I don’t admit it very often, but I’m a total closet-nerd. You might not know it by looking at me, but it’s true. Ask me my thoughts on who’s the best captain in the history of Starfleet and I’ll immediately – and enthusiastically – make the case for Jean-Luc Picard or ask me about pretty much any video game ever made and the conversation won’t end till “Dreamcast.” Yet, despite all my tech-savvy, I still can’t figure out how Twitter works. Seriously, I’m Twitter incompetent. I’m Twilliterate. There’s so many @ and # symbols floating around, they may as well be mating. For the most part, I just monitor my feed and see what’s going on in the world, resigned to not being able to tell the Twitterverse what I think about The Hunger Games, or what food I’m craving at that very instant. With that being said, it was the other day when the Hawks tweeted that they’d just traded for TE Kellen Winslow, I was both excited and annoyed. I was excited that I was among the first, if not the first of my friends to find out, but annoyed as hell because I didn’t have the first clue how to send a tweet of my own, let alone re-tweet something. So I went the antiquated route of texting my friends to break the news. The general response to the trade? Great trade for the Hawks.
But for some reason, I wasn’t so enthusiastic. I racked my brain for all the reasons why acquiring Winslow was a good move for the Seahawks and, to be fair, I came up with quite a few. I thought about how many different looks he’ll give us on offense, how an athletic tight end can complement Zach Miller and open things up for Sydney Rice, etc. I asked myself how I could possibly not be on-board with having not one, but TWO Pro-Bowl caliber tight ends – and couldn’t come up with an answer. Nevertheless, something was preventing me from getting excited about the trade… and then it hit me: it’s not 2006, and Kellen Winslow isn’t a Pro-Bowl tight end anymore. I mean, what do you call a football player with elite athleticism, gaudy stats that place him among the best at his position, Pro-Bowl credentials to validate it all – yet can be had for a conditional future draft pick? Donovan McNabb. (That collective gulp you just heard was reality hitting all Hawks fans, by the way)
After firing Raheem Morris, the Bucs stunned most league insiders with their hire of Greg Schiano of Rutgers to be their next head coach. Though I’m no NFL insider, I wasn’t so surprised by the move. Known for his no-nonsense attitude and mediocre coaching record at Rutgers, I thought Schiano was a perfect fit in Tampa Bay. Here’s the thing though… a rookie head coach coming into a brand new city is kinda like a high school guy who’s meeting a girl’s parents for the first time. He has to charm her mother, be ten kinds of cute & funny to her sister and, above all else, not give off a “I really want to make your daughter a woman” vibe to her father. For an unproven, rookie coach to not tread lightly and respectfully is like that high school kid dropping his girlfriend off at home at 3:30 am with the stink of gin & shame on her. Schiano couldn’t have just come into Tampa Bay and traded away a perceived (rightly or wrongly) “franchise” player with the alacrity and confidence of a Bill Parcels or Mike Holmgren. So when a rookie coach from New Jersey comes in, takes one look at his starting tight end and decides that a seventh round draft pick is plenty of compensation – I’d say that’s reason for concern.
It’s also never a good thing when your new team goes out of its way to let the media know that their newly-acquired player will not be taking questions of any sort until further notice – even though that player is in town, in uniform and taking part in OTA’s. Nor is it a good thing when the only thing – and I mean the only thing you can find online about Winslow’s thoughts on being traded to Seattle come from Kellen Winslow Sr. It just reeks of “Daddy, can you please talk to the press for me?” Or worse yet, that pops already knows his son isn’t happy and is doing the talking for him, unsolicited.
With all that said, I would add just one more thing – I hope I’m wrong. I hope the former sixth overall pick in the draft proves me to be an idiot (wouldn’t be the first time) and that in six months or so, I’ll be writing about how wrong I was to write this today. Who knows? Maybe by then I’ll be able to tweet about me eating crow.