Friday, August 3, 2012

Jahvid Best


 Jahvid Best's brain.


Some of you might recall that the last thing I wrote for the site before devolving into a steady stream of embarrassing histrionics about burnout was a piece about Junior Seau’s death, concussions, how enormously screwed up the NFL is when it comes to player safety and all that jazz.  In the end, I essentially concluded that nobody knows what in the hell is going on and we’re all just fucking vultures and jackals trying to make peace with ourselves.  Naturally, the Football Gods have seen fit to reward my delicate contemplations by turning Jahvid Best’s brains into a bowl of lukewarm soup (Cream of head trauma?)

Of course this has led to everyone fretting and pulling out their hair and wearing placards on the side of the road, ringing a bell and screaming the end is near.  This is because Best is our most explosive playmaker at running back and because the other option there is coming off his own grotesque season-ending injury and is one bong hit away from being strapped to a table and tortured like William Wallace by Sheriff Goodell.  The situation, she’s-a-no good.

There is hope – fading, but it’s still there, well, kinda anyway – that a doctor will examine Best and shine a flashlight in his eyes without making the poor dude puke, but that hope is tested week after week when Jim Schwartz is asked about Best and responds with what can be described as a shrug and a “Well, fuck if I know.  The dude’s head is made of cheese-whiz and shattered dreams.  Uh, ask me next week?”  This is not a good sign.  I mean, even if Best is medically cleared to play, let’s face it, all someone has to do is breathe on him like a child blowing on a dandelion and the dude’s head is going to melt like at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Now, the question then becomes, do we even want him to come back?  And this is where things get tricky.  Refer to the whole Seau article for more on that.  I mean, as much as I feel like we need Jahvid Best, I also don’t really want to be watching a game in October and have to take a half-hour long break while the stands go silent, all the other players gather on the field in prayer, the announcers take that hushed “Oh fuck, I hope he isn’t dead” tone and Jahvid Best himself lays on the field, swallowing his own tongue while trainers try to strap a surfboard to his back.  As it is, he’ll probably be slurring his speech like me on a Friday night by the time he’s 35 and shaking like Muhammad Ali by the time he’s 40.  Every time he touches the ball we’re all gonna get a knot in our stomach, hoping that this won’t be the play that turns him into a broccoli stalk. 

But aside from all that pesky human interest shit, there’s also this: is it really a good idea to pin so much of our hopes and dreams on a dude who probably has his own personal ER team on standby in the locker room every game?  At some point we all have to come to terms with an obvious and terrible truth: Jahvid Best is fucking broken, y’all and what he’s got, nobody can fix.  It’s just the way it is.  It sucks.  I know.  I want him to be the Superman Made of Lightning and Joy backfield counterpoint to Matthew Stafford’s Bombs Over Baghdad (and Green Bay, and Minneapolis, and Chicago, and . . .) aerial attack just like the rest of you.  But right now, all we’re doing is making love to wishes and I don’t know if you’ve seen the Wishmaster but that shit doesn’t turn out so well.

The scary thing is that we really don’t have too many alternatives.  Like I said, there’s Mikael LeShoure, his slain Achilles and a cloud of smoke and then I guess there’s Kevin Smith who I think we can all admit is a nice story but I think we can also all admit that we wanted something better than the Littlest Engine That Could at running back this season, right?  I know that’s not really fair to Smith, but his own track record isn’t exactly one of pristine health and dependability, you know?  I guess we could clone Calvin Johnson and teach him how to take a handoff or just eliminate the running back position all together and just have our receivers carry shotguns during the game so they don’t get killed, but . . . yeah. 

So what do we do?  What in the fuck do we even hope for here?  I mean, really, what we’re down to when it comes to Jahvid Best is praying for miracles and healing potions discovered in the Amazon Rain Forest.  We’re about one collective day away from kidnapping him and dunking him in the Healing Waters of Lourdes.  And while Hope is great and a good thing, there is honest, productive Hope and then there is wide eyed, buoyed by terror Delusion disguised as Hope and we spent way too many years dirty dancing with that motherfucker for me to want to go back to that shit.

What’s left?  I don’t know and neither do any of you.  I’ll admit that I haven’t exactly been the best fan this offseason.  I still know my shit but I haven’t been obsessively tracking the fringe roster invitees and scouting the backup punter’s cousin’s dogs trainer’s nephew’s 40 time like a lot of you probably have so maybe there’s a surprise dude just hanging around ready to tear shit up at camp.  I don’t know, but probably not.  So that leaves us with praying to the Football Gods, to Crom and to The Great Willie Young for Jahvid Best’s brain to be suddenly touched by the Holy Spirit and healed of its sins before week one.  I mean, I’m willing to strangle a goat or two if that’s what it takes and I’ve already started stringing up virgins to trees and lashing them with whips made from the hair of a unicorn in order to curry the gods’ favor but I don’t know if that’s gonna be enough.

Look, I didn’t mean this post to be so HEAD FOR THE HILLS ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE but even in the afterglow of a playoff season, these are still strange and terrible times and none of us can afford to be naïve, otherwise when the inevitable Doom comes down on Jahvid Best’s withered brain stem, we’ll take to embittered name calling and mud-slinging and then we’ll all make asses of ourselves on MLive and I’ll be forced to call a synod where we’ll elect a new Pope who will have to call a crusade against stupidity and then we’ll all tear each other apart because we didn’t have the balls to stare Truth in the eyes now and accept his wisdom. 

So maybe we should just accept that Jahvid Best’s future lies in the halls of Valhalla and try to make our peace with that.  Or not.  What the fuck do I know?  Oh God, please heal Jahvid Best’s broken brain and also while I have you can you turn Jared Allen into a giant butt, not a metaphorical butt like he is now but like an actual giant butt with a big hole in the middle where poop comes out of because that would be kind of cool and I think we deserve it after the 50 year desert wandering we were subjected to which was worse than what you put Moses through and that motherfucker spent his childhood cavorting with Egyptian whores and his adopted brother, Yul Brynner, who I think you’ll agree was a real dickhead.  Anyway, you let Moses off with 40 years so I think you can give us a little credit and grant us our three wishes like it says you can in the Bible.  I’ve seen Aladdin.  I know how this shit works so I need you and your pet monkey to show up.  But if you sound like Robin Williams, I’m fucking out.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.  Forgive me.   I’m even rubbing the shit out of this reading lamp.  See?  See???

This is what it has come to because when it comes to Jahvid Best and his rebellious brain, this is all we have left.  This is the dark heart that lies beneath our outer jubilation.  The Fear is always chasing after us, like some evil assassin in the night and The Fear will reduce us to gibbering ignoramuses (ignoramii?) if we let it.   So, uh, let’s just see what happens?  I don’t know.  I don’t fucking know.  But I’m going to force myself to consider the possibility that this one won’t turn out so well and I’m going to do something that we as a fanbase aren’t very good at – I’m going to try to be reasonable and if it works out, great and if it doesn’t, I’ll only sip from the Drain Cleaner, I won’t chug.  After all, I have matured.


26 comments:

Geekized said...

Welcome back. A bit tame, but it will do. ;-)

BTW, the first sentence of paragraph five should have "many" instead of "much". You're welcome.

Neil said...

It's technically incorrect but I stand by it because I was using "hopes and dreams" as a singular phrase and thus a singular object which I know isn't right but I look at it this way - I was using "hopes and dreams" collectively as a synonym for "hope" and so in my head "how much of our hope" works whereas "how many of our hope" is nonsensical. It's just one thing. By the way, I'm just pulling shit out of my ass here. Kinda. I mean, it's technically wrong and I'm not going to argue it beyond pointing out that the phrase was meant to convey a singular object and not actual hopes and dreams in the multiple but it's also what I meant and I always take the view that language is malleable.

Neil said...

Also, thanks.

Geekized said...

OK, LOL. I was just fucking with you, anyway.

I will say that at this point, language is probably quite afraid of you. ;-)

Neil said...

Poor language, it was only trying to help and then I got ahold of it.

AZBadger said...

Is a top-notch run game really all that necessary anymore? Just ask the Packers how they feel about their underwhelming RB's. Dosen't seem to have hurt their offense.
As for Best, like you noted, in this day and age of concussion awareness, it's probably best that he just hangs it up

Neil said...

Not really but we still need something there to keep defenses honest or else we face the terrifying thought of Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Jared Allen abusing poor Jeff Backus every other week in pursuit of Stafford because they know they don't have to worry about stopping the run.

But yeah, they can - and have in the past - mask a lot of this with shorter passes, end-arounds and all that shit. Basically, they'll just have to be creative. It just sucks because they've been doing that while we've all been going "Yeah, this is fun but just wait and see what happens when Best is healthy and we have a running game to go with it. Then no one will stop us." And, well, it looks like another year of Scott Linehan reaching for his wizard hat.

LionsFanROC said...

I feel good about Joique Bell's potential if Best's brain ends up looking like a pastrami sandwich... but that's probably dysfunctional mouth-breathing hopefulness.

Glad you're back.

Neil said...

Yeah, I know there are dudes with potential but I just hoped we'd be past the searching for a diamond in the rough phase of things by now, especially considering we drafted a first round running back two years in a row.

Neil said...

Still, I will make love to Hope. It will be . . . erotic. Also, kinda messy but that's just the way of things.

Marc said...

A part of me is angry. Yes angry. Angry at the fact that Best is like a little pin cushion. That his brain has been turned into some kinda slosh. Angry becuz he has so much talent and skill which has been displayed on the football field....strikin' fear into opposin' defenses.

But then there is his health which is obviously much more important than what I wanted him to add to the team.

Leshoure and Smith. leshoure can't seem to even get goin' while Smith....as much potential as i believe he has....I always fel that he had a great deal of mileage on him comin' out of college. And his injury history shows such.

I don't know how this season will play out in terms of a runnin' game. But what I do know is that it would be cool to have somethin' in place where we aren't tinkerin' around with1 durin' the season....

All that bein' said....I don't know what the hell is goin' on but I hope that somethin' viable gets worked out that is consistent by the start of the season....

Neil said...

Yeah, I agree with pretty much all of that. The Smith thing is a good point I should have mentioned - he racked up, like, over 400 carries or something obscene like that his last year at Central Florida.

Anonymous said...

About time Crom got a mention on this blog.

Neil said...

Yeah, he was overdue.

Neil said...

Also, that is a bowl filled with pudding, not a bowl filled with diarrhea. Thank you and may God bless America.

Bubbalouuey said...

I don't know how anyone could reasonably expect Best to be back after this lenth of time off. Fact is the medical people just have no clue and I cannot believe we are this close to a season without some sort of replacement. I like the guy but you can't count on anything. Whats Ryan Grant's # again ? Thanks for coming back Neil

Neil said...

Yeah, I love Best and I hope I'm wrong, but . . .

JP said...

Good to see you back writing again. I think alot of Lions fans, myself included, just needed some time for a breather after last season. I know I haven't been balls deep in Lions articles like I have been in the past, but I suppose that's a good thing seeing as I don't feel the need to second guess every fucking move the F.O. makes anymore.

Anyhow, as far as Best is concerned, I'm of the opinion that if he is taking this long to get cleared, that it might be time to just hang the cleats up. It's funny because I was just saying the same shit that you wrote here to a co-worker earlier this week. I really have no desire to see any Lion layed out on the field with a group of players huddled around in prayer around him. And while that is always a threat to any player in the NFL, with Best it feels like at this point that it is inevitable.

Neil said...

Yeah, the break was definitely needed. I feel good now, though.

Also, yeah . . . inevitable is a good way to put it.

SandyC said...

Now "a source familiar with the situation" is being quoted as saying Best will remain out for the first six weeks of the season at least.

I think I'm in the camp that says it's time to hang up his cleats. It sucks that he is stuck in the cross-hairs of Sheriff Goodell's political calculus. I can't help but think that had this stage come even one year ago, Best would be in camp and ready to go. I just think that he'll never get the clearance satisfactory to the league.

If this is the end of his pro football career, I'll always have the enduring memory of that gamebreaking run for a TD against the Bears last October. That was a huge moment for the team.

Neil said...

Yeah, again . . . inevitable is probably the best word to describe the situation.

And yeah, that play is in my personal memory highlight reel.

SandyC said...

I'm on the Kevin Smith bandwagon. That bandwagon may be held together by chewing gum and duct tape, but "Smith-if-he's-healthy" holds potential that could be realized the same way "Stafford-if-he's-healthy" has shown.

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