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dreams deferred

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Maybe I just don’t have a real appreciation for the pressures of the office of the General Manager of an NFL franchise, but I thought the end game was to win the Super Bowl. I also thought that the value of a Super Bowl was immeasurable, or at least incalculable. I thought Super Bowls were a lot the way some early philosophers (I think those of the Kantian variety) looked at the value of a human life. Nothing was worth more than a Super Bowl. However, more and more I’m seeing teams make moves “for the future,” and taking their current Super Bowl windows for granted.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that this is motivated by feelings of my franchise (The Cowboys) taking theirs window for granted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t think Jerry Jones isn’t doing a phenomenal job taking Dallas back to the top of the mountain, but I am saying that there are some moves that definitely could have been made that would have made Dallas the prohibitive favorite to win the Super Bowl. If I’m Jerry Jones, and I see the contract that Arizona just handed Larry Fitzgerald, and I see how offended Bolding got by it, I talk to the Cardinals, and give them WHATEVER they want for him. All this talk about we feel confident in Patrick Crayton’s abilities should stop; we saw where confidence in his abilities got us last year. I honestly would have given the Cardinals two firsts for Boldin. I know it sounds like a lot, but consider this, what do you need those draft picks for if you’re the Cowboys?

First round draft picks cost more and more every year, and especially when what you need is a wide receiver, it takes too long for them to develop. When you’re not concerned with overpaying consecutive first round picks, you can funnel the money you would have spent on them into giving Boldin a contract more commensurate with his talent and production. The point is, you never know when your window is going to close, and when you find yourself in a position to be no lower than the third best team in the league, and best in your conference you HAVE TO sell your soul to the devil. That means you completely sell out to win that Super Bowl. A team that got that idea was the Patriots, they understand that you’re not always going to be there and you have to treat every run as though it’s your last. That is why when they fell short to the Colts, they didn’t say “well we like where we’re at, and we’re just going to try harder next time.” They treated the situation like some third world rebels vying for emancipation; they went out and got western weapons (Randy Moss).

Just ask the Bears about how fast a Super Bowl window can close. After Rex Grossman handed the Colts that Super Bowl, the Bears should have gone out and done everything in their power to obtain McNabb from the Eagles. Instead, they figured they’d just keep trying with what they had and now look at them, they are now looking up at the Vikings and Packers, and wins against Detroit aren’t guaranteed either. From 13-3 to division cellar, that is how quickly it can happen.

A Super Bowl win takes unspeakable amounts of pressure off of a team (most notably the team leaders) and frankly it appeases the fans (for a while), it also allows you the time to really evaluate your team and replace necessary pieces without having to deal with media and fan scrutiny as to what you’re doing (see: NY Giants off loading all kinds of players with nary a word said). Winning the Super Bowl is the equivalent of tasting the rare berry that grows at the top of an “insurmountable” mountain; you would rather have tasted it, even if only once (Kurt Warner) than have been so painfully close, no matter how many times (Jim Kelly)

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Written by misteressama

August 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm