Patriots shell out more money to pass catchers, continue blatant taunting of Wes Welker
Every bit of this Karen Guregian blog post for the Boston Herald is so perfectly Bill Belichick that I don’t think anything could make me happier. It starts with the news of Aaron Hernandez’s new $40 million extension, which comes on the heels of Wes Welker’s very public griping about his own contract situation. It’s no secret that Belichick’s Pats have never let loyalty get in the way of business matters, but an apparent willingness to jettison Welker is a far cry from dealing Deion Branch. Welker has caught at least 110 passes in four of his five seasons in New England, including a 122-catch, 1,500-yard 2011 campaign. Allowing Welker to walk would take the Patriot Way to an entirely different place — the place where we might finally be able to conclude that Belichick has lost his mind.
Not only is it back, it is going to be WAY more bitchin’ this year. What was that? You are unfamiliar with the BQBL? Weird. Click on this; it will get you all caught up. Too lazy to click on that? Fine. The BQBL stands for Bad Quarterback League. It is a fantasy football league where instead of rooting for your quarterbacks to throw for four touchdowns, complete 40 passes, and, ya know, win games, you root for them to get benched, get in an argument with Terry Bradshaw, and have their nether regions appear on sports blogs. Preferably in that order. We did it last year, and all I can say is, we learned — as immoral and evil as it sounds — that it is way more fun to root for catastrophic collapse than for efficient effectiveness. Way more fun.
It happened. Down 23-10 to the San Diego Chargers at the half, and in front of the home fans, Denver coach John Fox finally said: “Screw it. Things can’t get any worse. Let’s put that Tebow kid in.”
And so began the Tim Tebow Era in Denver. Tebow did his Tebowy thing. He ran quarterback draws out of the shotgun, yelled his face red after big plays, and ultimately came up short. But he did give Denver fans and Broncos BQBL owners a lot to look forward to. Denver now has a bye week, which it can use to make the Tebow package bigger, before the Broncos unleash it against the lowly Miami Dolphins. Sorry, I tried as hard as I could, but I simply can’t restrain myself from making Tebow package jokes. I am ashamed.
This week, the BQBL was filled with so much ineptitude that even Kyle Orton’s 34-yard first half, Michael Vick’s four picks, and Eli Manning’s game-losing interception couldn’t top the absolute pee puddle of a performance Kevin Kolb put together. The man who once started over Vick is now being benched in favor of the pride of Tarleton State — Richard Bartel.
As Sunday’s afternoon games were winding down, it looked as if we were headed toward a relatively quiet week in the BQBL. Aside from Tony Romo Romoing his Cowboys into another fourth-quarter collapse, there just wasn’t any one QB who stood out below the rest — until Mark Sanchez took the field against the Baltimore Ravens. Sanchez was so good at being bad Sunday night that after his second fumble was returned for a touchdown, any BQBLer with a heart stopped rooting for his failure and simply started rooting for his survival. The Ravens defense threw a party Sunday night, invited Mark Sanchez, and then treated him like a tackle dummy. They just kept viciously hitting him and hitting him until footballs were flying everywhere and his BQBL score was in triple digits.
The Bad Quarterback League has twisted the lens through which we watch the NFL. Never before has anyone been so excited for Tarvaris Jackson to take the field, or so shocked when Alex Smith repeatedly completed passes to members of his own team. And certainly, never before has anyone ever said: “Can you please put the Titans and Jaguars on the big screen? I need to see this.”
There is too much attention and praise showered on the modern elite quarterback. The Tom Bradys, Peyton Mannings and Aaron Rodgers of the league are celebrated as genius demigods, just because they can make split-second decisions and deliver precise passes while being chased by gigantic men who spent an entire week figuring out ways to injure them. Blah fucking blah. The more compelling narrative is that of the modern failure. Because when things go wrong for an NFL quarterback, they go spectacularly wrong. And there will be no shortage of that this season. On-field arguments. Botched handoffs. Locker room backstabbing. Seeing that unfold is way more fun than watching Brady sling the ball around for a bit, droneishly drop clichés at the press conference, then go home to the hottest woman on the planet.
This year, we're going to make it even more interesting, using an old trick: adding a draft, a scoring system, and gambling.