Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Football Wrap Week 4B: The Blues (Saints, Cam, Tony Romo and Me)

2012 hasn't been kind to the Saints. They lost a thriller in the NFC playoffs at San Francisco. Then came Bountygate where the NFL accused of them of paying for big hits. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the whole season. And now the bottom has dropped out at they've fallen to 0-4.

If anybody is singing "Wake Me Up When September Ends", it's Drew Brees and Co. But on second thought, they might be singing Louis Armstrong "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" as they sleep on this week.

Clearly they're a team lost in the ocean. They've been in almost every game but something has fallen apart for them. Against Green Bay, they lost on a missed kick. It's the kind of loss that'll sting worse because it's almost a sign that it's going to be harder after this. Or it has to get better.

But chances are, it won't get better in the playoffs. They just gotta worry about getting back to .500
and that won't happen til November. The only thing they'll enjoy is when Drew Brees throws for a TD for his 48th straight game on Sunday for a new NFL record. Then sit back while my Chargers bring that kitchen sink to NOLA.

Meanwhile Cam Newton is realizing that at some point, things get bleak. He's been riding high since 2009 when he led Blinn College to an undefeated season and last year's adversity was overlooked by his great performance. For the first time in four years, when he left Florida amidst scandal, he's seeing his best efforts aren't good enough.

The Giants reduced him to a stammering young quarterback two weeks ago. This week, he tried too hard and fumbled the Panthers' chance to win a game after racking up 215 passing yards, 86 rushing yards and 3 total TD's (2 passing). He was reduced to staying in his locker room and letting that memory sink in his towel.

While some media brethren of mine chastise him for "pouting", I see something different. I see a young player who wants to win. I see a young player who isn't used to losing and his best efforts not being good enough. I see somebody used to willing himself to win and not used to when will can be doing too much instead of sticking to the plan.

Basically? Growing pains. Let the young man go through this. Every quarterback has them. Every player has them. It's that adjustment when skill is no longer enough and you have to adapt like the game adapts to you.

(This also shows that fans have no clue what they want. We criticize athletes for not showing enough emotion and too much emotion. Meanwhile I'm supposed to accept that fans take losses hard and overreact to things all the time? I'll let my fellow scribe Amber Lee handle y'all and some of the media's treatment of Cam.)

What Cam is learning is what Mark Schlereth said 2 weeks ago. He has to let the game come to him instead of forcing it. He can't be Superman but he has do the essentials and be super in that. But it's nothing new. Every player in every sport has that. In this microwave era we live in, we need to listen to Brand Nubian and "Slow Down". I'm glad that he cares and that's what happens when you're not afraid to show emotions.

The blues are also what Tony Romo is singing. The quarterback of my team threw 5 interceptions on Monday Night Football and looked more lost as the game went on. You can say the first two interceptions weren't his fault. The last three were.

It's the same song I and many Cowboys fans have sung every year. Tony Romo is exactly what we think he is. A quarterback who can make plays but he'll shoot you out of a game. He's not as bad as most say he is but he's not as good as the best quarterbacks are.

The sad thing is Monday didn't shock me. After the third interception, I was just numb the rest of the way. The fourth had me feeling indifferent altogether and I barely noticed the 5th because I was watching the launch of Time Warner Cable Sportsnet. As bad as this game was for Romo, we're used to it.

He's the best Cowboys QB since Troy Aikman. But I have to take the good with the very bad. And frankly I'm tired of it. I've accepted that Romo hasn't been a great QB since 2009 and I'm waiting for Jerry Jones to draft a capable backup. It's been six seasons and at some point, it's time to ask if enough is enough. Til then, I'm singing the Tony Romo blues.

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