November 14, 2012

A Major Moment

PUSHMASTER PICKS '012: WEEK ELEVEN

By Robb Witmer Full  |  November 14, 2012

ROBERT GRIFFIN DOESN'T KNOW IT, BUT HE WISHES HE WAS MAJOR HARRIS.


For the eighth consecutive season, the author is competing in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the greatest gambling pool in the history of Sport. Every week players must make five picks against the point spread, college or pro, overs or unders.


If ever there was a time for Tebow, it is now. Everything that could have been predicted about what would go wrong with the Jets this season is happening in beautiful slow-motion right before our eyes — everything, that is, except for Tim Tebow.

The first football game I remember is one I attended in early November of 1988, in Morgantown, WV, between Penn State and West Virginia, who were led by the incomparable Major Harris and on their way to an undefeated regular season. I learned what a broken play was that day, as well as what a player of sufficient talent and creativity could do with the pieces that remain of the shattered scheme.

It’s possible Harris ruined me forever, burning in my mind that quarterbacks could and should possess the skills to conjure up offense with his arm, legs, and even — in Harris’s case — seemingly his hips. (Seriously, there were times he looked to be going in three directions at once.) It wasn’t until several years later that I realized Major was a revelation; that quarterbacks like him just didn’t exist at that time and wouldn’t for another decade. To me, he remains the gold standard for college quarterbacks. (Sorry, Pat White.)

This goes a long way in explaining the genesis of my disdain for front-row-of-class quarterbacks like Peyton Manning. Football is a game of big plays in big moments — nobody gives a fuck what Doug Flutie’s quarterback rating was against Miami, or how many fantasy points Franco Harris scored against the Raiders — and style points DO count. Tom Brady isn’t any more mobile than Manning, but at least he moves around with a certain smoothness. Peyton always looks like he’s running through a puddle that caught him by surprise.

The point of all this is that since that day in ‘88, I’ve seen thousands of Football games, and with the possible exception of the barely-warm bodies the Colts were propping up behind center last year, Tim Tebow is the most blatantly overmatched professional quarterback I’ve ever seen. And this is why we need him on the field.

I thought the whole point of Tebow being on the Jets was that he’d be at the dead center of an unstoppable shit-storm that would rip apart the entire franchise like a balsa wood toilet in a downtown Newark Taco Bell. So why is he on the bench? Rex Ryan needs to figure out that his job at the moment is, with the playoffs out of the question, to give NFL fans the hate-watch experience we’ve been missing out on all year.


WEEK ELEVEN PICKS

LAST WEEK: 3-2-0 | SEASON: 23-27-0, 46.0% | LIFETIME: 345-325-20, 51.5%

Stanford v. Oregon OVER (64.5)
This keeps working.

Jets v. RAMS (-3)
The Jets are somehow getting worse every week, and the Total Team Meltdown is full speed ahead. (By the way, Players, the Over/Under for total fake punts/field goals in this game is 13.5.)

BUCCANEERS (pk) v. Panthers
Schiano might be the greatest thing to happen to the NFL since Bubby Brister.

CARDINALS (+10.5) v. Falcons
Hard to explain.

CHARGERS (+8) v. Broncos
The Chargers have already hit bottom.

5Dimes.eu, 12:50 PM EST, Wednesday


Robb Witmer Full (@robbwitmer) is the West Virginia University correspondent for Sports-Thrust.