Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty

You might remember Sports Illustrated’s resident tape-eater Andy Benoit from the time he proudly listed 15 backup stiffs better than Colin Kaepernick (and unironically included the likes of Brock Osweiler), or the time he said the Browns weren’t a joke because he watched the film on them, or the time he casually said no woman’s sport is ever worth watching. Well kids, all of that inanity was mere prelude to this … this THING that Benoit posted yesterday about Russell Wilson that, against all odds, is the stupidest fucking shit I’ve read all year. And I’ve read the Federalist. I am sharing this with you now because I don’t want to suffer alone.

On Sunday night I emailed my bosses, Peter King and executive editor Mark Mravic, asking if I could write about Russell Wilson this week.

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Gimme the pitch.

My premise would be this: Wilson up until recently has never been a top-10 quarterback;

Yeah, no, you’re wrong. I already hate you.

he’s part of why Seattle’s offense runs [sic] hots and cold;

So true. Never mind that Seattle has had legendary offensive line problems for years, and that their rushing attack has been horrifically inconsistent ever since Marshawn left, and that they skimp on wideouts in ways that would make the 2006 New England Patriots go bug-eyed. No, no—let’s blame the consistently best player on that offense.

...and yet, he is a legitimate MVP candidate. A real paradox.

Indeed. How do we reconcile the paradox of Russell Wilson being great with your fucking imaginary slights against him? Truly, it is the riddle of our times.

Peter immediately emailed back: Except he is top 5. Just going to ask you to go outside your box and think about it this way: If I were watching a football game and not examining it for the mechanical things a quarterback must do to be a franchise quarterback, but rather watching it for effectiveness and playmaking and leadership and running and mobility and arm strength, would I rate Matthew Stafford over Russell Wilson?

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Now we goof on Peter a lot here, but Peter is a very nice guy. And so you can see Peter here being a mensch and politely explaining to his own employee that he should open his fucking eyes and realize he is wrong. “Go outside your box for a sec, Andy. Try not to be the talking can of Spam you usually are.” If we were dealing with someone who has a functioning brain, they would take their editor-in-chief’s hint and spike the idea, which is exactly what Benoit di…

To answer Peter’s question: I’m putting Stafford over Wilson—and it’s a no-brainer.

OH MY FUCKING GOD YOU FUCKING ABOMINABLE MORON HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO WALK

But I get what Peter is saying.

No, you don’t. What Peter was saying is that you are wrong! He posed a rhetorical question to you and you elected to actually answer it with DURRRRRR I LIKES THE TEXAS BOY!

Another way to view the question, and the way offensive coaches ponder this sort of thing, is: If you’re building an offense, which QB do you want?

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Russell Wilson.

For me, it’s Stafford.

Kill me.

No question.

No question, my brain now has leprosy.

But here’s the tricky part:

“How do I have a job? Because just this morning, I got my head caught in the glove box.”

If I’m running a defense and I get to choose between facing Stafford or facing Wilson, I’d choose to face Stafford.

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Oh, so Russell Wilson is the better quarterback to have. Thanks. Glad you’ve wasted our time.

And so he’s the guy I want to play with, but also against. Or, more apt for this conversation, Wilson is the guy I don’t want to play with or against.

More apt for this conversation, Andy Benoit is the guy I don’t want to read, but I also don’t want him to write. It’s a real conundrum, it is!

I can assure you most NFL coaches feel the same way.

Well then, they’re fucking stupid. We don’t talk enough about how dumb a lot of coaches are. Because they are. A lot of them are meatheads who show up early to the complex just to shoot the shit with other meatheads who showed up early to the complex. Yet here’s Andy Benoit breathlessly acting as herald boy for some asshole QB coach and I’m supposed to take it at face value that such opinions are unassailable.

I had this conversation about Colin Kaepernick vs. Peyton Manning with several coaches following the 2013 season, when Kaepernick took San Francisco to the NFC championship and Manning took Denver to the Super Bowl. (Both lost to Russell Wilson, by the way.) The coaches liked Manning but also preferred to play against him instead of Kaepernick.

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Peyton Manning threw 55 TDs that season! I refuse to believe ANY coach out there would rather face him than 2013 Colin Kaepernick. If they did, they should be banished from the sport forever. “OH MY GOD, THAT QB IS RUNNING WITH THE BALL, CAN HE DO THAT?! This is way scarier than playing against the smartest signal caller in the history of the universe!”

It’s because football schemers value predictability.

Well then, perhaps they should find new things to value. “You’re asking me if I value Russell Wilson over Eli Manning? Gimme the guy who executes the interception the way I drew it up on the greaseboard, by God!”

Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has one of the hardest jobs in football.

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No, he doesn’t, because he has a proven quarterback. Bevell can call virtually any play outside of an end zone slant and have it be salvaged because his QB is a wizard. Try coaching Blake Bortles and see if that’s more of a hoot.

He doesn’t know where his guy with the ball will be. And he can’t ask Wilson to change. Wilson, the most dynamic sandlot quarterback of his generation, is merely playing the hand he was dealt. God made him 5' 11". People like to say that doesn’t matter (Wilson proves his doubters wrong!). It does matter. A 5' 11" man cannot always see over 6' 5" offensive linemen or 6' 3" defensive linemen with outstretched arms. With Wilson, it’s evident every week on film.

“Folks, I watched the tape, and this man is short.”

A coach’s job is to eliminate guesswork, not create it.

A coach’s job is to utilize the talent he has to win football games. And if your QB can evade the rush and make plays like Russell Wilson, you use that. You don’t go OMG MY QB IS SCRAMBLING, IT’S LIKE COACHING A WILD DOG! There’s something deeply gross about evaluating QBs strictly by the metric of whether or not they make their coaches happy. Who even gives a SHIT how coaches feel about having to adjust to the playing style of someone they coach? Am I supposed to think this is a problem for them? Coach them up, man. Figure it out. Be accountable. Don’t go mewling to a reporter about how you wish you coached a cardboard cutout of Johnny U instead. You know that guy won’t go taking off anywhere!

Wilson is like nothing they’ve seen before, and his style, so hard to replicate, is not something you can fully prepare for in practice. The Seahawks are inconsistent in part because their quarterback is so unique.

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FUCK. What are we even doing here? Russell Wilson is the most exciting player in football and a two-time NFC champion, so why exactly are we issuing a scouting report on him NOW? Who asked for this? What purpose does it serve to go on about how good he is in theory when we’ve spent years watching him and seen how good he is in practice? “This incredibly gifted and mobile QB who’s been succeeding at the highest levels of the sport for years wouldn’t seem to have a lot of upside!”

This is fucking gross. Again, a player evaluation is only as useful as the guy providing it, and THIS is the kind of guy that Sports Illustrated has decided knows his x’s and o’s:

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Benoit is the kind of football-knower who is too dumb to know how dumb he is, and it’s been astonishing to watch Peter King’s otherwise pleasant MMQB site become defined by the loaf-headed caveman takes of Benoit and his compadre in poorly veiled racial coding, Albert Breer. Both of these men simply relay the innate stupidity and ignorance of coaches and executives, don’t even bother to question it, and then assume that you think they have inside knowledge of the game no one else could possibly provide because of it.

They are unwittingly providing a damning portrait of a football culture that, for all its hallowed tape study and scheming, doesn’t even come close to getting the most out of its personnel. Send them back in time and they’ll yell about how Steve Young should stay in the pocket, because you’re not going to win running around like a grasshopper. Maybe Benoit’s right and many coaches would prefer to have a predictable but less accomplished passer like Matt Stafford rather than Russell Wilson. If so, that’s just proof that there’s a huge story sitting right there—NFL coaching is so utterly broken that teams would prefer worse players to better ones so long as they didn’t challenge their assumptions about what works—and the fuckhead reporting it doesn’t even realize it.