Friday, July 31, 2009
Vaya Con Dios
Training camp kicks off this weekend, and when it does it will signal the beginning of the end for a lot of dudes. And of those dudes, there are always a handful that everyone is sad to see go. Whether they're old beloved veterans who either make too much money or are holding back the progress of some young prospect, or they are young dudes who seem kinda crazy but don't quite have the talent, it sucks to see players you become attached to - often for inane and bizarre reasons - pack up their shit and go home. And with that in mind, here are four(Why four? Must there always be a why?)players who might not make it who I want to see make the team. Really, this has nothing to do with how well they might be able to help the team, I just like these dudes and want to see them hang around, even if they never play. Some of them might not even be on the team anymore, but I'm going to allow them to enter the discussion if they were signed for even a day as an undrafted free agent. No, this is not really constructive, but fuck it, I feel like doing this, and so here we go.
Yeah, Reggie Ball. For those of you who don't know, Ball was the quarterback at Georgia Tech when Calvin Johnson was there. But, Ball sucked. I mean, he really, really sucked, and so when the time came to try to make a move to the pro game, Ball did the only thing he could and switched over to receiver. I can just about hear Adrian swearing at Ball right now from in front of his monitor but we will let that shit go. Anyway, I am assuming that Ball and St. Calvin are pretty good friends, and maybe that's why the Lions keep Ball hanging around the team. I doubt he's a really useful part, but if he keeps Calvin the Great happy, then fuck it, keep him here. If you have to cut him, give him a job somewhere else. I don't care what it is, ballboy, janitor, assistant to the assistant to the assistant to the secretary to the assistant of Martin Mayhew, I don't care. The important thing here is to KEEP CALVIN JOHNSON HAPPY.
When Robinson was drafted as Mr. Irrelevant a couple of years ago, I remember reading the usual puff piece bullshit that everyone writes every year about Mr. Irrelevant. The last guy picked in the draft gets all sorts of dumb things thrown at him, like a parade in his honor and a bunch of useless shit he probably ends up hawking on e-bay to help eke by when he's working at Safeway after getting cut. It always seems to me to be something that would be vaguely embarrassing to have to go through, like everyone was kind of making fun of you. I've always wanted those dudes to turn around and make it and tell everyone to fuck off. And in the article about Robinson, I was struck by how much the guy really needed to make it. This wasn't some gumpy lineman from a well-off upper middle class family. No, this was a dude who needed to make some money. I remember reading about how he was living in a shitty motel on a per diem basis, just trying to get by until he made the team and since then, I've wanted him to make it even more than I normally want these dudes to. He worked his ass off to get where he is, and even if that's a spot as nothing more than a fringe player in the NFL, that's still a hell of a thing, and I like having a dude like that on my team.
Normally, I can't stand the whole Scrappy-Do, David Eckstein HEY LOOKIT THAT WHITE DUDE PLAY kind of thing. It's always those types who are the fan favorites and it always faintly stinks of racism and bullshit provincialism. Case in point: David Kircus, who everyone loved even though he pretty much sucked and was maybe the weakest player in the league. But he was white and he was a Michigan boy, having starred at DII Grand Valley State, and so he was treated as a prince. And already, I can see fans falling in love with Follett. But the thing is, I have a feeling they will love him more because he seems like a total psychopath who will run and hit like a maniac and that's my sort of dude. There were some reports earlier in the spring and summer about Follett not grasping the system, being lost and all that shit, and that has everyone worried that he won't make it. He's only a seventh round pick after all, but he's got that thing that makes fans want to cheer for him for the right reasons, and that's because he goes out and acts like he wants to kill a motherfucker for his team. He was productive as hell at a very high level in college, and given time, I would like to see him progress from being a special teams demon to a terrifying blitzer on defense. I usually don't fall for these types of players, but I like Follett. He's raw as hell, but he seems like someone who can be a real player if you just give him some time. Unfortunately, coaches want dudes who can produce right away, and you can't really blame them. Still, I will be a little sad if Follett ends up spearing dudes while digging ditches or something instead of playing for the Lions.
Okay, I don't really know anything about this dude, other than he's a kicker who was never going to make the team and was one of those blink and you'll miss him undrafted free agents. But, the dude's name is SWAYZE WATERS. Come on! How could I not want him to somehow end up as a Lion? Maybe my favorite movie in the world is Point Break, and yeah, this whole fucking post was basically a convoluted excuse to talk about Swayze Waters and Point Break. Sadly, Swayze Waters is probably about as long for this world as poor Patrick, and so when the season starts and he's nowhere to be found, I won't have an excuse to get into all this nonsense. But really, we need a dude named Swayze Waters on this team. When the Lions are losing this season - and despite all the rabid optimism being spouted all over the web, including here, they are probably going to lose a lot again this season - I just want to look at the sideline and see Swayze Waters hanging out.
It will remind me of Point Break every time. And that's a good thing. How could it not be? I mean, just look at that movie. You've got Patrick Swayze as a surfer named Bodhi who likes to jump out of airplanes and rob banks wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. You've got Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent who used to be a star college football quarterback and who lies his ass off throughout the movie, and gets sucked along in the Great Swayze's wake. And let's not forget John McGinley as a gigantic dickhead of an FBI officer, and fucking GARY BUSEY running around like a crazy motherfucker as Keanu's partner. It's all very California and all very late 80's/early 90's and it's all awesome as hell. There's even a chase scene involving Keanu running after Swayze, who's wearing a Ronald Reagan mask, and Swayze actually THROWS A DOG at Keanu. Just read that sentence again. IT'S ASTOUNDING.
There are all sorts of Surf Nazis and jacked up assholes running around throughout the movie and Keanu fucks up repeatedly throughout the movie, but it doesn't matter, because Swayze is Swayze in this movie, at his very Swazeiest. I mean, this is a man who has Road House on his resume and in many ways this movie is even more awesome than that ridiculous piece of shit. And that's saying something. I know everyone loves their Van Dammes and some people even swear by Steven Seagal, and of course it goes without saying that Arnold and Sly get much deserved love for their respective milestone movies during this time period, but for me, Patrick Swayze is the dude and Point Break is the pinnacle of that wonderful man's career.
Anyway, I am well aware that Swayze Waters will not be a Detroit Lion and the only thing I can do is hope that when they released him, they had the decency to allow him to try to paddle to New Zealand.
Okay, I am well aware that this has been my shittiest post, just a rambling stupid mess, but I don't care. I love that damn movie, and I will not apologize for any of this nonsense. Now that training camp is getting underway, there might actually be some real things to talk about. In the coming month, I will try to talk about what's going on in the run up to the season in between writing a million words previewing the season. Everything's revving up, and in about a month there will be real live meaningful NFL football being played again, and I will write a shitload about it.