Posts Tagged ‘champ bailey’

Unabated to the QB, Week 4: A Trip to Arrowhead

This is going to sound not just East-Coastish but elitist and snotty. But facts are facts. The special community of shoppers in the Expo Bldg. are a Midwestern subphylum commonly if unkindly known as Kmart People. Farther south they’d be a certain fringe-type of White Trash. Kmart People tend to be overweight, polyestered, grim-faced, toting glazed unhappy children. Toupees are the movingly obvious shiny square-cut kind, and the women’s makeup is garish and often asymmetrically applied, giving many of the female faces a kind of demented look. They are sharp-voiced and snap at their families. They’re the type you see slapping their kids in supermarket checkouts. They are people who work at like Champaign’s Kraft and Decatur’s A. E. Staley and think pro wrestling is real. I’m sorry, but this is all true. I went to high school with Kmart People. I know them. They own firearms and do not hunt. The aspire to own mobile homes. They read the Star without even a pretense of contempt and have toilet paper with little off-color jokes printed on it.

—“Getting Away from Already Pretty Much Being Away From It All”*

Nothing like David Foster Wallace* to articulate the Midwest in an essay I gleefully read on my flight back from it. That’s right, I spent my weekend living it up in Oklahoma City/Stillwater/Kansas City, witnessing the Giants’ 27-16 victory over the Chiefs first-hand at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Unabated to the QB, Week 3: The Rejuvenation of the Cover Corner

“Stick with him! Think of chewing gum … if he’s chewing some, by the end of the game, I want to know what flavor it is!”

—Coach Norman Dale

A few years ago, the Washington Redskins traded young but established star cornerback named Champ Bailey to the Denver Broncos for a young but established star running back named Clinton Portis. Most people thought the Broncos won the trade; even if Portis was a better player, Bailey was a star at a position that didn’t have any (and, of course, with their borderline illegal blocking scheme, the Broncos would have no trouble producing another 1,000-yard rusher. His name was Reuben Droughns).

Now, there haven’t been any clear winners in that deal. Each team has won a single playoff game, and both guys played a fairly significant part in those respective wins (gratuitous linking to that Bailey interception…NOW!). My hard-to-get-to point is this: At the time of the trade, Champ Bailey was the best cornerback in football and the only one who could even be considered a shutdown guy. Bailey was the only player who made teams think twice about throwing his way. And he wasn’t even that good, at least not by “Best Cornerback in the League” standards. (No offense to Champ, but he couldn’t hold a candle to guys like Darrell Green, Deion Sanders, even Aeneas Williams.)

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