Most sportswriters are kind of hacks. They all have the same tired cliches, stale jokes and this overall belief that sports are this majestic, blue collar, American Dream that is pure as apple pie….only to get ruined by the steroids they turned a blind eye to.
But no one is worse than Rick Reilly. I know similar takedown features of Gregg Easterbrook (my favorite thing on the internet) and Peter King exist but Rick Reilly is in a class of his own. Rick Reilly is the hybrid version of every BuzzFeed “list” article, a rejected Seinfeld plot and Family Guy cutaway gags. He’s insufferable, the kind of guy that thinks he is part masterful writer while not getting too big for his britches and making sure you get that King of Queens reference.
So I decided, I can’t take it. Rick Reilly needs to be hated. He needs to end up resurfacing as a writer for BuzzFeed or ThoughtCatalog or whatever the kids are sharing these days. If I were more angry, he’d go to Tumblr or Bleacher Report. But I’m not a sadist.
In this week’s “Life of Reilly”, Reilly writes about Andrew Luck and how he combines “intellect and scrappiness”; I already want to stop before we get to the actual story but I must because 40 of you read this and I have no class tomorrow. Let’s begin.
Bet me. No QB in the NFL is more accurate, goes deeper or is more effective than the Colts’ Andrew Luck.
And that’s just his vocabulary.
Oh you thought I was just talking about sports? Hahaha, I’m more than just that.
Wednesday, for instance, in a single half hour, he got in “vociferous” (re: loudmouth, loud-playing Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who brings undefeated Seattle to Indy Sunday), “cognizant” (was he aware of big moments as he’s making them? no, he wasn’t), and “implemented” (he was glad to see some more running plays being “implemented” into the Colts’ game plan.)
A 3.48 GPA at Stanford in environmental engineering will do that to a person.
Yes, that Stanford engineering program taught him about the word “implemented”. I never learned that word in middle school or anything. Trust me on this, you’ll never hear Andrew Luck “AXING” a question. He went to Stanford after all! Imagine if Ryan Fitzpatrick of Harvard was a franchise QB. I think Reilly would “ejaculate”. Oh yeah, Richard Sherman also went to Stanford.
You’d need a thesaurus to describe Luck this season, one in which he has pulled ahead of Second-Year Sensations Robert Griffin III (Washington), Russell Wilson (Seattle) and Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco) the way a locomotive pulls away from uncoupled cars.
Well obviously. RGIII went to Baylor and graduated in three and a half years because he was probably too focused on loudmouth Richard Sherman. Russell Wilson transferred from NC State to Wisconsin, which means he won’t focus on his vocabulary and deep ball, while Colin Kaepernick majored in tattoos. Also I can describe Andrew Luck as a still “game manager” who continues to improve but still lacks an offensive line and running game. He’ll be amazing soon enough but its fairly easy to describe the guy.
RG III has been tentative and apprehensive. Wilson is undefeated, true, but his numbers have been anemic. Since Week 2, Kaepernick has looked dispassionate and feckless.
Yeah RG III is tentative, must’ve been that rushing back from torn ACL thing. Probably should’ve spent more time rehabbing as opposed to graduating. I like how he completely tosses away Wilson being undefeated (until losing to Luck’s Colts obviously) while he had only one less INT and two big-time wins.
ameliorated. His completion percentage is up almost 10 points over his rookie year. He has had only two interceptions in four games. (Last season, he had five through the fourth game.) He’s running better and more daringly than last season (almost twice as many yards per carry as last season). He has already won a game from behind (Oakland) and already won a signature game at San Francisco (that’s 14 W’s in his first 20 starts, tying the record for No. 1 draft choices set by another Stanford kid, John Elway.)
Ohhh Rick stop using those million dollar words around me! You are just like that Luck kid. Keep in mind Luck’s completion percentage was 54% and now Luck has just joined the NFL average in completion percentage. I love Luck as a Colts fan but are we going to ignore that with the exception of his game manager performance against San Fran that he has faced anyone solid until Seattle? (Remember this is about a two week old article). But oh man, he reminds me of another kid from Stanford; and it sure as hell ain’t Trent Edwards!
.. surpassing. Luck is third in ESPN’s QBR. Where are the rest of the Second-Year Sensations? Way, way further back. Kaepernick is 13th, Wilson 17th, RG III 30th. And that’s to be expected. You’re supposed to have a sophomore slump. (See: Bradford, Sam.) Defensive coordinators have had an entire offseason to come up with a vaccine for you. That’s what’s confounding about Luck. In a season when he was supposed to get a little worse, like everybody else, he has only gotten a lot better.
Whoa, surpassing? That’s a pretty big word for someone who didn’t take environmental engineering at Stanford. Reilly does a great job shilling about ESPN’s created stat but Kaepernick who has been “feckless” and “dispassionate” is in the top-half of the field even with two disappointing games at the time (Indy and Seattle) in a short sample size (this was FOUR games into the season). Also, uh Sam Bradford’s rookie season saw him throw 18 TDs vs. 15 INTs so its not like he had a Cam Newton esque season before everyone realized he was terrible. Then Reilly talks about “a vaccine” which after four games, apparently Luck is immune to it. You know four games against the Jaguars, Dolphins, Niners and Raiders. Murderer’s Row right there. Also its funny what another year of NFL starting experience, slightly more developed passing weapons and a slightly more competent run game can do for a young QB. ASTOUNDING.
… intractable. His teammates keep telling him to get down on runs, to slide, to head for the safety of the sideline, but he is as stubborn as a boulder. Players around the league report that Hard Luck seems to actually enjoy an organ-shifting hit. Even compliments defenders on a good hit occasionally.
Reilly is great at citing sources.
No, no, it’s not good any time. Yet he seems addicted to it. One game, he went on one of his intrepid slashes through the defense, got the first down, then kept going. Whereupon, he got rocked.
On the field, veteran receiver Reggie Wayne immediately took Luck aside and said, ‘Dang, you got to get down! When you made the first down, you won. You won. Get down and live to win another battle!”
And what did Luck say back to him?
“I said what I always say to him, ‘Yes, Mr. Wayne. Good point, Mr. Wayne.'”
“I bet loudmouth Richard Sherman and anemic Russell Wilson would never call a guy twelve years older than them “Mr.”; that Luck kid probably calls me “sir” and I tell him, “no my father is sir!”.
Luck will wind up being the gold standard of the doozy QB draft class of 2012, but only if he stops polishing his Roger Staubach impression.
It drives Hasselbeck crazy. “I told him, ‘Would you please protect yourself? Because I didn’t get any reps this week. And I don’t want to look bad out there.'”
That’s the baffling thing about this son of two law school graduates. Luck’s the oddest combination of lobes and lats. He’s both brains and brawn. He doesn’t just crack the safe, he then picks it up and carries it out of the bank.
That last sentence is the reason why Rick Reilly is terrible. Ugh, yes its hard to believe a guy whose father played in the NFL is an NFL QB plays the position “scrappily” and acts like a young QB.
But I’ll bet you a Porsche to a Porsche hubcap that he’s the MVP before any of the others.
How’s that for chutzpah?
Oh you BEAST. Picking the guy who is best groomed for success, who was the #1 overall pick, who was considered the no-brainer #1 pick from two years before he was drafted as a future MVP? Over RG III’s torn ACL, Wilson’s game manager imitation and Kaepernick’s still developing body of work? You must be a GAMBLER RICK REILLY.