I made myself two promises at the beginning of this football season. One was that I wasn’t going to freak out about Robert Griffin III just because he had a few good games. As a Redskins fan we have been searching for a quarterback ever since a coke-crazed underage prostitute banging Lawrence Taylor snapped Joe Theismann’s leg in two. Names such as Heath Shuler, Gus Frerotte, John Beck, John Friesz, Mark Brunell and Rex Grossman (aka RG1) still send shivers down my spine. The Redskin’s past failures at the most important position in all of sports is what led me to promise myself to be overly patient with RG3.
My second promise was that I wasn’t going to freak out about the replacement referees if they had a few bad games. They are after all human and are allowed to make mistakes just like the rest of us. These scabs have been put in a difficult position and I originally wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. After three weeks of football that barely resembles the sport I have grown to love I have decided that neither the league nor the replacement referees deserves anything but doubt.
Every game has been marred by bad calls, confusion and a pace that makes baseball look like the hundred yard dash. Fans are suffering from heart burn and frustration after each erroneous flag that requires a ten minute huddle that results in a bullshit roughing the passer call. Gamblers are losing money and possibly limbs every time a scab overrules another scab and gives games away because the home crowd told him to. Not to mention that most of these games because a lack of control by the officials have at times been both boring and damn near unwatchable.
Do you hear that Roger Goodell and all you old rich white men? If not, consider this a newsflash for all NFL owners and their commissioner who care much more about making ridiculous amounts of money than the players whose backs have been broken and fans whose wallets have been emptied on the way to building the NFL into an empire rather than a corporation, your product is boring. Unfortunately the NFL has such a stranglehold over the American public that players and fans the people who truly make the league what it is have no say or control over the future of the sport.
All the power lies in Goodell and the owners hands despite the fact that the money that is generated has nothing to do with anything they do. When was the last time you shelled out $150 for a Chargers game because you wanted to see Dean Spanos. The only reason a Charger fan would pay to see Dean Spanos was if he was in a dunk tank with a bulls eye behind him and the water below was swarming with old rich white man craving piranhas.
Goodell believed he could use his immense power to fuck the real referees and when they refused to be treated like cattle he puffed out his chest and turned this lockout into a pissing contest. Now I will not lie, when I first heard that the real referees were out I barely batted an eye. Whether I did so out of hope or stupidity I was wrong and knew so as soon as week one was over. The experiment in my opinion was over and it had failed, miserably.
Not Goodell. He went out of his way to support these scabs who can’t even remember whether intentional grounding is on the quarterback or safety. Week two and the scabs were even worse and the games even harder to watch. Blinded by ignorance and arrogance Goodell continued to support the scabs and went as far as writing a letter to each organization threatening coaches who he thought were berating the scabs. Guess what? Week three was worse than anyone could have imagined yet Goodell is still posturing. It’s a shame because this season has a lot of great storylines but the only topic anyone is talking about is the atrocious officiating.
One of those great stories is Robert Griffin III. My personal promise to remain patient about this kid disappeared the moment he connected on an 80 yard touchdown to my favorite waiter Pierre Garcon. RG3 is for real and has shown the potential to be one of the elite players in this league for a very long time.
Now I know this has only been over a three game span, but in those three games RG3 is 60 for 89 for 747 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He is averaging eight yards a pass, completing 67% of his passes for a quarterback rating of 103.5. He has also rushed the ball for 209 yards averaging six yards a carry and has scored four times on the ground. To put that in perspective Tom Brady is completing 66% of his passes averaging seven yards a pass. Brady has thrown the same number of touchdowns and interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 97 without the rushing yards or touchdowns.
With numbers like that along with his intelligence and charisma the only thing that could possibly stop RG3 from being a superstar is the threat of injury. Football is a violent sport especially for a quarterback who likes to run and every time you leave the pocket the risk for injury increases. Another way to increase the threat of injury to your quarterback is for a coach or offensive coordinator to call plays that put that player directly in harm’s way.
What that means is this is the NFL not the ACC and many a quarterbacks have been crushed in the past to prove that the triple option doesn’t work in the pros. These defensive players are too fast and smart to fall for an offense that even college has gone away from. This is not the Air Force Academy Kyle and Mike Shanahan and if you continue to allow the defense to take free shots at RG3 then either he will get hurt or the fans will eventually run you out of town. To see a kid with this much potential get hurt because his coach can’t come up with an NFL ready game plan would be a disgrace.
This young NFL season has already seen enough disgrace over three weeks to last a lifetime. Games have been decided not by the players us fans pay to see but by old rich white men and scab officials who don’t know their asshole from their elbow. If this farce of a lockout continues fans will stop watching games. It won’t be immediate Roger Goodell but when it happens it will be swift. You may think the average fan is a moron but I believe that your greed and arrogance will eventually ruin the sport we thought never could be and the morons you care so little about will find other ways to entertain themselves.