Friday, August 03, 2012

The Comeback Kid

Football fans may recall when, after the Raiders, in a fit of uncharacteristic sanity, cut unproductive pork chop JaMarcus Russell, that Russell vowed to get on with another team, climb back up the ranks, and show those stupid Raiders what they missed out on. Click on the link to see how all that's working out.

Maybe I'm being petty about it. [Ed.: There's no "maybe" about it.] But as the link notes, Russell pocketed over $30 mil, for a 7-24 win-loss record, 18 TDs and 23 INTs, a record and work ethic that set back an already reeling team several additional years.

I still think the Raiders missed a good opportunity to bring Russell around when they had the chance, by not hanging on to Daunte Culpepper, who would have been a terrific mentor to a kid who really needed one at that particular point in his career. But at some point, we all have to step up and be grown-ass men, as it were, and maybe it's just a predictable by-product of throwing way too much cash at an unsophisticated kid who wasn't ready for it all, but I don't recall him turning any of it down.

On the one hand, it's only football, grown men permanently damaging themselves in the service of a kids' sandlot game. But as has been (I hope) demonstrated here time and again, the football in general and the NFL operations in particular serve as nice case studies for everything from management science to strategy. And Russell's story will serve as another kind of cautionary tale, not quite as bad as, say, that of Ryan Leaf, but pretty damned close.

No comments: