You ever go to your parents' house, watch football all Sunday, and forget to feed their dog? Week 2 in the books. Let’s do this. Skinhand
I met Ryan Wolfe, drummer of Richmond doom band Windhand, back in 2012, when I booked his band the first time they came through Chicago. After load-in, he asked me if the bar’s TV had cable. He wanted to watch the Washington Redskins/Buffalo Bills preseason game, which showcased the debut of highly touted first-round QB Robert Griffin III. I responded by telling him that the owner of the club was a hack and hadn’t paid his cable bill in years.
We didn’t watch a second of the game that night, but I never forgot Ryan’s Redskin ties. So, when Windhand came through Chicago last week, I knew to hit the Skins with him. If you haven’t heard of Windhand, by the way, you’ve been living under Damien Woody for the last three years. These dudes do nothing but tour, pack venues and lay waste with their female-fronted psych/doom metal machine. One of the tightest bands of the genre I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. They absolutely crush.
Now a full three years after the RGIII debut we didn’t watch, and two injury prone seasons, I asked Ryan for his thoughts on the Skins' lackluster offense under Griffin, or as he likes to call him, “Bobby Three Sticks.”
"It all goes back to Bobby Three Sticks. He’s not confident… he’s so paranoid to fuck up, HE ENDS UP FUCKING UP!"
RGIII may be a classic too much, too soon case. He started his first game as an NFL QB. We are slowly seeing how bad this can be for rookie quarterbacks. Yes, on-the-job training is arguably the best training, and there are exceptions to the rule (i.e., Andrew Luck). But for every Luck, there are several quarterbacks who spend their first two seasons getting destroyed, both mentally and psychically, for mediocre-at-best teams. The irony is, by the time said team is ready to compete, said quarterback is often injury-prone and mentally crippled.
Besides battling injuries, Bobby Three Sticks has Kirk Cousins to deal with. If you’re unfamiliar with Kirk Cousins, he’s RGIII’s backup, looks like a young Dave Coulier, and coincidently, also likes when you go down on him in a theater. According to Ryan, the DC media foreshadowed a QB controversy brewing during the preseason:
"When the Patriots came to town during the preseason, they scrimmaged with the Redskins … (and) it was put out in the press that everyone in the Patriots organization said the offense ran more smoothly under Kurt Cousins with the first team than it did under RGIII."
I think it was then that Ryan and I had a simultaneous thought: What if it was Cousins at the helm this year and not RGIII? It was then that we heard a thunderclap outside the green room we were sitting in.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. RGIII dislocates his ankle in the first quarter of the Skins' home opener against Jacksonville and is carted off the field. Like cosmic clockwork, Cousins comes in and throws a 20-yard touchdown to TE Darrel Young on his first snap. The Skins crowd goes Hog-wild, and RGIII, at least for this game, becomes an afterthought. Cousin finished with 250 yards passing, two touchdowns, and a 109 passer rating in the blowout.
You know how Mindy Kaling cries every time FOX is about to cancel her show, so they don't cancel it? Well, RGIII can’t get away with that in the NFL. It starts with this week’s huge clash with division rivals, Philly. If Cousins produces this year, I think RGIII is gone and Cousins wins Jay Gruden’s heart.
Before Ryan headed to the stage and I headed to the bar, he gave me a great story from his childhood as a Redskins fan, most notably about his celebration of the 1991 Super Bowl win:
"I wore Zubaz pants, an Art Monk jersey, and a Redskins tie to school the next day, and got made fun of SO bad… I had to call my mom to bring me a change of clothes."
Mrs. Wolfe, if you’re reading this, please don’t bring a change of clothes the next time he wears this outfit.
I’ve never really liked Adrian Peterson. No, it’s not because he’s averaged 100+ yards and has 14 touchdowns against my beloved Bears in their 12 meetings. Or because he unnecessarily has two nicknames, AP and AD (why?!!!). It’s for a much more superficial reason:
I’m in Las Vegas for Week 1 of the 2009 season. I’m sitting at an outdoor bar watching the Vikings/Browns game. Sitting right next to me, by chance, is Chicago White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas (he sat next to me). I am the only person in Vegas who had the unbelievable smarts to bet the Brady Quinn-led Browns getting a million points over the Brett Favre-led Vikings. My Browns are hanging in there. It soon becomes apparent that Frank Thomas has a 10k bet on the Vikes. He made sure everyone in the bar knew. I have $100 on the Browns and don't tell anyone. Yet Frank Thomas has to let everyone know about his bet. Classy, Frank. So, now I'm pissed. And of course, as soon as I hit my apex of pissiness, Peterson busts for a 64-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, covering the spread. Frank Thomas stands up from his stool, rejoices, and starts high-fiving people and yelling at the TV, "That's my boy. I know him. All Day Baby, All Day!" My trip was ruined.
This aside, in October of 2013, I was devastated to hear that Peterson's two-year-old son had died as a result of child abuse from another man (a story that has seemingly has fell by the wayside in this current debacle). Nothing makes me sicker than child abuse perpetrated by stepparents and live-in boyfriends/girlfriends. From a psychological standpoint, the majority of said incidents occur because the abuser is trying to in a roundabout way get over on the kid's biological father and/or mother. The child becomes a pawn in their personal struggles with their insecurities. This incident was the first thing that popped in my head when I heard Peterson had been arrested for child abuse this week. I was totally baffled as to why a man who experienced such a tragedy could have such tendencies a mere two years later, let alone ever.
Peterson was “disciplined” by his parents growing up. He was born in rural East Texas in the '80s. His disciplines were a product of the time and the region. However, it’s not the '80s anymore. Having money, not to mention an education and access to forward-thinking people should have helped his personal ethics evolve. In this case, it didn’t.
"It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son, and deeply regrets the unintentional injury,” said Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin. This is an outstanding statement only a lawyer could make. So, he intended to hit his child, but not cause him harm? Hmmm... I think this is meant to say is that he meant to harm his child, but not cause any seeable harm. You know, any visual that could potentially lead back to him or deem his actions wrong by society?
So, let's quickly compare this to the Ray Rice situation: Rice gets fired and indefinitely suspended, and rightfully so, for punching a grown woman. Peterson hits a defenseless four-year-old. Someone who can't get up and leave the next day. Anything less than a year suspension by the NFL is probably hypocritical. I feel horrible for Vikings fans in this situation, who I have a lot of respect for. Adrian Peterson was set to retire the greatest Viking of all time. This will tarnish his legacy. Just bad news for AP, or AD, or whatever he wants to call himself.
Are You There Colin? It’s Me, God.
The Prep/Chad Muska skater boy look isn’t as cute at the postgame press conference after three interceptions and a lost fumble.
Sometimes You Feel for a Nut
And finally, in this past Sunday’s win against San Francisco, Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman reinjured his tricep and has been placed on IR for the rest of the season. Everyone watching saw the writing on the wall when the camera focused in on Tillman crying on the sidelines not from pain, but from the reality of his injury. This may spell the end of his 12-year NFL career. Peanut has been adamant about saying he wants to retire a Bear. Sadly for Tillman, the new Bears regime under coach Marc Trestman has also been adamant about taking health and age into play when resigning players (i.e., Brian Urlacher, Devin Hester). Tillman has been to two Super Bowls: one as a player in 2007, and last year’s as a recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. His winning the award was mainly based on this work with his foundation, Tillman’s Cornerstone, a Chicago charity that helps for chronically ill children.
As for his on-the-field play, he is criminally underrated. His biggest standout stat is his incredible 42 forced fumbles since 2003 (way more than any active NFL player). Below are two clips of Peanut that sum up his career: his Man of The Year induction, and him robbing future Hall of Famer Randy Moss of a game-winning touchdown in his rookie season. He never looked back from this play.
I hope this isn’t the end for Peanut, even if it means him playing for another team. If it is, the Bears and the NFL couldn’t have asked anything more of him and the example he has set in his tenure. As fans, we live vicariously through our favorite players. We’re happy when they’re happy. We’re sad when they’re sad. We’re mad at them when they’re mad at themselves. We’re hurt when they’re hurt. In the case of Charles Tillman, anyone who has lived vicariously through him is a better person for it.
Pick of the Week
Detroit -2 ½ over Green Bay