Smack Talk Wednesday: An Open Letter to Matthew Stafford


I’m sending today’s post out to Matthew Stafford, the unfortunate soul now burdened with the task of playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions.

Matthew…what can I say?  You chose the wrong year to be the #1 overall pick in the draft.  There you were, all brimming with glorious dreams after your stellar college career, and before you knew it they were handing you the hat with the little gay lion on it.

I wonder Matthew:  Did you consider dropping to your knees right there on the stage and begging Roger Goodell to make the nightmare stop?

Of course not.  Because, by that time, you had already inked the contract.  Rather than attempt some kind of Eli Manning-like power play, you accepted your fate, took the money and reported to the death march.

The nightmare didn’t start the day you were drafted, up there in the lights with the commissioner shaking your hand and Mel Kiper bellowing from the shadows like some motor-mouthed ogre.  The nightmare started the day you took the field.

And by that time it was too late for anyone to wake you up.

Of course they tried to spare you.  They wanted to have Daunte Culpepper start instead, so you could watch the carnage from the sidelines.  But Daunte’s old broken down body betrayed him, so it was into the fray with you.

Fortune smiled on you a little bit, by making the Saints your first opponent.  Yes, they can put up points like Madden video game prodigies tripping on Red Bull and Skittles, but they also can’t stop anyone.  So at least you had a chance at a decent game.

You may even have felt a lightness in your heart as you walked down the tunnel.  A lifting of the dread.  An easing of the terrible weight on your soul.

Then the game started.  And by the time it was over, you knew the true meaning of sorrow.

Yes Matthew, this is what it is to be a Detroit Lion.  You will always fall behind 14-0 in the first quarter.  You will always get picked off three times.  Jason Hanson will always be the majority of your offense.

Actually, most of the time, it will be even worse.  The Saints only sacked you once…that’s going to go up.  Way up.  Just ask Joey Harrington if you don’t believe me.  I think he still has some of the bruises.

Of course, there will be moments when you and your offense look pretty good.  You do have Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith.  Those guys can play, and possibly, so can you.

But it won’t matter a lick in the end, because your defense is so bad, you would probably be better off using 11 Styrofoam dummies in place of players.  At least you wouldn’t have to pay the dummies.  Or worry about offsides or holding penalties.  And think of all the extra food there would be.

The other great thing about dummies is, when they get hurt, you just grab some duct tape and put their arms back on.  The cart driver might start feeling left out after awhile, but that’s fine…he can go back to driving a forklift at his brother’s rendering plant.

After awhile, Matthew, you might even start wishing they would use the dummies as your offensive linemen.  You might start thinking that immobile, non-biodegradable facsimiles could not possibly be worse than the five turdballs who are supposed to be keeping you from getting your head ripped off.

But of course that would be silly.  The dummies can’t even grab the guy around the neck after getting burned.

Yes Matthew, this is now your world.  And no, it’s not some George Bailey vision of how horrible things could’ve been:  it’s how things actually are.  There will be no heartwarming family moment at the end, with you and Donna Reed and Zuzu and the little bell ringing because Clarence got his wings.  The only ringing bells will be in your head.  The only angel will be the one you dream of at night, who comes and rescues you from your sad fate.

And then you wake up.  Back into the nightmare.  You can scream and scream all you want, but no one will hear.

But, look on the bright side Matthew:  at least Matt Millen is gone.

Or is he?