The debate has reached the point where I’ve had to officially step in and settle it once-and-for-all, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III? I’d even claim it an ESPN debacle, due to their overwhelming infatuation with the Heisman Trophy winner, not showing any affection towards the the actual #1 prospect, and the near-future quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. So yes, if you couldn’t tell already, I’m pro-Andrew Luck and don’t believe in the staggering hype for Mike Shanahan’s next man under-center. And don’t worry, I’m here to convince you.
Let’s all take into account that the Heisman Trophy has been overly portrayed as something of importance, which it is in College, but clearly not on the professional level. Winners of the Heisman have been indeed talented during their stays in the NFL, but none have proven enough in the last 15 or so years since Charles Woodson claimed the award in 1997 (depending on your view of Carson Palmer who won in 2002).The three Heisman winners before Griffin: Bradford, Ingram, and Newton (most notably), obviously still have room for potential and Newton could still one day be the superstar he is aiming to be. However, Bradford’s time is running out considering the amount of injuries he has sustained over the last few years and his ability on the field has been nothing of extreme importance. Ingram’s future has yet to be determined and it’s hard to justify how far his talent will take him at this young point in his career. So, as clearly noted the Heisman Trophy is no sign for believing in the highly unpredictable sport, that is football.
Aside from stats and the myth that Griffin is widely more athletic than Luck (Luck is more athletic than many people believe, not that athleticism is priority for a QB in the NFL. Hint: Both Mannings and Brady), winning has been and will always be the main ingredient when judging a QB’s success over time. And in my defense, long-time winners in the NFL have been premier pocket passers. Many have argued that Robert Griffin III is a pocket passer, but he isn’t Aikman, Manning, or Brady, he’s a different breed of quarteback- one that the NFL hasn’t had success with (in winning, that is). The last 6 Super Bowl winning QB’s are as follows: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers. Doesn’t that call for concern if you’re the Redskins? And if your the Colts, all you can have is the optimistic view of glistening Lombardi Trophies. Those 6 quarterbacks are drop-back passers, and some of them run as if they are wearing steel boots, but they still win.
Luck could have played in the NFL last year, did you even know who RG3 was before September? Honestly, I had no idea. And now, he is the #2 prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft. However, the style of Luck and championship-winning quarterbacks before have avoided injury (mostly, besides Peyton’s neck, but he’s back), while continuing to bring their team to the playoffs with countless victories and Super Bowl aspirations. Yet, Griffin’s ability to move in the pocket and run downfield when the pass is not open puts him under extreme caution for sidelining injuries (cue to Mike Vick nodding in agreement). Plus, you never know when a bounty will be placed on him (too soon?, well if not: cue to Greg Williams audio tape).
Picking Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck would be like saying Dan Levy is a better sports personality than Bill Simmons (are you out of your mind? Dan Levy sucks). Picking Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck would be like saying The Biggest Loser is better than Survivor. Picking Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck would be like saying Tim Tebow should be a starting QB (he shouldn’t start for any team). Picking Robert Griffin III over Andrew Luck would be like saying John Calipari isn’t a cheater.
So, if you’re still an RG3 supporter, Andrew Luck an I simply have two words for you: Good Luck (Taken voice).
Unfortunately, I feel as if I’m obligated to express my views and opinions on BountyGate. So, because I love my readers, I’m going to give it my best, and I can’t say whether you’re going to like it or not.
My opinions have gotten me in some debates that I never wanted to get into the first place, and this one might as well put me center stage: Roger Goodell is wrong. Suspensions won’t fix anything. And, BountyGate isn’t that big of a deal. Greg Williams hasn’t been the first and he won’t be the last. My questions are, why were the Saints investigated? What tipped the NFL off? What about Dick Lebeau (James Harrison)? Why not every NFL team? I can tell you why, because Goodell and the NFL have known the truth, but they needed one team to exploit, to teach every other team a lesson. So go right ahead Roger, just candidly devastate an already devastated city.
Blame it on New Orleans, don’t blame it on the physical violence of the game or the passion players have to give their team every right to win. Hell, we’re not playing with guns, we are playing football. And as you proclaim it, America’s Game. Greg Williams did something every coach tries to do, intensify the game for the better cause of victory. It wasn’t the NFL’s money, it was their money. Maybe that’s why the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009, and maybe that’s why they’ve won 37 regular season games over the last three seasons. I know it might be wrong to intently injure players for a reward, but isn’t it worse that players are most certainly doing that without a reward. You might hate me right now, but don’t blame it on New Orleans, and don’t blame it on Sean Payton. Don’t even blame it on the sport, don’t blame it on anyone.
This is the NFL. This why GM’s dig into their pockets, they want guys who want to win and guys who give it their all. Things happen and sometimes we don’t like them, trust me, I’ve been there. Yet, suspensions aren’t the answer and they never will be. Do you want to know why the commissioner didn’t investigate multiple teams? Money, that’s why. He can’t suspend every coach in the book, or every GM, or every player. Well that’s what I’m calling for, a league-wide investigation. If one team goes down, then they all go down. And maybe it’s not every team, but I’m willing to bet it’s close to half. I’m sorry New Orleans, it’s not your fault, it’s the NFL’s.
What about the players who have suffered these concussions? Head injuries weren’t analyzed in the past as they are today, and it’s good that they are trying to help. However, your first move shouldn’t be punishing the perpetrators, it should be helping the victims.
New Orleans’ has done something that isn’t morally right, but they didn’t deserve this. Sean Payton can’t coach for a year, and he has to find a replacement to keep his team in line. Maybe even to keep his job. Greg Williams isn’t going to coach again, but I wonder how many other coaches are swallowing their tongues because they did the same thing. What about Penn State? Wasn’t that worse? Joe Pa’s heart was broken and he has now passed away, but did he wish this upon himself? No, he didn’t. And neither did the Saints, they were playing football, and playing it damn well.
I’m testing the media and diving into deep water with this perspective. BountyGate isn’t the first scandal to headline the NFL, what about SpyGate? Did the Patriots’ cheat to win? No, probably not, but were the Saints’ wrong? Most likely yes, but then again, maybe not completely. I’m saddened that player’s were targeted to win a football game, and their treatment and tests for damage should be properly handled. Yet, some of them don’t care (Favre), they know this is football and that it’s not a game anymore, it’s a job, a job that’s well respected, maybe for all the wrong reasons.
Suspensions don’t fix culture, nor do they fix the problem. As noted by Bill Simmons earlier this week, the NFL needed someone to take the blow, might as well be New Orleans. Yet, other teams may have felt as if they escaped the fiery wrath of Goodell and they live not to play, but do the same as New Orleans, another day. Things haven’t gotten better, they might as well have gotten worse. We didn’t ask for this, we were forced upon this. Brighter days and clearer skies aren’t coming, and for the NFL, they may never come again. Thanks, Roger.
I’m probably out of line, but this is my opinion, and if you don’t like it, then don’t like it. Suspension’s aren’t the answer, the NFL is the problem.
About the Author
Written by Corey Rioux
A wise man once told me, "Sports are modern-day mythology." I tend to disagree. Proper grammar is optional. You can read my columns here: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/author/c_rioux23/ You can follow me on twitter at: @CoreyRioux You can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org