I Refuse to Die

This might seem like beating a dead horse to death, but I'm going with it anyway. Emboldened by yesterday's definitive FreeDarko manifesto, I'm going to take one more shot at salvaging my Vince Young views. Actually, I'm letting someone else do the work. Here's part of an email I got from one of the proprieters of Just Sayin':

I don't have a lot to back this up, but watching the Indy game last week, I think Vince Young's real innovation is that he's the first qb that has a one-man-team swagger in the history of football. He's the football extension of a generation of self-starting rappers (especially in Houston) whose repeated declarations that they are the truth and a movement become self-fulfilling prophecies.

I'm not quite sure how I got through seven paragraphs without saying it directly, but there it is. I don't mean to be insistent or more condescending than usual; it just become utterly apparent to me that, without those sentences, the whole point was lost at sea. That's fine if you still want to call bullshit on the whole thing, or invoke Steve Young, Favre, and Cunninghman. I hope, though, that you'll reconsider my argument, seeing now exactly why I compared VY to Iverson, why Vick was the failure of this, and just why I overreacted the way I did.

Vince Young isn't just a black quarterback, or a running quarterback, or a ballsy one who doesn't seem to rely too much on systems and others' skills. He's what happens when the old-timey general goes beyond charging with his troops, or even leading the way. Vince Young rides ahead with his sword drawn and expects nothing more than some sympathetic back-up. And somehow, that's a viable strategy for taking down opposing armies.

The internet brings out the worst in people but also sometimes the best. The more time I spend here, the harder it is for me to separate the two.


At 9/22/2007 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is all.

At 9/23/2007 12:46 AM, Anonymous ziplocb said...

why bshoals is right


result of this injection of swag?

45-12 horns win

At 9/23/2007 1:17 AM, Blogger Sorael said...

Yup, I could just see Vince Young in the Illiad. He would have given Achilles a run for his money.

At 9/23/2007 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the anon who cracked on Shoals' initial VY/AI post.
Hey, if I'm cracking, I'm reading. The opposite of love is indifference, right? To all the people taking offense for him who suggest I stop reading because I don't agree, or who feel that means I don't enjoy it...uh, oversimplify life much?

The man is readable because he is an entertaining writer, period. Not because his opinions or analysis shed light in a manner that plays out into steady predictions of future performance.

The insight of an MC, not a surgeon.

At 9/23/2007 8:16 AM, Anonymous 3 point ointment said...

Anons dropping jewelz...

At 9/23/2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Dant said...

he's the first qb that has a one-man-team swagger in the history of football. ??
The first?? ever?
When I watch Peyton Manning line up in the no huddle and see him doing his jumping around and pointing act, I get the sense that he knows exactly where every player is going to be during the upcoming play. And when he calmly steps up to avoid a rusher and delivers the ball perfectly to Reggie Wayne or Dallas Clark, no big deal. He just lines them up again and repeats. And then when they go to break, and I see him make a few million more with one of his billion commercial deals, I think that this is a guy who's got it all figured out.
He's had his struggles, but now he seems like a guy completely comfortable being "the man". That's my definition of swagger.

At 9/23/2007 11:19 AM, Blogger Martin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/23/2007 11:29 AM, Anonymous westney said...

I don't think a lifelong study of the sport/position with the goal being universal technical perfection in the face of any obstacle is swag-worthy. Peyton is the nerd in class who wrecked the curve for all the others who turned their attentions to the more important social pursuits. Waving off the punt team was an anomaly, an expression of desperation at years of frustration on the biggest stages. Yes, he's reached a little zen plateau on which the game has slowed down in his eyes and he uses his tools as deftly as can be done (looked pretty human last week), but to me that's not the same as the other QB saying to his team and the opponents, "we're going to win this one way or another," and then doing just that most times out.
I've watched almost every game VY has played since he was backing up Chance Mock, and his swagger has been apparent since day one.
The defining moment came at the 2004 Rose Bowl game against Michigan, after which everyone who saw it collectively knew beyond any doubt he was going to win the championship the next year. And then HE DID.
Manning may be confident, but nobody's had the effect on players and fans alike the way VY has, where you just know he's going to pull it off.

At 9/23/2007 12:06 PM, Blogger Martin said...

II second dant's point on Manning's swag. I am not a fan of Peyton Manning but during the 2006 playoffs when Peyton waived off the punt team in defiance to Dungy's instructions- now that was definitely some MJ-level "I-run-this-whole-bitch" type of swagger. Because the Colts lost the game to the Steeler’s, Manning’s decision to overturn Dungy’s orders was vilified by the fickle media and held up as evidence of Manning’s can-never-win-the-big-game character. That said- I still hate Manning- but not for his play or decision making- rather because I find him terribly inauthentic, whenever I watch him play I can never tell where Archie Manning ends and Peyton Manning begins.

Shoals it appears your NFL analysis is under-heavy siege may I suggest taking refuge in posting more on the NBA. I am still waiting in anticipation for the post in defense of Ricky Davis alluded to in your Vince Carter entry. Davis’ career is an FD goldmine yearning to be explored. Davis went from scrub used as a trade-throw-in, clawed his way up to top-dog status on the Cavs. Was the only player to ever attempt and complete a between the legs dunk during a game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT9ISG0FovE) His self-destruction in the face of the emasculating demands that he relinquish his hard fought for alpha status on the Cavs and prostrate before the then 18yr old unproven yet anointed King James. And his eventual decline into basketball anonymity on the Celtics and Wolves.

At 9/23/2007 7:16 PM, Blogger Krolik1157 said...

The interesting thing about Davis is that after he left the Cavs for the Celtics/Wolves, he became a reliable, efficient, inside/out 2nd scoring option-just under 20 ppg on a good 46% shooting, which is exactly what the Cavs have needed these last couple years, but he ruined everything by refusing to acknowledge his proper place in the system.

At 9/24/2007 4:28 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

regarding peyton manning waiving off the punt team: that's something, but it's not swag.

also, ricky davis occupied an j.r. smith-like space in shoals's heart once upon a time, probably for many of the same reasons.

At 4/13/2009 4:15 AM, Blogger 平平 said...




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