September 2, 2017

NO ONE THINKS TIM TEBOW WAS BLACK-BALLED:

Maybe Colin Kaepernick Is Just Not That Good (Colin Fleming, SEPT. 1, 2017, NY Times)

What seems to me more problematic than Kaepernick's not having a job is the general unwillingness to consider that this situation might be justified on the merits, given Kaepernick's current attributes, or lack thereof, as a quarterback, rather than assuming, as part of a kneejerk gospel of victimhood, that persecution must be the cause.

It's not hard to make a statistical case for why Kaepernick is not playing now. He threw for a mere 187 yards a game last season, which was good enough for 30th (in a league of 32 teams). For his career, he has completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes. Last season, 24 passers completed more than 60 percent. Kaepernick, at 59.2 percent, was ranked 26th. If you're below 60 percent, you're a fringe guy.

More damning, Kaepernick was not asked to make difficult throws; he's not a Matt Ryan-type quarterback, slinging the ball far down the field on deep crosses or challenging out routes. In the current iteration of the N.F.L., offense rules the day, with quarterbacks tasked to put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Kaepernick's job was to be a game manager, making the easiest, high-percentage throws. And he still struggled. What are you supposed to do with a guy like this? What can he do for you? Can he help you win?

If Kaepernick deserves a spot in the league, it's only as a backup quarterback. And he will eventually get a job as one, I bet, once quarterbacks start getting hurt. But the fact that he doesn't have a job right now isn't shocking, and it doesn't have to be because N.F.L. owners are racists who are blackballing him.

The older I get, the less I care about football, but I do care about merit, and things being seen for what they are. "Life is," as Dostoyevsky wrote, and it is our job to figure out what the "is" is. I believe that's one of the core responsibilities of being human.

We don't do this enough anymore. We don't ask the tough questions. We seek to align ourselves with what I think of as the "control voice" -- whatever piped-in monotone is dictating a given narrative at the moment. It's easy to feel good about yourself when you're patting yourself on the back for your inability to never fail to take the moral high ground, which everyone who agrees with you reinforces and enables, one Facebook "like" at a time. But there is nothing real about that.

It doesn't matter that Kaepernick doesn't have a job; it matters that so few people even wonder if there might be a non-disgraceful explanation. We have become the anti-meritocracy. We resent those who outperform us, outwork us, outproduce us. And the person who has been perceived to have been slighted? He is whom we now adore.

He had a lower QB rating than Brock Osweiler. In a normal workplace you'd assume he was crying racism to protect his sinecure.

Posted by at September 2, 2017 8:10 AM

  

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