I came out of preseason once Rex Grossman was declared the victor of the Redskins starting QB battle a little uneasy about this. I mean, Rex Grossman is a running joke as a master flailer in tense situations, who is widely considered as the absolute worst QB ever to lead a team to the Super Bowl, at least in recent memory. The shame was so great he was banished to clipboard hell in Houston, of all places, being the sidekick QB to young wonder-genius-in-training Kyle Shanahan, who, since nobody was actually paying attention to Houston because back then most people didn't realize they had an NFL team, tinkered and toyed with an offensive system that builds off his dad's beliefs and the west coast dink and dunk style and is allegedly it's own thing entirely. And Rex Grossman, who has played in that system for longer than he's been on the Redskins, is allegedly a dude who comprehends this system deeply, and can execute it well on the battle field of the NFL turf. But still though, he's Rex Grossman. And when he came in for Donovan McNabb last year, he gave up a fumble for six points on like the first play. THE FIRST FUCKING PLAY.
And then before the season started, when Grossman was all like, "I think we'll win the NFC East," all the football media jumped on his shit, basically going, "Lololol Rex" but in expensive suits on TV shows, and in various ways. But that's basically what it was, since everybody considered the Redskins to be a mediocre team if they were lucky, and easily the worst team in the NFC East.
And though we've jumped out the gate 2-0, and everybody else in the NFC East is decimated by injuries, there's no reason to really change my doubts about this team being an actual playoff team. If anything, they are a possible playoff team because the NFL has become so mediocre in general, not because the Redskins and Mike Shanahan's master plan has gelled together quicker than expected. But hey, I did not come to you day live and in living color from my kitchen table while DJ Muggs instrumentals scare the neighbors even though they are three acres away; I came to talk about Rex Grossman, and my reluctant acceptance of him.
Sure, I know now in your own head, you're like, "Lololol Raven" just like those football TV dudes were laughing at Rex when he said the Skins would win the East. But hear me out. I fully understand getting in bed with the Sex Cannon is like trusting a whore who screwed over two of your best friends already. I fully know the risks involved, and how if I invest too much of my heart in this failure demon of a QB, I could very well get burned. And shit, the self-conscious pessimist on my left shoulder is saying, "You WILL get burned." But I can't listen to him right now. Because I am, without a doubt, a Redskins fan, and Rex Grossman is, without a doubt, the Redskins starting QB.
So being he is the QB, without a doubt, I look one year in the rear view mirror of my mind, and have to say I can accept ol '#8 more than I could #5 last year. Sure, Donovan McNabb is a media hypejob QB with a Pro Bowl resume, but he was also a stubborn old dog who refused to do anything but play sandlot football. McNabb is like a less lustrous Brett Favre in that he just plays the game, without a playbook or desire to learn a fucking thing. He just hikes the ball and looks for a dude to get open. But whereas Favre airs out ol' gunslinger style, McNabb hits dudes at their knees on a 15 yard crossing pattern. Consistently. Like so consistently if I were a WR for McNabb I would just plan on dropping to my knees for half his passes. At least Rex Grossman is invested in the system and will try to do whatever is asked of him. At least he's putting in the effort to be part of the team.
But beyond that, I had a couple of interactions this week that started to tilt my scales of irrational judgment in favor of Rex, instead of against. First off, I was emailing my homeboy Will the Thrill about last week, and mentioned how I was still afraid of Rex because of that blank look he got in his eyes a lot of times, which to me, signified those mentally lapsed moments where he hits a wide open defender in the red zone, like he did to start last week's game against Arizona. But Will told me, "Man, those are just Gunslinger Eyes." And I realized, suddenly with the flash of football epiphany, that I can't be afraid of the Gunslinger Eyes. McNabb didn't have Gunslinger Eyes, nor did Jason Campbell or Patrick Ramsey or any of the 39 other starting QBs we've had since Mark Rypien won a Super Bowl what seems like a billion years ago. (It should be noted that Mark Brunell had Gunslinger Eyes, but he also homeschools his children about how Jesus is awesome, and Jesus Is Awesome Eyes are pretty close to Gunslinger Eyes on the "eyes are the window to the soul" spectrum, so I'm not sure I can trust Brunell's eyes.)
So then Rex comes out this week saying he has the best receiving corps in the NFL, and how he trust all his dudes, but he thinks Moss, Gaffney, and Armstrong is the best top three in the league. And sure, I can see where people would be like, "Lololol again Rex?" But hey man, this is his team, so why should he hate on those dudes? He has to believe in them.
And that got me to where I started to question my intense distrust of the Sex Cannon. He's my QB - my irrational emotional football investment in the Redskins makes me married to Grossman, for better or worse, in good times and bad, at least for the foreseeable future. So why hate the dude? If he can hype up enthusiastically his unheralded teammates as the best shit since Air Coryell-era Chargers, then why can't I just be like, "Yay Rex!" half-heartedly.
Then, at work this week, which has been a hell-pour on my weak soul for a while now, I had a meeting with a couple of reps from a company we deal with. I do mad science research in an underground facility, like next door to five-foot-tall monster chickens with olive oil blood. No shit, I'm being completely serious. I work with rats, and we give them brain injuries like soldiers in the middle East, to try and figure out a way to stifle the debilitating craziness hundreds of thousands of these dudes are going to be coming home with, not only to help soldiers but to protect American society from getting destroyed by these military failure demons about to detonate on us like Vietnam vets times twenty. So I was meeting with a pair of reps from an animal research company that we buy our animals from, and one of them was the elder rep from Pennsylvania who seriously was like a 45-year-old computer morphed black dude with Don Cheney and Bill Cosby punched in as the starting point. Seriously. It was hilarious, and he was funny as fuck, talking about kids (of course) but being all serious and respectful because he was a salesman after all. But the younger rep, who will be my rep, he also had those blank eyes, which weren't Gunslinger Eyes, and I didn't get the sense they were Jesus Is Awesome eyes either, but usually salespeople Selling Things Is My Thing eyes are pretty close to Jesus Is Awesome eyes, on the opposite side of that "eyes are the window to the soul" spectrum than Gunslinger eyes, but that rep dude was telling me he grew up out in Indiana or some shit where Rex Grossman played high school ball, and said that Grossman basically showed up in Steve Spurrier's office at Florida, unrecruited, and was like, "Here's my highlight tape. I'm going to be your starting QB." and called his shot. And it came true. There's something to be said for having that type of swagger to your stagger, even if you don't look like you'd back it up, or have failed to live up to it in the past.
Look, I'm a fairly ugly dude with an average-sized dick, so I can understand having to talk up your game. And usually if you talk up your game and actually get onto the field - which would be touching on a vagina in my sexual metaphor I'm building up here - you may not have the same natural physical blessings as others, but through working it, and paying attention to the smallest details (thumb against but not inserted into the ass while doing it doggy style, for example), you can get the job done, nine times out of ten. And that tenth time? Fuck it man, it happens. It just so happens that the year the Bears went to the Super Bowl with Rex as QB, that tenth time happened to be in the Super Bowl, on the grandest stage possible. Grossman had the second best QB rating over the course of that year, though - to be fair - when he went south, he went way south, which is where all those comical pictures of him chasing footballs around the field of play like a greased pig contest come from when you google image search the poor dude.
But who the fuck cares? Perhaps the real problem here with this Redskins team is not that Rex Grossman will completely fuck up once out of ten times. Perhaps the real situation is how do you minimize his potential to make that tenth time out a complete blowout seven-turnover fuck-up, and turn it into a "we lost by a field goal but considering we had three turnovers in the red zone, it could've been a lot worse"? I can't fault Rex for talking up his game, and I can't fault Rex for feeling good about what he is, because you know, all he can be is what he is. Own that shit, feel good about it, like a chubby chick in a bikini. Chubby chicks in bikinis are great man, absolutely fucking great, and the older I get the more I look forward to seeing them. You've got to own what you are, and be proud of that shit, and fuck the world.
So Rex Grossman, you are my QB bro. I am down with you, and not afraid of what could be any more. Sure, there's going to be some down times, but when hasn't there been in the last 15 years of me watching Redskins football? You have a confident swagger to your walk that I have not seen much of under center in a long time. And you may not be Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but hey, I hate those fuckers. One of them is crippled and the other needs to be attacked by a knife-wielding fan who has done too much Special K while listening for secret messages in Lil Wayne songs. You are Rex Grossman, and not only are you a Redskin right now, you are all Redskins, completely into it, and happy to be starting an NFL football game.
So go into this Monday night game against the dreaded pharmaceutically-enhanced sodomites from Dallas, Texas, and understand you will be in their den of electronic decadence, and it will be dazzling. But their painkiller-enabled QB counterpart Tony Romo won't have those Gunslinger Eyes bro. He'll be stuck in an opiate fog, just happy to be alive. And make no mistake about it, he'll play. I know Romo's life partner TE Jason Witten was trying to insinuate Romo wouldn't be out there, but that's just distractive conjecture trying to ease off the bloodhounds of Laron Landry and London Fletcher and our double OLB attack of Kerrakkipogan, which will linguistically imitate the sound of Romo's ribs coming apart in the wrong way and sticking into his internal organs. And I know DeAngelo Hall caught some flack for saying he'd target Romo's ribs, but shit man, if you actually listen to what he said, there was nothing inflammatory about it. He just said, "Sure, if the dude is hurt, I'm going after it. I want a shot at it before Orakpo or Kerrigan disable him."
So Rex Grossman, Mr. Sex Cannon, I think I speak for all Redskins fans everywhere - at least the sensible ones steeped heavily in the metaphysics of professional football - when I say lead us, young man. Work this Shanahan system as only you know how, and try to keep it chill enough for the defense to put the game on ice. I'm with you man. And I'm hyped the fuck up for Monday night. HYPED THE FUCK UP! So do your thing. Tony Romo ain't never been in no Super Bowl, has he? Shit, Romo is basically you a few years ago - big stats, but butterfingers in the clutch. Show him them Gunslinger Eyes, and punk his punk ass out, bro.