164 Yards and a Score
September 8th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I grew up in western New York, and the fans there were always busting on Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly. You play football, you have a target on your back. That’s fine.

I hang out at a few bulletin boards for my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints. There are guys there that don’t like Reggie Bush. Even out of our own little sphere, he seems to get an inordinate amount of shit. And for what? I’ve always maintained that he was key to the team getting to the NFC Championship game in 2006. In 2007, everyone on the team sucked in the first four games. (If the Saints had lost to the Bucs today, I would not have been able to say that they “sucked.” Getting drilled 41-10 last year to open, at Indy? Yeah, that performance sucked.)

But I guess my point is, after watching Bush go for 164 total yards and a score, is that these sportswriters are able to churn out generic article after generic article, none of it backed up by actually watching the games. They look for some universal narrative that won’t get them mocked by their peers, and “Reggie Bush being a disappointment!!” seemed to be the one they grabbed onto. At least for the next seven days we don’t have to hear it.

(I am also enjoying the headlines that read, “Bush stays course as Saints hold on to win.” It’s great to see even a random NFL article make fun of the colossal joke we have as Prez. But hey, they didn’t like Truman at the end, either! So it’s all good there!)

You really have to watch these games to get a good feeling for how the players perform, and I think I’m going to be writing less-cocky opinions in the future, because I’m definitely not able to catch all the games. I don’t want to turn into one of those choads still banging the drum that the Cardinals are an embarrassment or whatever. (Maybe historically, but they went 8-8 last year and started things off correctly this year. We get used to these 13-3 to 10-6 turnarounds, but there seems to at least be some slow, steady progress there.)

The other thing about a sort of statistics-based view of the NFL that always gets me is a story I remember about one of the Saints teams under Haslett. Completely poised to go to the playoffs, there is some rumor that Joe Horn or Joe Johnson slept with Willie Roaf’s wife. Enough strife immediately appears to have them completely blown out to end the season, and they end up going 7-9. I’m not saying that there can’t be a more measured and nuanced look at football, that somehow brings you to the conclusion that Reggie Bush is the worst #2 pick of all-time and the Texans are now geniuses for not trading down and continuing to make the playoffs, but I’m going to need to see cuckolding quantified before I am totally ready to sign off.


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