Ten Things Benji Thinks He Thinks

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pontificate

The King doesn’t get mad, he gets even: After I abandoned him and our weekly football picking date for a weekend with Brian, His Majesty took advantage of my absence by writing a pair of columns filled with absurd and unsubstantiated assertions. In response, I have decided to create my own version of The King’s favorite (and most nonsensical/disorganized) section of his Monday Morning Quarterback articles. Just as life imitates art, Benji imitates King…

Ten Things Benji Thinks He Thinks:

1. While His Majesty certainly has a fair argument to make about the controversial touchdown call made at the end of the Ravens/Steelers game (I agree with him that there was not “indisputable evidence” to overturn the original ruling that the ball did not break the plane of the goal-line), he concludes his analysis with a strange stance on how people connected to the league might respond to the situation:

I’m sure we’ll hear cries to abolish replay in the coming days, which is ridiculous.

Why people would respond to problems with the way the replay system is utilized by calling for its removal is beyond me. Such an idea does sound “ridiculous,” Your Majesty—as you point out in the following sentence, the reason for the controversial ruling was not a failing in the replay system but one on the part of the referee in charge of making the call. There’s no way that any logical person would complain about the accuracy of a call and then demand the removal of a system which allows a play to be reviewed so that the most accurate call possible can be made.

c. In the Fine Fifteen Section of this week’s MMQB, His Majesty makes an interesting characterization of San Diego’s offensive identity in regard to its match-up with the Buccaneers this weekend:

The Bucs have the proverbial must win coming up Sunday at home against San Diego, and they’d better wear their big-boy pads for that one because the Chargers will come in rushing.

The King must have this year’s Chargers team confused with the ‘06/’07 Chargers. Back in the day, San Diego running back LaDanian Tomlinson rushed for over 1800 yards, scored 28 rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. This season, the Chargers rank 27th in the league in rushing yards per game, and Tomlinson is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry, tying the career low mark he set back in his rookie season. Perhaps Tampa Bay should focus more on quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ effective passing offense, which ranks seventh in the league in yards per game…

10. In this week’s MMQB Tuesday Edition, His Majesty responds to the following email about Matt Cassel and his father’s recent death:

“I’m amazed at how little attention Matt Cassel’s performance in the wake of his father’s passing received on a national level. When Brett Favre had a similar performance in Oakland, albeit on Monday night, the national media went nuts, he was this great warrior, etc. Yet, today, Cassel gets a small note in the middle of a webpage. Not that Cassel’s performance needs to be the lead story for the day, but the disparity is ridiculous. Another great day in the National Favre League.”

The King’s initial argument—that the wretched state of many retired NFL players who receive little to no compensation from the league was a far-reaching and important story that belonged on the front page of his article—seems reasonable. His explanation for why Favre’s dad dying (back in December 2003) was a more important story than Cassel’s dad dying, however, is both inaccurate and insensitive. His Majesty writes, “there was some real question in coach Mike Sherman’s mind if Favre would play in the game” but suggests that there was never any doubt that Cassel would suit up last weekend. First of all, this assertion simply isn’t true: Cassel’s status for the game was most certainly in doubt, evidenced by the team not announcing him as the starter until Friday evening. Second of all, the fact that Favre had less time to deal with his father’s death before his Monday Night game against Oakland (two days as opposed to six for Cassel) does not make Cassel’s situation any less of a tragedy. I understand that Favre, in 2003, was a legendary player, adored by the media and very open with his emotions, which meant that his “triumph” in the wake of his father’s death made for a better story. There’s no way, however, that any human being is capable of recovering emotionally from the unexpected loss of a parent in less than a week. I do not particularly care about who or what His Majesty chooses to write about in his articles, but it would be nice if, at the end of the day, he recognized that the players he covers are not just fodder for his hackneyed story-lines but real people with real feelings.

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