The optics of this NFL season have already been weird and an indictment of the decision to have a season at all. Whether it’s empty stands or, even worse, quarter-filled ones, something has been off about watching football all season. It’s a constant reminder just of where everything is, and how it shouldn’t be happening but is because no one really has the desire, or a plan, to stop it, and anyone who does can’t fight against the profits to be made or overcome the stupidity of everyone else.
It was especially morose on Sunday night, as the Ravens and Patriots had at each other in the midst of a monsoon. The weather was so miserable that on a possible last drive to win the game, albeit having to go the length of the field with no timeouts, the only urgency the Ravens showed was to let it all be over so they could be back inside and out of this Nor’easter. The entire “drive” was one giant “fuck this.”
It was all kind of laid bare. Two teams, by themselves, getting drenched merely so we can watch on TV, and really only so their two owners can keep cashing TV checks. No one’s happy, everyone’s miserable, and the whole purpose of the thing seems lost or irretrievably dumb.
Maybe it’s just the final insult aspect of the thing. These players have to go through protocol after protocol, are risking everything including their long-term health and lives even more than they already were, no one seems keen on protecting them more than they are just getting them back on the field (isn’t it amazing how quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger are cleared from COVID isolation just in time to play in that week’s game?), and then after all that you can stand out in this shit in front of no one so you can’t even see who you’re supposedly doing this for.
A true experience.
Russell Wilson has apparently gone cross-eyed. In his past four games, in which the Seahawks have lost three, he has thrown seven interceptions, including a truly stupefying one. His first one on Sunday against the Rams saw him turn down acres of green to run into, possibly for a touchdown — definitely a first down — in favor of a lofted pass on the run that was merely in the same zip code as Will Dissly but right into the hands of Darious Williams.
It’s very out-of-character for a guy who makes smart decisions all over the field, taking as much as he’s given, and little more.
Perhaps Wilson is trying to do it all because the Seattle defense can’t stop a sloth in the sand at the moment. It’s given up over 400 yards of offense in every game save one, which was the one against the Niners where San Francisco had actual rodeo clowns playing at QB and wide receiver. It’s last in the NFL in yards-against per game by 40+ yards, which is the same difference between Jacksonville in 31st place and Dallas in 21st. It’s 28th in points-per-game.
Russell basically has to be perfect and magnificent, or the Seahawks lose. No wonder he’s out there trying to bring Steamin’ Wille Beamen to life.
The week has been filled with reports that the Houston Rockets are coming to an end as we know them, with both Russell Westbrook and James Harden questioning their long-term futures in Texas. The latest rumor has Harden eying Brooklyn as his next destination, which is just wonderful.
The amount of memes and GIFs this world would be inundated with that comprise the look on the face of Kyrie Irving as he watched Harden pound down another shot clock or the one on Harden’s face when he’s asked to play more and more off the ball would drown us all. Sure, Harden and Durant played together before, but that was when Harden was a 6-man, and now he’s spent nearly a decade being the focal point of a (mind-numbing) offense. He’s not going back to that OKC role.
It’s unlikely to happen, simply because the Nets would have to sacrifice whatever depth they have to acquire Harden, leaving them with two All-Stars on the wrong side of 30 and another nearing it who also happens to be truly galaxy-brained. It would absolutely be performance art of the highest order, which is fitting in Brooklyn, is it not?