Thursday, July 4, 2013

4 comments MMQB Review: Jabari Greer Tells an Inspiring Story, But Doesn't Understand the Story of David and Goliath

Chris Kluwe wrote MMQB last week and regaled us all with stories of what it is like to be an NFL player who gets released, encouraged us all to take a cross-country trip at some point so that we may have the perspective on the world he now has, and described the changes he would make in the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting process to allow a specific spot for a specialist like a punter or kicker. I'm not entirely sure putting aside a certain spot where Hall of Fame voters can vote in a kicker or punter separate from offensive/defensive players would result in more specialists being elected into the Hall of Fame. It still comes down to voters believing a kicker or punter is as worthy as an offensive/defensive player for the Hall of Fame honor. This week in MMQB, Jabari Greer desperately tries to get an "A" in creative writing by telling an allegorical tale, as well as informs us about the state of mind in the New Orleans Saints locker room after being wrongfully persecuted for the bounty scandal. When Greer starts telling a story about two seeds it starts to make me miss Peter King a little bit.

Each summer in the searing sun of southern Louisiana, 90 men leave their individual life behind and dream of becoming one.

So the Saints are going to use 90 players on defense this year to try and stop the opposing team from accumulating over 6000 yards of offense on them? I'm not sure the NFL will allow this, but the Saints haven't ever really cared about the rules anyway, so why stop now?

The goal is simple:

Find someone, anyone, who can tackle the opposing team's ball carrier. I'm just kidding of course. The goal is to injure the quarterback for the opposing team using money as an incentive and then act like they are wrongfully being persecuted when they are caught doing this. But Drew Brees knows NOTHING about this I tell you. NOTHING! It's news to him.

forsake yourself for the fortune of group,

Incur a penalty for roughing the passer, but make sure the opposing team's quarterback is out of the game. That's all that matters. Forsake yourself, but get Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game.

rise above the immediate trials of the time, and become timeless. 

Which is what the Saints defense was able to do last season. They became timeless and historical. They gave up the most yards in a single season in NFL history. Hey, it's hard to play defense when you don't have a few hundred bucks motivating you to injure opposing players. Tackling gets boring and old, but the 2012 Saints team WAS timeless. So mission accomplished.

The summer progresses, the heat intensifies and the number of men sacrificing together dwindle;

Players start dwindling? You can't turn on yourselves like that! Just because you can't intentionally injure opposing players doesn't mean you should cannibalize your own team by injuring your teammates. Stop the madness.

This is the life of a New Orleans Saint preparing for the season, and if you are one of the 53 few chosen, this is the place you want to be.

Especially if you are an offensive player and the Saints are the next team on your schedule.

Coming into this season, like every season before, there is a sense of promise.

I have no promise for my favorite team. I know they will go 8-8 and I'm fine with that. I just miss football.

If you take a poll of all 32 teams, 32 of them will believe that there is something different about this year's chances; the offseason breeds hope, but only when hope is challenged, does resolve flourish.

What the hell are you talking about? Only when hope is challenged, does resolve flourish? Does Jabari Greer write taglines for bad science-fiction movies? I feel like this is the tagline for "Starship Troopers 7." Resolve can flourish even when hope isn't challenged. I think some people like to put a bunch of words together that sound deep, but they don't entirely think about what they are saying or writing and whether what they are saying or writing makes complete sense.

The 2012 New Orleans Saints season was well documented, from the loss of Sean Payton, our coach; to the rest of the sanctions dealt to our program in the alleged bounty case;

The NFL found the Saints guilty of placing bounties on opposing players and all of the actors have already been punished. There's nothing "alleged" about it at this point. It's thought to have happened and those responsible have been punished. The bounty case is no more "alleged" at this point than Bernie Madoff was alleged to have run a Ponzi Scheme. If you don't agree with the bounty decision just say "in the bounty case," but there's nothing "alleged" about now. It happened and it isn't alleged by those who have the authority to consider it fact, instead the Saints culpability in a bounty program is considered fact.

What was not told in the headlines or on the news, however, was the spirit of our men in the locker room. Experiencing an unprecedented ordeal in the history of the NFL, our men never wavered. Although our spirit wasn't reflected in the final score of nine of our games, we endured Goliath's wrath last season, and now Goliath has to pay.

Oh my God, what an attitude of victimization Jabari Greer has. Right, the Saints are David, not Goliath. The Saints, a team coming off a Super Bowl win in 2009 and has made the playoffs three out of the last four seasons are the underdog team who is trying to come back from Goliath's wrath. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...sounds like someone can't take responsibility for his actions. The team that intentionally tried to injure other NFL players and has recently won a Super Bowl, this team is the underdog David. The teams that amassed over 6000 yards on the Saints defense and were on the receiving end of the Saints bounty program, now those teams are the big bad Goliath who forced the Saints to endure their wrath. Of course. It doesn't sound like Jabari Greer has a victim mentality at all, does it? Oh, you were the wronged one Jabari Greer. How dare the other NFL teams abuse such a pitiful little helpless Saints defense last year by playing football and not just laying down late in the game so the Saints don't get their feelings hurt by how they can't stop the opposing team.

I understand athletes aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but this bullshit victimization isn't even about intelligence. It's about willfully ignoring the actions of the Saints team and trying to make the Saints seem like victims. I'm not even talking about the bounty scandal, but I'm simply talking about all the times the Saints have run up the score on opposing teams to attain personal records. You know, how Sean Payton had Drew Brees continue to throw the football on Monday Night Football two years ago against the Falcons, after the game was in hand, so Brees could achieve a personal record on national television. Payton did this despite the fact the Saints had a home game the very next week and Brees could have broken this personal record at home then. But no, Sean Payton had to allow Brees to run up the score on the Falcons on national television and break the record. Then, the next week Payton kept Darren Sproles in the game long enough to break a record and continued to run up the score in that game against Carolina. I have no problems with teams running up the score, but I don't feel bad for the Saints and only the most dimwitted of idiots could even pretend the Saints haven't been an NFL Goliath over the past five years. What's good for the Saints to do is good for the Saints to have done to them. Sorry Jabari Greer, if there was a team that deserved to have 6000 yards of offense put on them it was the New Orleans Saints. They Saints have put up some big offensive numbers on opposing teams over the last five years. It's not like the Saints have ever tried to spare the feelings of others teams when putting up points. Stop the victimization bullshit and own up to what you are.

I can't stand it when someone acts like a victim and that person has no cause to act that way. The Saints are the Goliath much more than they can be considered David.

So forgive me if I sound the trumpet of preseason enthusiasm.

You sound like you don't have a ton of perspective on the situation. That's all.

This year holds no promise of a better timbre for the orchestra that is the Saints; but now, in our coach, we have our first chair back, and he has brought in a badass sax player in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, some new songs and some new steps.

Rob Ryan the noted defensive fixer. He has fixed the defense for the...umm...well, one season with the Raiders in 2006 his defense did well. But his last name is "Ryan" that has to count for something doesn't it? Even some Saints fans appear to see Ryan's hire is based more on his name than his actual production as a defensive coordinator. That article was written before Ryan was hired by the Saints and the author's opinion seems pretty accurate. The Saints went after a "name" coordinator and Rob Ryan is excellent at talking and promising results that sometimes never come. Fortunately, the Saints still have a fantastic quarterback in Drew Brees. Hopefully he won't have to carry the team again this year.

although the goal is simple, and hope profuse, becoming timeless is going to take a lot of work.

I get the feeling Jabari Greer is trying to use big words. I'm sure he is a smart guy, but don't try to show off your vocabulary.
And now for a story ...

Is everyone ready for a parable? Good, you better be. I feel like Jabari Greer should just write in MMQB,

"Listen everyone, I'm really not the stereotype of a stupid athlete. I promise I'm not,"

as opposed to trying to use big words and using an allegorical story to convey a message he wants to send.

I'll wrap the story up pretty quick for you and I apologize for leaving out much of the imagery. I know most of you read MMQB to hear parables and life lessons so I apologize for skipping over most of it.

My friend and I cared deeply for our two seeds, and out of exhilaration decided to return home as champions.

As I entered the house, my father greeted me. I opened my hand slowly, revealing my seed, and at once my father's face beamed with joy. "My son, this is the Seed of Destiny," he said, "given as a gift by the Gardener to one chosen for the task." I was given precise instructions to wash it off and place it under my pillow. As I prepared for bed, after thanking the Gardener for this gift, I blew out my light. The luminescence from my seed filled my room, creating amazement in my mind and peace of purpose in my soul; I closed my eyes, and at once I was asleep.

The seed I loved, once smooth and manageable, over time had become jagged and course, almost unbearable to carry. Content with my effort, I put my seed down and walked away. My father, returning home to see my seed jagged and alone, summoned me to the table. "Son, although our destinies can sometimes become rough and seemingly unmanageable, we must strengthen our grip. Although painful at first, our hands callous and contour into a strong support, giving a firm foundation for something so special." He asked me to hold my hand out across the table, placed the jagged seed in my palm, and used his callous hands to close mine. Applying tremendous pressure to my grip, he assured me of my own strength; the excruciating pain drew blood from my hands, tears from my eyes, and a smile from my heart.

After many years passed, I returned to the land of my youth. Although I had left a young man, inexperienced, and oft naïve; I returned inspired, while once my seed was thought to be the solution to life's problems, it had become weathered, beaten and almost broken by the torrential winds of life. I had to become firmly rooted in the lessons I had learned, and truths I had found.

My seed continues to comfort me with a patience that only a few understand. I reminisce on my father's wisdom, not fully understood until now: "Son, our trees must be strong, with roots locking our foundation securely in love, and we must provide not only home for fowl but a place of respite to the weary. It is in your shade that your children will find their seeds, and they will climb your sturdy branches and tell you secrets in a time you will never visit. And when the wind blows ... we can tell them stories of a place they've never known."

So there's the story. See? Jabari Greer has proven he isn't the typical stupid, uneducated athlete. He still uses "alleged" when discussing the Saints bounty program, so maybe he is willfully stupid when it's convenient for him.

Although I use allegory in explaining the story of the two seeds, the principles I wanted to express in this Monday Morning Quarterback are in harmony with the task set before us this day. Monday is a day in which we start new, and we often compound the expectations and tasks facing us, even before realizing that our own seeds still scream to be cultivated.

Stop smoking pot, man. It's making you write and think funny.

We must be the shade to the oppressed, the Fatherless and the poor. We must be the encouraging catalyst to the young who come after us, seeds in hand and full of promise. With their seed, we must cup their hand and apply great force.

See, if someone said this all to me it would sound like they were asking for money. Is Jabari Greer asking for money? I ain't giving him no tree-fiddy.

For out a river of pain,
Their passions shall flow.
no one understands me.

I mean this in the nicest possible way without the snark I've used the rest of this post. This doesn't make sense to me. So "out of a river of pain, their passions shall flow" and then it ends with "no one understands me"? Is this a Fall Out Boy lyric or something? Perhaps I'm just not smart enough to understand, but I can't see how we go from "their passions shall flow" to "no one understands me."

Great, thanks Jabari Greer. Now I have "No One Understands" by Bayside in my head. Thanks, you have me singing emo songs. 

Ten Things I Think I Think

This is as opposed to the rest of this MMQB, which also consisted of Jabari Greer relaying what he thinks. 

1. I think that you guys will read the Two Seeds story, and get to the tagline of "no one understands me," and some of you will invariably reply, "I don't get it?"

The fact that some people may not get it doesn't mean there is anything to be gotten. It's not necessarily deep nor does it have more meaning because some people don't get it. In fact, it very well could mean the tagline of "no one understands me" is just pure gibberish. I could write a incoherent poem and then say "I bet no one gets this" and it doesn't mean my poem is too smart or meaningful for some people. There's a chance my poem just may not make sense.

2. I think that the nation's sidewalk-sign-twirlers should look into getting a union. I consider that a high risk, low reward gig. Nobody should tear a rotator cuff flipping a sign promoting ½ price off haircuts for kids*.

I know Greer is trying to be funny, but that's a little rude, no? Sidewalk-sign-twirlers do have a low reward gig, but I sort of feel like Greer is making fun of these people a little bit when talking about them tearing a rotator cuff flipping the sign. How about writing an allegorical story about not being a dick?

4. I think one of the most confusing comments I sometimes hear when I'm with my children in a restaurant is, "Oh, you're such a good daddy, I wish there were more like you."

Really? More what? More men who realized that they are too lazy to make pancakes on Saturday, so instead pay twice the market value to have someone else make them?

Or they could be talking about men who take the time to treat their children to breakfast out at a restaurant. Going out to a restaurant isn't about trying to have someone else make you food at below the market value at which you could make that food. Nobody goes out to eat to try and beat the market. Going out to eat is nice because you don't have to cook the food and usually the food tastes better than the food you cook. These people who say this wish there were more parents who took the time to treat their children out to a nice breakfast. Don't be so touchy.

Another comment I often hear is, "Your children are so well-behaved."

I wonder how Greer is going to be offended by people who try to give his family this compliment?

"Why wouldn't my kids be well-behaved? Just because I'm a pro athlete it means my children should be terrible and unruly in public?"

5. I think, when writing comedy, the best place to look for conflict is the waffle house during the morning rush. There should be a reality show called Hot off the Grill: Drama in the Waffle House.

Absolutely hilarious.

6. I think the worst place to rush to the restroom is at a Cracker Barrel. If you're trying to picture what it's like, think less NASCAR, more bumper cars.

For someone who doesn't like the idea of going out to eat and paying twice the market value for breakfast that someone else is making, it sure seems like Jabari Greer visits a hell of a lot of breakfast restaurants doesn't it? It seems he is one of those "do as I say, not as I do" type people. It's no big deal to go out to eat for breakfast, but don't get all indignant and pissy when someone says they wish there were more fathers like you who take their children out to eat for breakfast. It seems like Greer likes to take his family out to breakfast, because he has a lot of thoughts on the atmosphere at breakfast restaurants.

8. I think no matter how insightful, inspirational or moving my writing may be, I'll always hear it from Falcons fans:

"Loved the article, but I hope that Roddy White 'drops his seed' on ya'll Week 1! Rise Up!"

Trying not to be mean...but this column is supposed to be inspirational and moving? This is MMQB. I'm not trying to be motivated. I'm trying to talk about the NFL.

9. I think I have been truly blessed to know Steve Gleason.

Man, Peter King does like to have New Orleans Saints players and coaches guest write his MMQB doesn't he? He had Jabari Greer and Steve Gleason guest write this year and Sean Payton guest wrote MMQB a few years ago. It's good thing Peter has tried hard not to piss off the Saints organization, because otherwise he would have no one to guest write MMQB.

10. I think if you met me for coffee, the last thing you would think I did professionally was play football.

I would actually think the last thing you did was be a poet, but I would also be sure not to comment on you being a good father for taking your kids out to get breakfast and coffee. I wouldn't want you to jump down my throat and try to hurt me for being a good dad when we are both paying above market value for coffee and hash browns. Not that Jabari Greer would ever hurt anyone, but we "allegedly" know how those New Orleans Saints defenders can be when it comes to money. 


Anonymous said...

You really come off like an autistic fucking retard when you attempt to comment on other teams in the NFC South.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, thanks. I'm not entirely sure what you mean, despite the fact you elaborated so well. I take it as a compliment that you don't think I sound like an idiot when I talk about any other division in the NFL.

jacktotherack said...

8. I think no matter how insightful, inspirational or moving my writing may be, I'll always hear it from Falcons fans:

Nice modesty, Jabari. Your writing fucking sucks. You might think telling some abstract story and using 25 cent words makes you sound like the antithesis of the dumb jock. I think it makes me question whether you are already suffering the effects of CTE.

The fact Greer thinks his own writing is inspiring and how he brags about using allegory shows he thinks he is pretty sharp. I think we all know people like this, people who tweet or post some "deep" poem on facebook to show how intelligent they are. Yeah, those people are insufferable. I'm guessing Jabari Greer is too. He's perfect for MMQB.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, the idea of being "deep" does fit MMQB pretty well. I have no doubt Greer is smart, but he really tries hard to convince us this is true.