Wednesday, March 23, 2005

*sniff sniff* Is that a contract year I smell?

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?

9 comments:

  1. WOW. ~NICE~

    It's been awhile since I've read one of your nine-banana rants (the PI blog, I think?), you were overdue.

    Those are excellent points. We should repost that when his contract is expiring.

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  2. Well, I'll keep this short so as not to give monkey too much ammo.

    Speaking as a 'person' that's dealt with, and is dealing with his 'Demons', I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    Two reasons.....One, as I said I've dealt with, and persevered over his problems. And know things he's been dealing with. (Do you? Don't take that the wrong way, it's not sarcasm just a question)

    Two, If you go by the comments of Ruskey in his interview, (thanks Alba, or was it Blue? You guys have become the Blog Kings), if they didn't have faith in the fact tha Robinson was going to be a contributor to the team, he'd already be gone. Right?

    So on that note, I'll just say i'm sticking with Mike and Tim on this and standing behind Koren, till he proves me wrong.

    But if he f**ks up again, I'll bring the rail we run him out of town on.

    And as with Blue, it's great to hear the monkey I've come to know and fear. :)

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  3. Monkey...don't sugar-coat it...tell us how you REALLY feel!! :-)

    First of all, so what if he excels in a contract year. If Jennifer Anniston wants to have a wild romp in the hay with me just to make Brad Pitt jealous...I'm all for it!

    In other words, don't worry too much about the motives, just enjoy the ride.

    Second of all, I'm not sure how old you are, but before you judge him, think about what YOU would do with ALL that money at the tender age of 25!

    I'm not saying he's right for wasting 3 good years of his carreer in a bottle or on "X", I'm just saying that with my first paycheck out of college I went and bought a fire-engine red Z28 with a 5-speed high output engine, and I didn't even know how to drive a stick! I can't imagine the trouble I would have gotten into if I were makine 2.3 million rather than 23 thousands! (it was 20 years ago so adjust for inflation!)

    And here's something that Vinny can get behind. There was a journeyman QB in the league who was struggling in Atlanta and later in his career had to kick an addiction to pain killers, who just turned his life and career around to the point of two SB appearances, one SB victory and an MVP.

    Again, I think X-Rob has a long, long way to ever again be mentioned in the same sentence as Brett Farve, but it is a good example of not damning someone for a slow start or an addiction problem.

    Check out the piece in the PI today. Call it "Ruskells' Rules of Order", "contract year-itis" or "wake-up call", but two perrenial head-cases, Stevens and X-Rob, are in for pre-season workouts for the first time in their careers.

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  4. I give no quarter when it comes to spoiled athletes.millions of people with what ever he has live productive clean lives,why can't he?

    If I had the 2.2 mil I would go find the chick with three knockers from total recall.

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  5. Eugene Robinson3/24/2005 03:23:00 PM

    I know what I'd do. I'd buy me a pregame hummer.

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  6. reading last comment...not really getting it...thinking that's really not much to ask for when making that much money....re-reading it again...still not getting it...then WHAM!...it hits me and I gotta say...

    THAT'S SOME PRETTY FREAKING FUNNY SH!T!

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  7. What did I say? Now the Seahawks.com has an article on Robinson. *sniff sniff*
    Here's a quote from K Rob tat is just so darn contrite I almost believe he really means it and isn't just trying to remake his image for the contract year.
    "Just be accountable," says Robinson. "This is my life, this is my career, and I've been taking it for granted. I think everything that happened in 2004 happened for a reason: so I could wake up. I just had a birthday, I turned 25, and I feel like I really am maturing right now. I guess it took me four years to really get it, and it took the 2004 season for me to open up my eyes and see that I am truly blessed to be in the NFL and with the Seattle Seahawks."

    I'm gagging over here, the phony B.S. is piled too high, I can't stand the stench!

    This guy is such a liar and such a phony that I would be willing to bet any amount of money that he'll never resign with Seattle after this season. He'll have this one good season then poof, he'll be gone leaving Seattle fans holding the bag. The Grip is now officially my least favorite all time Seahawk, he's even surpassed Brian Bosworth, whose signing sent this franchise into a rebuilding tail spin that it has never really recovered from.

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