The Week in WTF: Carson’s Revenge

The Original FanMan checks in with the inaugural edition of his weekly column.

What the fuck.

There’s your lede. That’s what this column is for.

(Okay, maybe a bit more than that.)

At some point, we all feel the need to let a WTF fly. If your alarm wakes you up with a start from a blissful night’s sleep, you might find yourself taking an inquisitive look at your iHome and asking it, “What the fuck, it’s already nine?”

Perhaps a friend does something you’re not happy about (Dude, What the fuck?) or you find yourself watching Rick Perry during a republican debate. (What the fuck…)

Everyone has their Point of WTFication, and for some people, it’s much lower than others.

I am one of those people. As the creator of the Site for the Educated Sports Fan, I am (surprise!) a diehard sports fan. Thus, my WTF moments are—more often, than not—sports-related.

Everyone at FanMan tries to adhere to the edict of “educated” sports fandom as best they can. We try to stay grounded and avoid overreaction. We do our very best to be rational, to take every development with a shakerful of salt.

But there are times where we let it all loose, where we become so frustrated by what’s happening in the sports world—no, what’s being said about what’s happening in the sports world—that we have no choice but to release our anger into the universe. Or onto the page.

In reality, the whole concept of FanMan was built off a foundation of WTF. All of us got sick and tired of what we were listening to on a broadcast, reading in an ‘expert’ column or hearing on PTI.

Generally, this pent-up anger is released in our writing, as we mold our WTFs into a lengthy explanation of why we’re so confused/pissed/right and the other party is so ignorant/disingenuous/wrong.

Alas, we are only thirty men. It is impossible to write a full column on every single transgression that’s making us tear our hair out.

There is, however, enough time to write one column.

“The Week in WTF.”

That’s what you’re reading right now. Every Wednesday week, I will transform seven day’s worth of sports WTFs into one rant-all column.

Now, to stop you from WTFing at the length of this lede, let’s get into it.


NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are paraphrases meant to generalize an idea.

The Raiders didn’t come off too badly in the Carson Palmer trade.”

You idiot. Yes they did. They gave up two first rounders (okay, probably a first and a second) for a 32 year-old quarterback who hasn’t played a game in 10 months. That’s two potential cornerstone players for a completely unknown quantity.

Fun fact: Carson Palmer tore a ligament and a tendon in his elbow three years ago and STILL HASN’T GOTTEN SURGERY.

It's probably a bad thing when this is the photo-op for the future of your franchise.

Best case scenario is that Palmer helps the Raiders to sneak into the playoffs. Maybe they win a playoff game, maybe they don’t. Either way, it’s hard to see Palmer being the long term answer at the position. If that’s the case, the Raiders will find themselves having mortgaged their future for a meaningless Wild Card game in Foxboro.

Too many things can go wrong. Palmer’s elbow could give way. He might not be able to learn the playbook on the fly. He may just not have it anymore. For Christ’s sake, the Raiders aren’t exactly “A Quarterback Away” type of team, like the Vikings and the Redskins might be. Those draft picks could have helped to fill out the roster, and maybe to draft a younger, better, less expensive alternative.

If the Palmer era falls flat in Oakland, this will go down as one of the most lopsided and ill-conceived trades in the history of sports. It’s possible it already has. The Raiders may find success with Carson at the helm, but it will come at far too great an expense. Yes, Oakland had a desperate (read: Kyle Boller) quarterback situation. They still had leverage. If Mike Brown and the Bengals didn’t deal Palmer by 4:00 EST on Tuesday, they would have been left with nothing. Palmer’s salary would have languished on their books while Palmer himself enjoyed life away from football. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Al Davis was still alive. Or that he’s running the Raiders from a remote island. With Elvis and Tupac.

What? Too soon?


“The Red Sox should get something from the Cubs in return for Theo Esptein.”

Apparently, the Cubs are actually engaging the Red Sox in their request for serious compensation.

This is how the conversation between the Ricketts family and John Henry/Larry Lucchino should have gone:

JOHN HENRY: Tom, you’re stealing our wunderkind GM. This is the same guy who led our ‘cursed’ franchise to two tiles after almost a century of darkness. He could do the same for you, except it would actually be a century of darkness. And by a century, I mean three more years than a century. And counting.

TOM RICKETTS:  John, let me start with this: fuck you.

Moving on.

If he’s such an invaluable asset, why did you give us permission to talk to him in the first place? Why aren’t you locking him up until he looks less like Tyler Winklevoss and more like Bill Shatner?

No, John (and Larry. I know you’re listening in), we both know the only job left for Theo in Boston is as a Little League coach. We are one all-time collapse past the point of no return. You can keep holding the line and keep demanding our only solid young arm as compensation. But we’re not going to do it. And if you decide to block this move, that’s just fine. We’ll be right there when you inevitably cut ties with your “wunderkind.”

I understand you have a need to save face and to get SOMETHING out of this deal. So if you’d like, we’ll give you a career minor leaguer and enough cash to stock Fenway with lobster rolls for a few months. That’s it. Take it or leave it. You have no choice.


LARRY LUCCHINO: Tom, we’ll call you back.


Fire/Release/Execute (Insert New York Sports Coach/Player/Executive here)”

If there’s anywhere in the country where being a rational sports fan is difficult, it’s New York. (Okay, Boston too.). With such an intense spotlight, so much media coverage and so many fans, overreaction is the rule—not the exception.

Case one this week: CC Sabathia.

Not pictured: 50 pounds.

Given the fact that A-Rod’s contract expires in 2024, some in the media and in the bleachers are suggesting the Yankees not re-up Sabathia when he inevitably opts-out. Their belief is that the Yankees have enough ugly contracts on their books (some that are only going to get much uglier) and having to tailor size 51 pants for another six or seven years isn’t going to help things.

Look, I’m a Yankee fan. I’m all for the franchise becoming at least a little more responsible (although certainly not cheaper). There was no defense for Rafael Soriano’s contract this winter, especially given the multiple opt-out clauses that made it a lose-lose situation. There was certainly no excuse for giving Alex Rodriguez $300 million when no one else was offering two-thirds as much.

But this is the Yankees we’re talking about. The same guys who kinda, sorta survived Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright at the same time. The same guys who are making do with AJ Burnett on the books and who took on Javier Vazquez. Twice.

It doesn’t matter how the latter-half of Sabathia’s next contract looks. The Yankees are desperate. Without Sabathia, the Yankees are not a playoff team. For a few years. They can afford to eat the backend of Sabathia’s contract while Sabathia keeps eating and his back end continues to balloon.

Case Two: Brian Schottenheimer, Rex Ryan

This one isn’t as foregone. But Jets fans need to accept that there’s a possibility Schottenheimer isn’t the reason for their team’s offensive struggles. I’m not even going to bother going into the some of the Fire Rex talk that’s circulated throughout the media, because there hasn’t been that much of it. No matter the quantity, it’s ludicrous.

Perhaps Schottenheimer should go. The 2011 Jets are one of the most inept offenses on a contending team we’ve ever seen. Schotty’s playcalling is often suspect and there’s something to be said for the fact that it doesn’t appear that the team has made a lot of adjustments on the offensive end.

But let’s take a closer look at this Jets offense.

Why shouldn’t it be bad? Their best offensive player is either Santonio Holmes (a solid but unspectacular receiver who has only once in his career topped 1,000 yards) or Dustin Keller (a tight end). After that, they have an injury-ravaged (Nick Mangold) and somewhat suspect (Wayne Hunter) offensive line. They have one over-the-hill running back and one guy who may never reach the peak. They have a 35-year old receiver who is old and uninterested. They probably don’t have a third receiver (Talk to me when Jeremy Kerley has more than five career catches). They have a young quarterback who looks just as young as he did on draft day.

I’ll admit this: I’m a Giants fan, and one who isn’t particularly fond of the Jets. I’m probably being biased in one way or another.  But every time I watch Sanchez hurl a duck into traffic or Shonn Greene get stuffed at the line, I can’t help but say to myself:

What. The. Fuck.

Jesse Golomb is the creator and Lead Writer of TheFanManifesto.

Have a “WTF” of your own? Tweet at @TheFanManifesto, like FanMan on facebook or drop him an email at JesseGolomb@TheFanManifesto.com.

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