So I'm not going to pretend that the howling absence of responses to my last hundred posts hasn't, slightly, discouraged me. It has. It has discouraged me. But, on I go. Unbowed. Unbroken and dauntless. Or, at least only slightly broken.
It may be that only posting about books is a recipe for crickets? So, ok. Fine. You peasants…. I'll post about sports. Will that make you happy? SPORTS. AND KIM KARDASHIAN. AND AMERICAN IDOL.
Sports. I am following the run-up to the NFL draft with my customary guilt-ridden obsession. Last night I made my patient wife watch the Jon Gruden "QB Camp" on Marcus Mariotta and Jameis Winston.
To both of our benefits, I believe.
Let's start with Mariotta. Prior to last night, I'd generally been positively disposed towards Mariotta. Good kid, Hawaiian, never been accused of sexual assault…. Ok, I'm on board. Yes, he plays a running-style offense. Yes, Oregon quarterbacks have had a pretty poor history of transitioning to the NFL. But, you know... I can see how San Diego might trade Rivers and move up to draft him.
I can see that no longer. I'm totally unqualified to evaluate his physical attributes, so I'll put that to one side. His personality, though, is… I mean, watching him do an interview, it was like watching a ferret go to sleep. It was like watching a teenage boy, at a dance, think about going up to ask a girl to dance, and then deciding he doesn't want to, and he goes to huddle in the corner, and looks at old baseball cards or something.
The guy is a total dud. It's not just that he's quiet or reserved, he's just utterly devoid of personality. Trying to imagine how he could possibly command a locker room, or get a bunch of veterans to believe in HIM as a leader…impossible. He's just a big nothing. Add that to his proclivities to run before pass, his unfamiliarity with an NFL-style offense, and I say: no no no. He's another Akili Smith in the making.
Winston, on the other hand…. I was predisposed to loathe Winston. And I still kind of loathe him. But, I don't know. Seeing him interviewed, I have to say: I would not be at all surprised if he turns out to be a very good NFL quarterback. He's a real leader, first of all, and I can absolutely imagine him taking over a team as a rookie, and getting veterans to buy in. I think he's got the physical skills (though, again, I'm massively unqualified to make that judgement) but more than that, he seems like he has…the will to win. He lives and breathes football, and he's got charisma (score of 17). Will he be in court in a year, on another sexual assault charge? Maybe. But, if he's not, I bet he'll be a great QB.