<< to the tune of Dennis Miller’s rants, courtesy of the Dennis Miller show from HBO >>
You know, it was only a matter of time before ol’ NX (yes, I’m pulling a Cam and referring to myself in the third person -- apparently, I’m in icon-entertainer mode, /sarcasm) was going to snap and have a Dennis Miller moment from the early 1990s. And imagine that, it’s here already. Surprise, surprise, surprise... and no, I’m not trying to intentionally channel Gomer Pyle while writing this out.
Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but am I the only one who’s getting more and more disgusted with hearing the Andrew Luck bandwagon starting up again? I mean, seriously... already? The season hasn’t even begun (lockout and CBA issues aside, I’m still going to be optimistic here), and already we’re writing off the 2011 season, have the #1 pick, and waiting with baited breath on every tidbit we can get from the neck-beard himself? It’s like several people have become so freakin’ jaded that the best they can come up with is “hey, Clausen isn’t the problem with the Panthers... but all the same, let’s have him throw another season out the window, just so we can get Luck!” Consider my mind well and truly boggled.
More after the jump...
Fine, Luck had an exceptional year last year, but let’s face facts, shall we? More than a few can say that Luck didn’t want to play for Carolina (though I won’t insult Luck’s intelligence, and call it a wise move on his part, with all the CBA/lockout questions swirling around the league), but that’s beside the point. Luck has a very difficult 2011 college season ahead of him: he has only half the offensive line of last year, since the other half are/were seniors; he has a new head coach to look forward to; he has a new offensive coordinator to look forward to. Never mind potential changes to the offensive scheme and all that. Everything about Luck right now does not scream “#1 consensus pick for the 2012 Draft” to me. Instead, it screams “oh hell, I have a lot to do so I can prove that a) I’m my own man, b) I can repeat my performance from this past season for this coming season in spite of the adversity, and c) the big thing: I’m not a poster child for Jim Harbaugh”.
What really gets me, though, isn’t even Luck himself: it’s the “fans”, most of who seem to be passing themselves off as would-be Clausen supporters. “Give Clausen another chance!” they cry out, and then in the same breath or sentence, add in a mutter “...so we can call Luck’s name next season in the 2012 Draft.” Last time I checked, we are all rooting for the Carolina Panthers, right? The team? Since when the hell did Andrew Luck become the entirety of our NFL franchise? Was I out to lunch somewhere when this was announced? Did Luck miraculously learn how to be running back, his own offensive line and receiver corps, the entire defense and special teams as well, on top of his seeming mastery of the quarterback position? I like to think I’ve not been living under a rock these last few months, if that’s the case -- though I suppose if Luck manages to be a Panther and winds up on the cover of a future Madden game while wearing the black-and-blue jersey, that we could then claim that the entire team won and they’re all on the cover to every console and PC version of Madden NFL 20##.
So yeah, call me irritated. Call me whatever you want, I don’t really care at this point. But actively stating that you want your team to tank again in the extraordinarily slim possibility that we get the #1 pick again for the 2012 draft (the odds, by the way, ladies and gentlemen, are highly against that happening) is just un-freaking-believable. It’s worse when you consider the fact that, with all those variables above, Luck is still being projected to be the #1 pick of the 2012 Draft by all the talking heads when, by declaring to remain in college, he actually put more question marks about whether he’s a true phenomenon or a “one-year wonder”, as so many people who tout this party line like to bring up whenever the possibility of Cam Newton (or Blaine Gabbert, to a lesser degree) comes up. He’s a reach for the #1 at this point, at best, and he’s got a lot to prove -- especially when it comes to his own talent and how he isn't the poster child for Jim Harbaugh's successful bid to become an NFL head coach.
It’s just positively sickening at times how much the “let Clausen suck one more year and we’ll get Luck next year” bandwagon seems to be gaining steam. I can’t possibly fathom how this is a true fan’s response, so I’m not even going to try.
Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.
<< Author’s Note: For the most part, this is meant to be an amusing little piece. However, I do admit that I’m growing rather appalled and worried by the continual “suggestions” from some people in regards to throwing Clausen back under the bus again -- not that he didn’t do a good enough job throwing himself under the bus last season, but I suppose everyone likes to gawk at the big accidents, like Joseph Wambaugh says -- and all for a player who’s actually wound up, in several ways, providing more questions than he has answers. >>