Thursday, July 28, 2011
2011 All ACLB Team Head Coach
RAVEN: BILL BELICHICK
I do not respect Belichick as a head coach like most football people respect him. I am not in awe of his brilliance or ability to motivate players because I think that's mostly bullshit used by successful coaches during their peak to ratchet up their speaking engagement fees for corporate retreats. Why I like Belichick is because other than Tom Brady, he will pretty much put his penis in a player's mouth and be like, "I know my penis tastes nasty but that's because I was fucking your eventual replacement during film session earlier today. Where were you, and how much do you want to keep your spot?" The most exciting aspect to Belichick's evil demented bossman status is at some point he will no longer be coaching the Patriots and Tom Brady will be dead and gone, purchased by Mexican drug cartel overlords to perform in their own personal donkey shows, and Belichick will want to take a shot at proving how he is the ultimate greatest genius the game has ever known, and could do it somewhere else with someone else. I really hope that place is Oakland, and Al Davis is like barely alive in Stephen Hawking mode, tooling around the sidelines in a wheelchair with the driving stick in his mouth, robot voicing, "Bill, go long to that new wide receiver, they'll never expect that," while Belichick ignores him.
NEIL: JIM SCHWARTZ
Good Lord, we are almost done with this infernal thing. Sure, it’s probably July by the time you’re reading this, but hey, fuck it, I told you this shit would happen way back when we started it. Anyway . . . Jim Schwartz. Yeah. Who the fuck else was I going to pick here? Most NFL coaches – hell, most coaches anywhere – are horrible assholes. The majority of them are just ineffectual toadies just wasting space until they get their shit packed in a box by management and some other worthless asshole shows up to take their place. And then the few successful coaches are basically sociopaths. Jimmy Johnson told his whole family to basically go fuck themselves because he had to spend all his time obsessing over a dumb game. Bill Belichick is like some hideous old vampire priest who walks around in rags with dead soulless eyes and then sups on the flesh of his unsuspecting flock before retreating to his cave where he watches game tapes until his clothes rot off his back. And then when morning comes, he changes into a snake and slithers out into the wild where he lays in wait for mice and voles and then he swallows them whole, transforms into a baby and suckles at the teat of Gisele Bundchen and leers at Tom Brady before he transforms into that ragged old vampire priest again and then he dazzles poor Tom and leads him back to his cave where God only knows what kind of carnal nonsense and unholy terrors take place.
And those are the good ones! Oh sure, sure, there are others, like that fat blowhard Rex Ryan but there is something fraudulent about him. He just seems like a dude with a big mouth who talks a steady stream of shit and carries himself like “Hey, look, ya’ll! I’m a pirate! Yee-haw!!!” And then his ass cheeks clench on 4th and 2 from the opponent’s 35 yard line and he punts but nobody notices because he spends the time after the game telling dumb jokes to the media, who roll over on their stupid backs and purr and laugh while he strokes their hideous bellies. He’s a vengeful fucker too, which is cool because that is a dark, primal instinct that we understand at Armchair Linebacker. We know all about dark, primal instincts. But because we are gentlemen and warriors of light, we understand how to control our base instincts and make them work for us instead of becoming dumb slaves to their salacious and idiotic whims. But not Rex Ryan. He is consumed, like some fat degenerate Ahab, with righting all perceived slights, with slaying windmill dragons and in doing so he reveals a shameful inferiority complex, the fat little kid underneath who learned to talk shit so people wouldn’t kick him in the ass all the time. His daddy was Buddy Ryan, and he tries so hard to be his father that it is kind of embarrassing. Honestly, the only time I actually kind of liked the dude was when it came out that he worships his wife’s feet. Hey, man, good for him. At least there is something perversely honest about that shit. But everything else is just a sad clown show, false bravado meant to cover up some hidden insecurity that makes him waver when shit gets a little too hot. But back to him being vengeful. He is. He decided that the Patriots were the bad guys and he made it his life’s mission to overthrow the big bad vampire priest, Bill Belichick. And he did. Good for him. And then he and his team went out the next week and lost to the Steelers. Just like everybody knew they would. Because deep down we all understand who Rex Ryan is. We know. He can’t make it to the end of the line because he’s a damn fool. He lacks the wisdom which every great coach has, the knowledge that the only victory that truly matters is that last one, the one which involves confetti raining down and Sheriff Goodell handing you a giant trophy in some antiseptic plastic stadium. He’s too consumed with petty battles and ultimately pointless wars and vendettas. He and his team embarrassed themselves after they beat the Patriots. They carried on like they just blew up the Death Star, won the Super Bowl and killed Hitler all at the same time. But all they won was a playoff game, one damn playoff game, and then they lost the next week and nobody cared about them anymore. Rex Ryan is just a clown, the front man for a stupid travelling hillbilly circus that will eventually spin out of control and end in laughter and tears, and deep down we all know it.
So fuck all of those dudes. They’re all awful in their own way and I don’t want anything to do with them. (Quick sidenote: If Bill Belichick were my team’s head coach, I would love him forever, and if I was going to pick anyone else, it would probably be him, but he’s not my team’s head coach and so fuck him.) And so that leaves me with no alternative but to pick my guy, Jim Schwartz, head coach of the Detroit Lions. Yeah, yeah, that sounds like rank homerism, and well, to be honest, it kind of is. And. frankly, I don’t give a shit. I am not some pod person alien blogger who is trying to play boy reporter, pretending that I’m some overly responsible Keeper of the Truth who believes sports are Serious Business and that I have a responsibility to some sanitized version of the truth which is really just some bastard mutation of the hint of something true, a polite whisper in the dark that nobody will ever pay any attention to because it sounds like all the other polite whispers in the dark. I’m a fan, goddammit, and that is the only truth I care about when I’m writing this shit. What moves me as a fan? What pisses me off? And Jim Schwartz moves me. He makes me believe. And maybe more importantly, he makes me want to believe. If you’re a Lions fan, then you know how difficult a trick that really is. We are so beaten up, so jaded, after a half century plus of utter failure and horrible pain that to get us to believe, to make us willingly throw our too damaged heads and hearts on the chopping block again is damn near a miracle. And he’s done this even though the team really hasn’t won anything yet. That’s his greatest trick of all. Yeah, maybe that just makes us a bunch of damn fools for believing, but it’s easy to believe in something when everything is going good, when the world bends before you like willows in a nuclear blast. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon then and shout and gibber about how you believe. But it’s something else to see the foundations for some grand dream laid and to believe in them even though the world keeps kicking your ass week after week. That’s true devotion. That’s true belief. And that’s what Jim Schwartz has inspired as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Think about it. Has there ever been a Lions coach in your lifetime who made you feel like that? Not mine. Wayne Fontes was always in over his head and we knew the whole thing was a mirage, held together by the will of Barry Sanders and as soon as that will flickered and broke, we knew the whole mirage would just disappear and all that would be left with would be the desert of the damned we had been left to eternally trudge through as penance for hiding Bobby Layne’s bottle of Wild Turkey back in the 1480’s. Bobby Ross was old and tired and we knew he wasn’t going to lead us anywhere. All he could do was use what energy he had left to try to hold together even a fraction of that mirage, a fading palm tree buried in the sand. Rod Marinelli . . . I’m sorry, I just vomited into a bucket. Mariucci? A glitzy name, a false prophet who just led us in circles and left us buried even deeper in the desert than we were before.
But Jim Schwartz showed up and started talking about winning and for some reason I believed him where I had never believed any of the others. He talked to the fans, he listened to metal and, well . . . he just seemed to get it, you know? I hate when people talk about “getting it” because it’s usually just an excuse to fellate some meathead who talks in clichés and appeals to some childish willful ignorance that lies deep in the heart of every man. But Jim Schwartz is not a meathead. He’s a smart, smart dude, a dude who understands numbers and theories, who graduated from Georgetown and then cut his teeth under the vampire priest Belichick and lived to tell about it. He manages to marry the rah, rah Hey He Gets It shit with the cerebral and with the sociopathic drive for greatness which is a necessary part of every great coach, like it or not. He is the real deal. He knows that the only thing that matters is winning that game at the end of the year. That’s what Belichick understands. It’s what Jimmy Johnson understood. But unlike them, he also sees our hearts, our minds and it makes him want to win that final game all the more. He gets it and . . . he gets it. All of it. And that’s why he’s both my head coach and real life and the coach of this team. I believe in him, and in the end my belief may be rewarded with nothing but more pain and more senseless wandering through this foul desert of the damned, but to hell with all that. I have no choice because Jim Schwartz made me believe, not in a mirage, but in the finality of ultimate victory, in the salvation that lies at the end of a long, hard road. And that’s a damn miracle. And that’s who I’d want leading this team.
TOMORRROW: our team Wild Cards!