Thursday, November 09, 2006

Former Rookie of the Year, Welcome to the Machine

Raw Hamburger photo
The two most over-hyped storylines heading in to this NFL season were T.O. & Ben's brain pan.
T.O. has proven he's an overrated jackass who is insidiously detroying another football team (Burn Ft. Worth, Burn! Yay!

The other question was whether or not Ben would regain his form after suffering massive brain trauma. The answer was: yes. And then he received another concussion. And then his coach played him against the Raiders who are exactly the sort of team who, playing for nothing, would rather give your QB permanent brain damage than win some stupid football game. And now the answer is: no.

Your 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year (first QB to win that award since Bill "Who?" Shaw for the Bills in 1970) and the winning QB of your 2005 World Champions was always described as a game-manager: he'll drive the team, make some of those critical third and nine completions and mostly not lose the game for you by panicking, chucking INTs etc. Roethlisberger picked up the NFL game quickly, had an excellent line blocking for him and did everything correctly. He also had enough "bellyfire" to lead his offense into hostile environments and conquer. In short, a winner.

Ben is not a long-ball artist, nor a scrambler, nor an accurate dink-n-dunker, nor a fun 'n' gunner. He's a big strong disciplined QB. And now his brain has been turned into ... well, you must have gotten it by now.

There are two arguments against this very simple, logical proof I have created for you, dear reader.
One is that Ben wasn't that good to begin with, and was overhyped, and his team carried him. The retirement of Bettis is often cited as an example of this, which is both wrong and sentimental. Wee Willie Parker was the workhorse last year, logging in 1200 yards on 255 carries. Bettis had 369 yards. Not that the Steelers wouldn't benefit from a change-of-pace back, but RB Wee Willie Parker is on pace for 1200+ yards 300+ carries and 12 TDs. Lack of a running game is not the problem for the Steelers.

The other argument is something about who retired as the undisputed Macalester College Champion of Sega Hockey 1992-1996 and, while the answer is HURRICANE, it is largely irrelevent here.

These arguments do not account for Roethlisberger's play, which has shown a marked increase in mental mistakes: slow and/or bad decisions. If Cowher had let Roethlisberger rest, perhaps the Steelers might have been dangerous in December. Instead ...


Big Blue Monkey said...

as is your wont, you are being seemingly purposefully vague about the actual conclusion one is supposed to take away from your thesis. Is Ben going to be fine if he gets another 3 weeks of rest (which is basically the season, and really, a 2-6 record suggests that the season is done with anyway). Or are you saying that Ben is now ruined in the NFL? That he will never play again? Because clearly, one of our heroes, and favorite Monday Night Football commentators, Joey T, took a lot of shots to the head, he's borderline retarded, but it wasn't a headshot that ended his career.

I'll save my "Smart Football Players Are An Overhyped Concept" for another post. For now, I'll just say that I'm sure what you are getting at here. I mean, I get your points, and I agree with a lot of them, but is Ben done or not? You don't say.

Barnyard said...

I can't decide who disgusts me more: Badcock for perpetrating such insidious, self-promoting lies or Big Blue Monkey for responding without a hint of backbone. Both of you pukes suffer from selective memory syndrome if you ignore the magic Delronn laid down on Grand Ave.

P.S. to Badcock: beating up on the hapless Big Blue Monkey during late night marathons a respectable record does not make.

P.S. to Big Blue Monkey: remember how hapless you were and what a cute couple Jeremy Roenick and I made?

Badcock said...

Oh my god Barnyard, your delusions made me laugh so hard I puked my pants.

There are only a handful of verities which we may absolutely rely on:

Descartes gave us "Cogito ergo sum" (I think therefore I am for you Raiders fans).

The joy of pooping is enhanced by spending a little extra on very nice toilet paper.

HURRICANE is the undisputed champion. There were many, many challengers. And only one champion. The greatest of all-time. And you know this.

Stephane Richer and the sweet spot? Bill Guerin and the reach-around? Scott Stevins? Martin Brodeur?


Fun is fun, but seriously Barnyard, you're just making yourself look ridiculous.

To Big Blue: I never try to be vague. For as John Steinbeck taught us: "It is so hard to be clear. Only a fool is wilfully obscure."

So to ameliorate my obfuscuity: brain damage (and make no mistake, a concussion results in permanent brain damage every time) & recovery from it are hard to predict. If Ben takes another concussion this season he ought to hang up his spine. They have a cumulative effect which is especially pronounced if they follow in close succession.
My point is that a talented youngster is on the brink of doom. It's a prediction of things to come, something to watch for.

As for your bellicose fatuous inanities regarding smart football players, I take that as a deliberate insult. Smart: Montana. Dumb: Plunkett. Any further questions?

Barnyard said...

I was surprised to learn that the win/loss records from those legendary years of competition cannot be found on Wikipedia or through a Google search.

Huzzah to your toilet paper verity. On a few occasions I've achieved enlightenment taking passes with baby wipes.

Miwacar said...

Big Blue and I were just talking about the Sega Hockey days and the one shot wonder "have fun at the party" Richter. Slapshot from just inside the blue line...boring!