The NFL uses its might to create our football heroes and villains, especially for the position of quarterback. The quarterback, according to popular mythology, is the team leader, the general, and the success of a player at this position will determine the success of the entire team. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are living legends and indeed NFL heroes. Their teams have been successful when without them they would most likely have sucked. I question this quarterback mythology. I question the meritocracy of NFL success. For a lack of a better word, this notion is bullshit. If you were to look at the rankings of NFL quarterbacks, you should see a correlation between the winning teams and the league’s top quarterbacks. The best teams should have the best quarterbacks, right? WRONG!!
Check out these stats:
That’s right, Jay Cutler is 10th in the league for passing. He is statistically having a better season than Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton and defending Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. This would put him in the category of “elite quarterbacks.” However, if you watch the pregame show pundits, or read the Chicago Tribune Jay Cutler is the worst quarterback in the league. Not to mention he has a loser team and a reality show wife. An NFL villain is born.
For us sports fans, this provides simple entertainment. For the athletes themselves, this could mean millions of dollars in contracts and endorsements. They are lucky that they have the support of the player’s union, but due to the manufactured market value of these players I can’t imagine the amount of money these villains would have access to if they were perceived as heroes.
As far as the Chicago Bears go, play calling along with injuries on the offensive line have stymied offensive production. If the Cowboys put up 30 points on Thursday, maybe the defense needs to accrue some blame. Regardless of the score, the Chicago Bears are not only fighting for a winning record but they are fighting the NFL’s media machine that includes ESPN and network television.
Football is a team sport and ultimately the best team will win. Seattle’s victory in the Super Bowl disrupted the notion of Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl supremacy. If the game wasn’t so lopsided, I am willing to bet the NFL’s game day “experts” would be questioning Seattle’s legitimacy. Just like they question Russell Wilson’s status as an elite quarterback. Until they change the rules again, the good teams will rise as poor teams will flounder.