A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

The Hot Chick

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In todayís NFL, itís all about the tangibles.

Talent trumps everything. At least thatís what weíre led to believe. Stockpiling your team with the best athletes in the Universe is the key to winning. Player 40 times, size, strength, and speed fuel obsession over draft position as teams jockey to select the latest Ďprototypicalí physical beast to help take them to the Promised Land.

If the NFL were a popular bar, weíd call it a Ďmeat marketí based on the lascivious scrutiny given potential future stars. Players are poked, prodded, probed. Theyíre scanned, measured, tested, and dissected. And their potential value is measured in seconds, millimeters, and pounds. And at closing time, NFL teams are leaving with the hottest chick in the place. Forget about whether she can carry on a conversation, hold down a job, or kick that coke habit sheís got Ė the bitch is hot Ė and we have to have her.

But the morning after? Itís not always how we imagined it. Sure Ė physical talent is inarguably essential to success at the NFL level. But is it the only thing that matters? Do teams pay far too much attention to playerís physical gifts and not nearly enough to the more difficult to assess intangibles Ė like whatís between a playerís ears and in his heart and character?

I think so.

Every year we see evidence Iím right. Combine beauty queens rocket up NFL pre-draft boards based on their tangibles. Workout warriors become the stuff of internet legend before theyíve taken a snap (Robert McCune, are you out there?). NFL Ďmediotsí and Ďexpertsí assess the physical talent of team rosters, add up and average the talent quotients, and proclaim our playoff teams before thermometers in DC have topped 80 degrees. Last season, it was Philadelphia and the ĎDream Teamí that anyone but we ignorant fans needed to know was destined for greatness.

But the hopeless infatuation we have with beauty and physical talent is as shallow and meaningless as the urge that stirs menís loins in other areas of their lives. Ask Bobby Petrino Ė heíll tell you Ė nothing messes with your head and judgment like pure, unadulterated lust.

For 20 years, our Washington Redskins have tried desperately and repeatedly to take that hot, sexy chick home. And, you know, Dan Snyder always gets his girl. Howís that worked out for you Redskins fans? Weíve had our share of memorable Ďmomentsí, brief glimpses of orgasmic satisfaction that left us hungry for more. Sure Ė even bad sex is still pretty good. And that certainly describes my Redskins experience since about 1992. But ultimately we all experience a surprising fan revelation. We want to settle down and have a relationship Ė a real relationship. Something that matters, and lasts.

Dan Snyder has finally put away his sex toys.

Enter Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen. Grown-ups finally at the helm in Washington, these guys get it. We donít need eye candy in burgundy and gold, we need players who can play. We donít need physical prototypes, we need men with the Ďright stuffí taking the field at Fed Ex Field. We donít need stars to sell jerseys, we need to build a team that plays together for all the right reasons, to finally return the Redskins to a place of prominence in the NFL ranks.

We arenít there yet, but you can see it from here. Thereíve been hiccups along the way. The McNabb mistake is Case Study #1. McNabb had all the physical tools, but was devoid of those other qualities the Redskins desperately needed. Smarts, character, leadership, unselfishness. McNabb failed the test. And you know the rest. Conventional NFL wisdom dictates keeping a physical beast like Laron Landry, and shedding aging vets with diminishing physical skills like London Fletcher. But Shanahan and Allen have a different scorecard, one that measures those intangibles too. How will a player contribute to overall team chemistry? What motivates him? Is he willing to do anything to help his team win?

Itís anachronistic to say it Ė but character matters.

Some would say Iím wrong Ė dead wrong - that a tiger doesnít change its stripes. Theyíd point to the present as unassailable evidence that the Redskins are doing exactly what theyíve done for the past 20 years, trading the farm to move up to the #2 NFL draft slot to take the sexiest pick out there in 2012, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. And God help us all, he is one sexy son of a bitch. Arguably the fastest athlete ever drafted at the QB spot, RG3 is nothing if not a physical beast. Competing in the shadow of the heralded Andrew Luck, who some proclaim the greatest QB prospect in a decade, Griffinís measurables make Luck look almost ordinary.

Robert Griffin III IS that hot chick weíve lusted after for years.

But heís so much more than that. Raised by two enlisted military parents, Griffinís an every-other-word-is-yes-sir-no-sir kind of a guy. Politeness, respect, and class donít win NFL games. But theyíre a helluva place to start with a young player whoís about to become a gazillionaire. The enemy of young QB success is ego, and Griffin appears to have his capably in check. Beyond his obvious physical talents, Griffin is a smart kid. Listen to him for 2 minutes and you know it. Griffin gets it. Coming to a Redskins team where the Professorís Shanahan will demand nothing less than academic perfection, Griffin is a straight A student. Heís the complete package.

Itís a new day in Washington DC. Mike Shanahan and company havenít wowed Redskins fans yet. But theyíre going to. Slowly and steadily, theyíve brought in the kinds of players we need, and sent those we can do without packing. Football smarts, character, and commitment to the team, not self, matter.

And on Thursday, April 26th, a little after 8 p.m. in the evening, theyíre going to do it again.
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Comments

  1. 21Teezy's Avatar
    First off I want to say that is a great post. Secondly, I have never been more excited for a draft in my life. I putting my faith in RG3.

    HTTR
  2. 21Teezy's Avatar
    I'm putting my faith in RG3*
  3. Boone's Avatar
    Thanks 21 - and you and me both brother!

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