Wednesday, July 27, 2011
2011 All ACLB Team Kick Returners
NEIL: STEFAN LOGAN
I am picking Stefan Logan for both spots here because fuck you, that’s why. No, but seriously, folks, fuck you. Okay, okay, I apologize. I am getting a little testy after 600,000 words (just a rough estimate), involuntary imprisonment in a mental hospital, an intergalactic war with squidmen and you don’t even wanna know what else. I’m tired. But thankfully, I have my memories of watching that little midget Stefan Logan smurfing his way down the field for big return after big return, reviving a proud legacy of dynamite return men in Detroit which stretched from Mel Hall to Desmond Howard to Eddie Drummond, but which had been vanquished and was sucked away in a maelstrom of vicious tears and a mournful howl, aka the Matt Millen Era.
Yes, during those dark and terrible days, even those small beautiful glories which we held to our hearts were ripped away and shat upon. They were torn apart and we were left with only our memories, proud yet despairing, and as we watched Aveion Cason and Derrick Williams and Aveion Cason and Aaron Brown and Aveion fucking Cason fall down and shit themselves shy of the 20 yard line again and again, it seemed as if those memories belonged to another lifetime, another age of this world, which existed in black and white, fading, dying, from both our hearts and our minds.
But then Stefan Logan showed up, plucked off the waiver wire from Pittsburgh and the moment he broke his first big return, those memories exploded back into our hearts and minds in Technicolor, and the promise of the past seemed to be faintly alive again, pulsing from forgotten places in our souls, flowing back into our living memories and the world seemed, if for only an instant, to be one which we could still conquer. We could outrun death, we could turn and laugh at the Failure Demons as they futilely pursued us from hell, and we could capture the very light of heaven again because now we were back in the game, now we had a dude who could tilt the field in our direction, who could tilt the very world itself in our direction. That cold, gray uphill trudge was replaced with a brilliant green downhill jaunt. We could laugh and tumble and roll carefree, like we . . . you know what, this is getting completely ridiculous. I apologize. I have passed hyperbole and entered into some ridiculous unknown realm which is utterly shameless. But fuck it, that’s kind of the point here. For the first time in a long time, we have a return man in Stefan Logan who allows me to get stupid, to babble on like a giddy fool in love with all the world, drunk on promise and the light of tomorrow. Stefan Logan took that kickoff and he ran from the past towards that light and when he did we all went along with him, and maybe that’s just a small thing, maybe his contributions to that run to glory are minimal, and that I am overstating things just because that’s what I do, but then again, maybe not. Maybe he sets a tone for the rest of the team, maybe he fires all of our hearts in ways that we don’t understand, in ways that we’d forgotten. Maybe he is the hidden secret to this whole damn thing. Okay, fine, probably not, but still, I will slam my fist on the table and I will fight any man who says that they have a better return man than me, and that’s what this is all about. Pride, motherfuckers. Pride. And that’s why he’s on this team.
RAVEN: DESEAN JACKSON & JOSHUA CRIBBS
Look, at this point I am just forcing myself to finish writing this thing as it has become a long convoluted process and we are almost half a year removed from the end of the season, but luckily the lockout has saved us from having like 39 of our chosen players end up on different teams by now. As for the dudes who catch the kicks and return them, seems like it might be a dying art, as the NFL is afraid of concussions and the long-term demented effects of such things. As a scientifically minded individual, I can understand this. But as an alpha male omega man, this is bullshit. Football is supposed to be separate from civilization's faggotries, and not concerned with long-term nothing. Fuck the future.
And this is the best mentality for a kick or punt returner, as well as fuck the past. There is nothing but the moment, and that's why every kick has to be returned with passion and zealotry. There is nothing more frustrating as a fan than seeing your return man commit fair catch after fair catch, which is like dating a good-enough-looking woman who wears daisy dukes all the time but doesn't like to have sex, or slips into pajama pants at like 7:30 every night. It sucks. A return man is like, "Fuck it, I'm gonna do this," and does it. Sometimes he gets concussed, sometimes he gets 6 points. But either way - concussion or touchdown - he instills in his regular, non-special teammates a do or die mentality, that you just do not give a fuck and this thing must be done because we have chosen to play this game which is sort of like a war but also just a game and we make lots of money but ultimately we will all be broke and broken and half-crippled and mentally disabled so we are obviously all in now and let's MOTHERFUCKING DO THIS!
With that in mind, as my main return man of the punted varieties, there is no one other than DeSean Jackson. He has what the kids in flat-brimmed hats and athletic socks pulled up really high nowadays like to call Swag, in abundance, and he makes things happen, constantly. As a Redskins fan, it bothers me that the year he was drafted, we picked like 3 other pieces of shit receivers who have amounted to just barely more than nothing in front of Jackson. And there he is, twice a year, motherfucking doing it, rubbing my nose in the fact I am emotionally attached to an organizationally retarded franchise. And yet he is so good at doing just that, I can't even hate on him. It's not his fault we suck. This culture existed long before him. Whereas a Dallas Cowboy was my born snipe victim from the moment my father and mother's DNA commingled inside her womb, the Eagles were just another rivalry, to be gotten up for, but I'm not going to organize pipe bomb campaigns against them or anything. I mean I can hate them as easily as anybody, don't get me wrong. But DeSean Jackson is just so motherfucking doing it, I can't hate him like that. I just can't.
As for a kick returner, I'd go with Joshua Cribbs, mostly because I play in a dorkery football league with heavyweight special teams scoring, and Cribbs has been my man for like three years now. Also he looks fairly L.A. gangster in 1993 thuggish, yet has a warm smile, and did better as a wildcat QB for the Browns than most any other actual QB they've had the past three years. Unfortunately, as a return man, he's hit that peak and is probably winding down, just as he was hoping to get a big contract done. That's the nature of the Great Return Man - a day late, a dollar short, but still getting 2.3 yards more than a fair catch would have gotten him.
TOMORROW: Head Coaches