28.Nov.2010 Revenge of the (Slow) Nerds
The mental component of football is greater than the physical. People gush over 4-star talent, but the truth of the matter is that the ideal football player is a high 3-star specimen with a 5 star mindset. And that doesn't mean the prima dona mindset of a 5-star athlete; it means a player who could go to Vietnam and excel in jungle warfare. "Angry, are you saying we need 3-star Rambos on this team?" That's exactly what I'm saying. Give me 11 Stalones over 20 Grant Johnsons or 15 Michael Phillipps or 30 Sean Mannions. Even Quizz Rodgers, dare I say it, lacks mental fortitude. He didn't when he arrived, but the culture of Corvallis has finally gotten to him.
If you bring the schedule up on your screen and go through every game, you'll realize that since James Rodgers' injury, the only time the Beavers have been able to win has been when the opponent suffered a significant injury or came out flat. In other words, when the opponent lacked fortitude. These were the Cal and USC games, and by not realizing USC was flat, it skewed our perspective as fans and once again gave us false hope. Let's learn from this in the future. Bottom line: if the opponent came out ready to play, the Beavers lost, which we know all too well from the Washington State game.
What I saw last night was not only revenge of the slow nerds, but a dismantling by the slow nerds. Kudos to the slow nerds, I think they play ideal football. And Stanford fan, while it might sounds like I'm being condescending, the truth of the matter is I envy the warrior mindset of your team, and frankly I just like saying "slow nerds"–it makes me laugh. So, don't get offended. Harbaugh is incredible–he's improved every year, he's a leader, a winner.
Looking in the cupboard you can see it's not bare. "The sky is not falling, Angry!!" Okay, but it's a hazy shade of winter, and the future is futile unless those prospects already have or can be taught winning mindset. We saw James and Jaquizz Rodgers come into this program with Rambo mindsets, and now they laugh on the sideline in a 38-0 loss, don't fight for extra yards, and have succumbed to the culture.
My final question today is this: can Mike Riley instill a cut throat mindset in a man? Despite what dim fans might tell you, these are not boys, they are not kids…these are men, and they need to be pushed around, toughened up, and told what they're going to do to earn their free education, whether they like it or not. We've had a decade of Riley, so we have an answer. He cannot lead men. Players like him, so they play for him, but he cannot lead them or instill confidence that he does not have. I call this Herm Edwards Syndrome. Riley has hope, not expectation or confidence. That being said, he is signed to a lifetime contract, so he can't be replaced, and the players can't be fired, so it leaves one option: the ancillary staff must be broken up. Bob D gaffed in structuring Riley's contract, and he must make amends by overriding Riley and ditching the assistants. I don't care if Landsdorf gave Cav's wife a kidney or that Riley knew Ed Langsdorf for 30 years. The nepotism stops now. Who knows, maybe that gets Riley so fired up he resigns. Unless you like this product, I'd suggest not donating to BASF or renewing tickets until there is change. Write your AD to let him know if you do decide to hold out.
Anyway, moving forward. Saturday's forecast calls for the perfect storm. The cumulation of poor recruiting, mental ineptitude, loyalty to a fault, nepotism, etc, all against the backdrop of the cold, calculating Machiavellian genius of Chip Kelly. Gameday's first trip to Corvallis is for a Duck love fest. Most Beaver fans are elated the prestigious show is in lowly Corvallis, but the intelligent ones foresee the ambush.