Friday, December 24, 2010

Hard Candy Christmas

The holidays always result in travel, which leaves me less time to fully form my thoughts on any given week, but here are a couple of embryonic ideas that are nagging at me.

- Peel back the layers of weirdness that surround ANY fetish (no matter how seemingly tame) and the total lack of judgment involved in posting a private, personal video on a public website while working in the public eye, and isn’t the LOCKER ROOM SHATTERING SCANDAL taking place behind the scenes for the Jets kind of...sweet? Certainly, I’m not shy about looking for reasons to root for my team, but I don’t think I need to reach all that far here. We’re talking about a man who didn’t do something illegal, immoral (at least by any conventional standards), or even all that dishonest (anybody who wants to argue that a corporation has the right to know what you do in the bedroom should probably apply for a job in the 1950’s). The man is really, really into his wife, and he likes feet. As to the former point: We should all be so lucky. As to the latter point: Ken Tremendous (formerly of Fire Joe Morgan) said it best with, “Hey, you know who’s into weird stuff that would really surprise people? Literally everyone on earth.” I’m not trying to take this into the realm of absurd anti-populism and declaring “today, we are all foot fetishists,” but certainly we’re not the society of uptight prudes that the media coverage on this is making us all out to be.

- Because let’s just pick a fight with EVERYBODY today: I like Tim Tebow. I like him as a person, but I also dig him as a football player. Certainly, the showing against the Raiders didn’t cement him as an all time great, but to hear the naysayers, you’d think he pissed himself on the field and threw the ball backwards. Tebow made some nice throws (don’t buy the hype: the TD pass was a REALLY well placed ball, not luck), and the TD run showed some of the unique physicality that he’s capable of bringing to the position. Of course, as with any QB that doesn’t immediately conform to the way the game has always been played, we’re seeing people turn on Tebow, and this is only made worse by the fact that he seems to be an authentic individual, which, as readers of this blog (both of them) should know, is the greatest sin an NFL player can commit. Again, I’m not trying to say that Tebow is going to be a great NFL quarterback, but why should the fact that he’s different both on and off the field serve as any sort of evidence that he can or can’t play in the NFL before he really gets a chance to prove that point on the field? Instead of patience and common sense (to say nothing of actually rooting for good things to happen for a good person), we’re seeing the majority of Tebow detractors attack him either for being an unconventional football player, which makes traditional coaches uncomfortable by questioning their perspective on the game, or being an unconventional human being, which makes everybody uncomfortable by questioning their perspective on themselves.

- Finally, Mike McCarthy earned a pass on the team underachieving last season after the near win he put together in New England, a game in which he rolled backup QB Matt Flynn out as his starter. If you think “almost” doesn’t count, you’re in the wrong place, and I’d even go so far as to say you missed what was essentially a blueprint for how the rest of the league needs to deal with the Pats; you need to match a pummeling defense with an offensive mindset that is trying to squeeze as many points as possible out of every possession, as opposed to playing field position football and praying for survival. If Aaron Rodgers starts that game, the Packers win, and maybe even win in dominant fashion (side note: Matt Flynn could actually continue a trend of backup Packers QBs who go on to be successful starters elsewhere, something Favre’s tenure was marked by thanks to Hasselbeck and Warner). Yes, I understand that the Packers are in danger of underachieving and missing the playoffs again, but they’re in control of their own destiny (they get their one-on-one matchup with the Giants this week), but there has to be some merit found in a coach whose team was decimated by some serious injuries on offense putting together a plan that showed he thought he could beat a more talented opponent in statement-making fashion, as opposed to just hanging around and hoping for a faith healer style miracle at the end (cough...JETS...cough).

Alright, happy holidays to everybody!


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