A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

The Hot Chick

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In today’s NFL, it’s all about the tangibles.

Talent trumps everything. At least that’s what we’re 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 ‘prototypical’ physical beast to help take them to the Promised Land.

If the NFL were a popular bar, we’d call it a ‘meat market’ based on the lascivious scrutiny given potential future stars. Players are poked, prodded, probed. They’re 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 she’s got – the bitch is hot – and we have to have her.

But the morning after? It’s not always how we imagined it. Sure – 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 player’s physical gifts and not nearly enough to the more difficult to assess intangibles – like what’s between a player’s ears and in his heart and character?

I think so.

Every year we see evidence I’m right. Combine beauty queens rocket up NFL pre-draft boards based on their tangibles. Workout warriors become the stuff of internet legend before they’ve taken a snap (Robert McCune, are you out there?). NFL ‘mediots’ and ‘experts’ 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 ‘Dream Team’ 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 men’s loins in other areas of their lives. Ask Bobby Petrino – he’ll tell you – 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. How’s that worked out for you Redskins fans? We’ve had our share of memorable ‘moments’, brief glimpses of orgasmic satisfaction that left us hungry for more. Sure – 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 – 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 don’t need eye candy in burgundy and gold, we need players who can play. We don’t need physical prototypes, we need men with the ‘right stuff’ taking the field at Fed Ex Field. We don’t 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 aren’t there yet, but you can see it from here. There’ve 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?

It’s anachronistic to say it – but character matters.

Some would say I’m wrong – dead wrong - that a tiger doesn’t change its stripes. They’d point to the present as unassailable evidence that the Redskins are doing exactly what they’ve 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, Griffin’s measurables make Luck look almost ordinary.

Robert Griffin III IS that hot chick we’ve lusted after for years.

But he’s so much more than that. Raised by two enlisted military parents, Griffin’s an every-other-word-is-yes-sir-no-sir kind of a guy. Politeness, respect, and class don’t win NFL games. But they’re a helluva place to start with a young player who’s 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 Professor’s Shanahan will demand nothing less than academic perfection, Griffin is a straight A student. He’s the complete package.

It’s a new day in Washington DC. Mike Shanahan and company haven’t wowed Redskins fans yet. But they’re going to. Slowly and steadily, they’ve 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, they’re 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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