It’s not exactly news when Sid Hartman carries water for a Minnesota team, since that’s what he’s been doing for about the last two centuries. Yes, Sid Hartman is an inveterate homer. And the sun is hot and the grass is green and men find Kate Upton attractive. Anything else you’d care to point out, Captain Obvious?
All right fine. But this time Hartman outdid himself. On his latest SidCast, the wizened one put on his best cheerleader outfit, grabbed his fluffiest pom poms and with a straight face declared that Jerome Simpson will be another Cris Carter. Even Sid’s stooge Chris Miller had to do a double-take on that one. He pressed Sid very lightly on the matter and Sid reluctantly dialed it back, saying Simpson won’t be quite as good as Carter but will be almost as good.
Great. So let’s look at the numbers here. As of today, Simpson has 71 career receptions for 1,009 yards and 7 TDs. To catch Carter, he needs only 1,030 more catches, 12,895 more yards and 123 more TDs. Yeah I think he has a shot. If he can stay healthy. And play for about 35 more years.
All right I’m playing around a little. Obviously even Hartman doesn’t think Simpson will ever achieve Carter-like career stats. He just means Simpson has similar skills to Carter. But even on that count he’s straining credulity. Simpson is no doubt talented, but Carter’s abilities were in some areas otherworldly. So far Simpson matches or exceeds Carter in only two areas I can think of: Pure speed and front-flip ability. In pretty much every other area – hands, footwork, push-off technique, ability to work the refs, ability to work his quarterback so his quarterback is afraid to throw the ball to anyone else, smugness of face – Simpson has a long way to go.
I find the whole thing vaguely annoying. And it isn’t just Sid, it’s everyone involved in the Jerome Simpson Is Great campaign currently being run by the Vikings and their various media stooges. Clearly, somebody somewhere decided that Simpson needed a push with the fanbase. Why, I wonder? Was it in response to perceived fan annoyance over the lack of a big-time free agent signing at receiver? Was it because they’re worried fans are lukewarm about Simpson due to his legal issues? Is Simpson brittle?
I don’t know the exact motivation behind all the Simpson hype. I just know I’m getting sick of it. Yes Vikings official website, we saw the video of him making that catch. It was a nice catch. In OTAs. With no one trying. By the way, didn’t Christian Ponder kind of underthrow that ball? Looked like it to me. A little.