be independent. Artists, bands are independent. Actors are independent. Directors are independent. But every David Lynch movie, Martin Scorsese film, they all have a formula. That’s why most of them work.
Instead, the Steelers have to rely on superstars making remarkable plays to beat average teams.