“Not Bad for a Running Back” – Not a Running Back

Lamar JacksonBefore you get started let me get all of this out the way for you. “It’s only been 27 games.”, “He hasn’t won in the playoffs.”, “This season isn’t over.”, “He won’t have a long career as a running QB.” Ok, now that that’s taken care of I’m going to need all of you to shut up. This man was doubted and criticized for no apparent reason (well other than the obvious). The least you can do when he performs well is acknowledge that without any asterisks or caveats.

Despite being the best QB in college, people still questioned whether Lamar Jackson would be successful at the position in the NFL. When draft time rolled around, we got the same stupid rhetoric that normally surrounds black quarterbacks. The “maybe he should move to receiver or running back” crowd was extremely loud. Now they could all star in a Charlie Chaplin film. Through 27 games (18 starts, 15-3), Jackson has 30 touchdowns, 3,628 yards and some of the most electrifying play at the position this side of Michael Vick. He went into Seattle and beat out his counterpart in the MVP race, Russell Wilson. He curb stomped the Patriots. And destroyed the Texans and Rams to the tune of a combined score of 86-13. Yet and still there’s continued doubt surrounding his ability. Also, let me be clear that I don’t care one bit that the season isn’t over yet. The Ravens could lose the rest of their games (they won’t) but that’s not going to stop me from showing this guy some well deserved love right now. If I smack you today and you come back and beat my ass tomorrow, guess what? I still had the chance to brag about slapping the taste out your mouth for 24 hours. And Jackson has been laying holy hands on folks all season.

I’m not writing this for informational purposes. We all know the program whenever a prominent African American QB prospect prepares to enter the NFL. No matter what evidence there is to the contrary the same nonsense arises. Can he throw? Will he be mainly a running quarterback? He didn’t do well on the Wonderlic test. Should he move to a different position? How long will he last using his legs? Will he be able to adjust to NFL defenses? The same laziness that gets spewed because people won’t just come out and say “We don’t think he’s smart enough to be a quarterback.” That foolishness dominates the headlines. And it’s by design. Because in order to perpetuate the stereotypes, when a black QB doesn’t perform up to standard they are extremely vocal about it. And when they ball out, those same people are eerily silent. I guarantee you can find more media coverage of Jamarcus Russell lying about watching film than you will about Lamar’s current rampage. Also, check to see how many people celebrated Teddy Bridgewater going 5-0 with Drew Brees on the bench. How many “Should the Saints stay with Brees as the starter?” think pieces would we have seen if the situation was reversed? I’m not even going to start with the eagerness and borderline jubilation Cam Newton’s trails and tribulations get talked about.

Do me a favor and be an adult about this. Let’s not get our tiny little feelings hurt and accuse me of “bringing race into this”. There is a well documented pattern of this throughout league history. If you don’t believe me, google’s your friend. Adversely when there is a white player that excels at one of the various skill positions, the energy is on the totally opposite end of the spectrum. Not one single soul has questioned Christian McCaffrey’s longevity or tried to make him a QB when he came out of college. His skill was appreciated and he got the props he deserved. Which is exactly what should have happened. I just want my brothers who take snaps to get the same courtesy.

If you thought this was going to end on a subtle note then I’ve got some really bad news for you. One of the things that’s bothered me the most about this is Jackson can’t lay into these clowns like he really wants to and should be able to. Sure he can throw slick jabs like “Not bad for a running back” as stated in the title but for the most part he’s primarily relegated to the high road on this one. Because if he does unleash his bravado, the same media who doubted and questioned him and is now being proven extremely wrong would take offense to the fact that he’s calling them out on it. And they’d undoubtedly rip him every chance they got. So since he can’t go in, I’m going to do it for him. I hope every reporter, scout, GM, coach, evaluator and analyst that tried to bury Lamar Jackson before he even had a chance to prove his worth lays awake at night crying white tears because this dude is wreaking havoc on the NFL. He beat Tom Brady. I know that hurts. And look, he’s already gotten ahead of you if you plan to stiff him on the MVP award. My man said he doesn’t care about MVP. He’s trying to win a Super Bowl. And if he does end up winning the chip, please believe I’m going to give folks hell in his place because of course, they’re going to want him to be gracious in victory. Lamar if you’re reading this don’t worry bro. I got you when the time comes. I don’t have anything to lose. I will say everything you want to say because you will have to remain professional on the biggest stage in the world and “act like you’ve been there before” even though you clearly haven’t. Meanwhile Baker Mayfield gets to have temper tantrums whenever he feels like it because he’s a “fiery competitor”. What’s his record by the way?

I’m sure you get the point by now and if you don’t I really don’t care. As long as you can count and see, you will know that Lamar Jackson is the real deal. And if he goes on to throw an interception on every single pass attempt for the rest of his career (he won’t), I will gladly post and repost this every chance I get because as of November 26th in the year of our Lord 2019, all the naysayers got smacked. You can try to come beat my ass tomorrow but I really wouldn’t suggest that. Seacrest out.

Head over to the next page for some insight into Jackson’s remarkable season.

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