I was doing so good. I was still feeling contrite after my argument and bad behavior last week with Vinny, and so was doing everything in my power to keep my cool.
I had behaved like a perfect gentlemonkey for nearly a week without even once blowing my top.
I was beginning to believe that I had truly turned over a new banana, that I had become a quieter gentler monkey; then I read a post by Shonuff, which got me to thinking about just how irritated I am at one particular turd, excuse me, player, and my blood pressure began to rise.
Then upon opening my email, I came across an article in the Trib titled Holmgre: Robinson got wake up call, and all my kinder, gentler monkey thoughts went right out the window. Now the angrier, crankier monkey is back, and he's just gotta rant!
My problem is this, *sniff sniff* I smell something, *sniff sniff* it smells vaguely familiar. *sniff sniff* Ahhh yes, now I've placed it! I smelled that same smell last season when a "new and improved" Ken Lucas began to spin the media. In fact, I have smelled it many times over the length of my lifetime, it's the odor of media manipulation, it's the scent of a contract year.
I read quotes like "I plead guilty to the fact that I just didn't throw him on the trash heap" -Holmgren- or "I think he's a talented guy and a good person, he just needed to get a wake up call" -Holmgren- and something just goes haywire in my head. I know that I am supposed to read things like that and feel forgiving. Instead I think that if he were such a good person, then why does he have such lousy character? Isn't good character what makes a good person? Hasn't he already had several wake up calls?
I know that when I read quotes like "But he is not malicious, he is not hurtful. He cares, he wants to compete. He just had these demons."-Holmgren- that I am supposed to be able to relate to "the Grip's" struggles against his personal demons. I know that I am supposed to understand that because his actions weren't malicious or hurtful, that they should be chocked up as foolish mistakes of youth and forgiven. But there's a problem, *sniff sniff*, I have smelled this stuff before *sniff sniff* I always seem to smell it when a player is entering his contract year. Especially after that player has badly screwed up his first several years in Seattle.
Why can't I seem to feel sorry for a guy whose coach has come to his defense time and time again, a guy who has admittedly checked himself into a rehab center and worked his way through the program? It's that damnable odor of media manipulation during a contract year.
My problem is that I am just too cynical and callous to fall for the media games at this stage in my life. I hear Koren's mother saying things like "He had become a little frustrated with the situation I guess, and just got off track. He was able to rethink some things", or "He finally realised what he could lose and what would be missing in his life" and I hear them very differently than they were perhaps intended to be heard.
What I hear instead, is, Koren just got a little frustrated with the situation, of not getting the ball whenever he damn well wanted to get the ball, and with playing in Seattle, a city he never really wanted to play for in the first place, and he got pissed. So he acted like a big spoiled jerk and decided not to care or try anymore, and decided that he would instead, spend his time partying it up with his homeys. But now that it's a contract year, he is going to reinvent himself because he's scared that he won't get the big payday he wants and won't get to play in another city where he would really rather be.
I read about how Koren's mother has decided to move herself and Koren's 3 year old son,in with Koren, her 25 year old son, to keep him focused and to keep his eye on the prize; and I think to myself, sounds like mommas gettin' worried. Momma sees the end of the the gravy train coming and realizes that unless she does something quick, she'll be stuck with an adult son who will never grow up and a grandson who she'll surely have to raise without the aid of those big NFL dollars. I can hardly believe that a 25 year old man needs to have his mother move in with hm to keep him "focused", doesn't say much about his character if you ask me.
Here's the thing, I am happy that "the Grip" is apparently going to make a concerted effort to get his life back together. I even believe that he's going to have a great season this year. In fact, I would be willing to bet anything that he puts together his best season, by far, as a pro. But I won't be rooting for him.
I won't be rooting for him, because even if he puts together a 1600 yard, 12 touchdown season I'll still feel like he owes me three more years just like it. I'll still feel that, no matter how well he does next season, it's three seasons too late. No matter how well he does next season, he still did absolutely nothing to earn his NFL paycheck for his first three years here in Seattle.
I'll always know that he only put together that one great season, to get the big pay check and to get outa town.
You see, no one has ever questioned Robinson's ability to become a great NFL reciever, he has the ability to put together a great season anytime he damn well wants to, but that's the problem. Since he is so darn talented, I can only assume that his three years of underachievment here in Seattle had nothing to do with talent but rather had everything to do with heart, character and effort.
I could forgive Koren for three lousy years, if he simply wasn't very talented, but was working his ass off to try to earn his paycheck. I could forgive Koren for all those dropped passes, had he simply ever cared enough to show up to work on time, and had he put a little effort into correcting the drops problem before now. But now that it's a contract year, no matter how well he does this season, I will only feel cheated. In fact, the better he does the more I will feel cheated, it will only be that much more salt in the wound. The better he does, the more it will prove to me that he was dogging it all along, and that he never ever cared about winning or about Seattle or it's fans. To me, there's no greater sin than not trying, not caring. To me, there's no more unforgivable thing for an athlete to do, than not give real effort, than to spend unearned paycheck after unearned paycheck, while wasting God given talent.
The worst thing for me is that this article in the Trib, was only the first of what I expect will be many stories like it throughout the next season. I expect that towards the end of next year, the media will be just gushing with warmth towards K-Rob, because he will be having such a good season. They will all be tripping over themsleves to write the story of how he managed to turn his life around, and how much he has matured and what a really good guy he really is and really was all along. But I for one, will never ever buy it. Because I will always know that it's about one thing and one thing only to "the Grip", *sniff sniff, sniff sniff* Is that a contract year I smell?