Monday, July 25, 2011
2011 All ACLB Team Cornerbackers
RAVEN: DARRELLE REVIS & CHARLES WOODSON
Revis comes from a shithole place outside of Pittsburgh, devastated by drugs and retarded social planning. He acquired a taste for the NFL by watching his fat uncle Sean Gilbert run up and down hills in front of their house in the off-season. As much as the NFL is a billion-dollar industry known worldwide, it is nice to know something as simple as a 6-year-old kid sitting on the ragged steps of his rundown rental house waiting for his NFL uncle to run up the hill and tag his hand before heading back down for another lap can motivate one to make the NFL. There's something very human in the ancient way, very tribal and learning from our elders involved in that. I respect that. Plus Revis rocks a beard which is the only way such an ancient tribal warrior should publicly present himself.
I really wrestled with putting a pair of Packers defenders on my All-Pro team, because I hate rewarding success. Usually I prefer to hate on success, as haters are gonna hate. Fuck successful people. My life has been shit from birth, and even when it gets better it's still shitty and fucked up and I'm unable to maintain even the simplest of financial comfort levels. I am doomed from the womb to the tomb. So fuck successful people. That being said, Charles Woodson is an exemplary player of the football, one who was cast aside a few years back by the Raiders, but found a home in Green Bay, near his beloved homeland of Michigan, and has excelled there, becoming the senior force on a team that is loaded with talent in the same sketchy ways the Patriots were loaded for years. Why the fuck does any GM in the NFL try to trade draft picks for players? It is obvious to even the most casual crack-addicted homeless bystander that the way you truly find success in the NFL is to build from within, not take other people's hand-me-down millionaires. So yes, Charles Woodson, my All-Pro team. I don't really have anything else to say about him because that's a serious pick and I don't feel like being serious. I feel like fucking eating like five painkillers and sitting in the sunshine listening to DJ Screw mixes. But I am at work. Which sucks. And still I'm not successful.
NEIL: CHARLES WOODSON & ALPHONSO SMITH
Look, I just figured out that it’s been, like, six weeks since I last worked on this infernal thing and so I don’t even know what the fuck I was talking about prior to this. Some bullshit about squidmen I think? I didn’t intend for this to happen but like Raven, I just am not in a football state of mind right now. I’m not sure what it is, if it’s the lockout and all that bullshit or if I am just burned out on football after three years of chronicling those wretched Lions. Seriously, I love the Lions but spending three years writing about them is the equivalent to spending three years as a war correspondent in Jerusalem during the Crusades. My fucking nerves are fried and the only thing that will help is rest, loads of chemicals and the love of a string of nameless whores, but fuck all that noise, I am better than that and time stops for no man, even me. In the end, my love for the Lions and for football in general will outweigh the creeping insanity that gnaws at my soul like a giant mutant rat in the night and I will go on. After all this is but a moment in time, a low point, stupid and meaningless and by the time anyone besides me or Raven reads this the whole thing will have passed and I will be writing like a goddamn fiend about my beloved Lions again.
But that has nothing to do with this All-Pro team we endeavored to put together those many months ago. I only bring that shit up to explain why you are reading this in June or August or November of 2018 rather than in February of 2011. I would apologize, but if you have made it this far you either started out as insane as we are or you have been captured by the same wild eyed madness which drives us to do these kinds of things and so you understand, at least on some level. Hell, chances are Raven and I will be the only two people on earth who ever read this anyway so I could probably write anything here. I could spend 10,000 words roleplaying as the Queen of England or Jame Gumb or some freakish combination of the two and no one would know any better.
Okay fine, I won’t do that but I will put on a dress and a pillbox hat while I write this and I will occasionally take breaks to dance around with my penis tucked between my legs while I paw at my tiny little dog and wail about lotion and baskets, and . . . horrible, horrible. Are you still here? Why? Why am I still here? What is going on? I can’t breathe. If a dude writes a bunch of weird horseshit in the forest but nobody is around to read it, is it still written?
Okay, enough of this simpering madness. Disgraceful, just utterly disgraceful. Let’s move on and try to forget my braying foolishness. So . . . Charles Woodson. There is no way he wasn’t going to be on this team. First of all, he’s awesome. He’s a unique weapon. He always has been. The Packers realized this and have managed to use him to his full potential after it was withered away by the fucked up soul-crushing malaise of Oakland. He can cover anybody, he can stop the run, he can blitz the hell out of the quarterback . . . basically he is almost a hybrid CB/S/LB and he’s the heart and soul of the Packers defense.
If that’s not enough, he is a legitimately awesome dude. When Obama talked about how he was rooting for the Bears, Woodson took that shit personally. Now, there are some people who would say that this was childish, but fuck those people. That kind of hypercompetitive insanity is what breeds a champion. And you know what the end result of all that was? Woodson standing triumphant while Barack Obama held up his jersey for photographers. That’s right, Charles Woodson sonned the president of the United States.
If that’s not enough part two, there was the Super Bowl itself, which saw my man Chuck get knocked out with an injury. Apparently, instead of moping around, he gathered everyone at halftime and gave the speech of all speeches and then the Packers went out and kicked the shit out of the Steelers for themselves and for their leader, Charles Woodson. Even in death, his spirit ruled the day. He was like Yoda or Jesus. Now that’s a leader: to have a spirit so powerful that even when your body is impotent, ruined and useless, you can still exert your will, like a current that can never die, flowing to the hearts and souls of all your teammates and acolytes. Charles Woodson lived on inside of every Packer on that field on Super Bowl Sunday and in the end, they all stood triumphant.
And if that’s not enough, when Woodson isn’t on the football field or pushing his dudes to glory via the force of his will he is busting ass to raise money for the Mott’s Children Hospital in Ann Arbor. To date, the dude has both raised and personally donated millions of dollars so that a bunch of sick kids have a chance at seeing a better tomorrow. If you want to argue with me about Charles Woodson, just know that you are the mouthpiece of rank stupidity and I will shit on your chest and gnaw on your wicked bones because to me the man is damn near a saint. I love this son of a bitch.
And that’s before I even talk about being a high school senior and sitting in Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, the only dude in my section wearing Michigan colors, and watching Charles Woodson leap from the turf and rise, rise, rise, like gravity was just a suggestion rather than a rule, sticking out a hand and snagging a ball one-handed on the sideline and then coming down with his feet inbounds in what remains the single greatest football play I have ever seen, live or otherwise. That play was the starting gun which signaled his run to the Heisman in that glorious year of 1997 and allowed me to strut around East Lansing in a maize and blue jacket, while die hard Spartans around me clenched their jaws and bit their tongues because they knew that they couldn’t say shit after what Charles Woodson did. We have been bonded together ever since. I have watched him win a national championship, that aforementioned Heisman, a Defensive Player of the Year award with the Packers and now a Super Bowl. He has done it all. He has climbed to the top of the world like the ultimate King Kong and he rules as a great god king and even though he has never worn the jersey of the Detroit Lions, he is my favorite player ever. I know, I know, some of you (let me have my delusions and believe that there are people actually still reading this) are disgusted right now. I figure a big chunk of the people who read this hate Charles Woodson since I know a lot of you are die hard Spartans and he has starred for the last several seasons for one of our biggest rivals. I get all that. I do. I don’t blame you for thinking I should shut the fuck up or that I am guilty of some sort of football treason, but I don’t really care. This is what lives in my heart. Read everything I just wrote about Charles Woodson again. Know that I mean every word of it. He transcends simple rivalry. He transcends uniforms. Do I root against him when the Lions play the Packers? Absolutely. He is the enemy. But I love him anyway and I will always love him. Ours is a sophisticated love, deep and true, complex and yet so very simple and pure and . . . goddamn, I should probably put my pants back on, huh? Anyway, Charles Woodson forever. He is the captain of my Armchair Linebacker All-Pro team and of my heart.
As for Alphonso Smith . . . well, there is one reason and one reason alone that he made this team. That’s right, it’s because he did the Carlton after picking off a pass against the Rams and returning it for a touchdown this past season. But it’s not just that he did the Carlton, it’s what that moment represented for me as a fan. Like I said earlier, writing about the Lions – hell, just being a fan of the Lions – is a grim enterprise, filled with terrible pain and existential dilemmas. It is emotionally exhausting. It taxes even the heartiest of souls and leaves us all occasionally quivering like a mass of ruined humanity. For over three years there was nothing but pain, but grim and terrible madness. Even our very few triumphs were bloody and without real joy. They were defined solely by their relationship to the pain. They were good simply because they served as a respite from our hellish reality. If the Lions won a game, it meant nothing other than it wasn’t another terrible defeat. It wasn’t some grand harbinger of better times and it wasn’t something that filled our souls with joy. It was just . . . relief. Like the damned feel relief when the demons who eternally torture them take a moment to sharpen their swords. That’s all it was. We knew that the pain would start anew.
But when Alphonso Smith scored that touchdown, it was different. That was the first time since I started writing about the Lions for Armchair Linebacker that I felt joy for its own sake, that being a fan felt like fun again. I think the last time any of us had that feeling was when Shaun Rogers returned a fumble for a touchdown against the Broncos in that blowout in 2007. Between that and Alphonso Smith’s interception return for a touchdown against the Rams in 2010, there was nothing but pain and agony. I dare you to think of a genuinely fun moment that took place in the three years that went by in between those two moments. You can’t do it, can you? That’s because there isn’t one! And that’s why that moment was so awesome, not because Alphonso Smith did a stupid little dance, but because he could do a stupid little dance. It was the moment that signaled that the era of suffering was over. Sure, there will still be pain but it will no longer be the rule. We can have fun again and Alphonso Smith was the dude who lived inside of that moment, who made it happen. You may think that is a silly reason to put a dude on an All-Pro team, especially a dude who spectacularly struggled much of the rest of the time, but fuck that, to me there is no better reason to put a dude on this team.