Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Letters to a Signal Caller: Letter 40218-B - Matt Cassel

I've been longing to add a little more football to Fundamentally UnSound; and with my last post being so interesting, I'm going to (yet again) start a new open-ended series in which I write heart-filled letters to various quarterbacks of the NFL. After this weekend's past events, it's only proper that I start with Patriots starter Tom Brady Matt Cassel...

Dear Mr. Cassel:

First off, let me start by congratulating you on having a tremendously comfortable adult life. Ever since your high school graduation, you have been blessed to be placed in the most lavish of positions. At USC, you sat behind two Heisman winners, attempting only 33 passes during your stay in Southern Cal; yet you still managed to get drafted by the Patriots. Because you were drafted to New England, there was no chance you would ever see meaningful playing time. That, of course, is due to being waaaaaay behind the depth chart to one Tom Brady (*rose petals scatter forth as celestial music plays*). The Golden Boy ensured that you were relegated to permanent clipboard holder and allowed to continue your stress-free adulthood. Your life is even easier than Jim Sorgi's, because at least he had to start a few games at Wisconsin and wanted to sell Maytags on the side.

Oh, but how life has a funny way of working sometimes. Thanks to Bernard Pollard, you are at the helm of a team that's coming off the most devastating Super Bowl loss in history; and while they're not counting on you to throw 50 touchdowns, you will have to make some throws and do more than just "manage the game." In your substitution duty, you were pretty good. But now, teams will have film on you. Defensive coordinators will be able to break down your strengths and weaknesses. You'll have to process information and make the play yourself. No more standing on the sideline with a headset for you, buddy.

While your task is daunting, it isn't impossible. In fact, you have several examples on which to lean for support. In 1999, Trent Green went down with an injury, thus giving former grocery bagger Kurt Warner a career that includes two MVPs and a Super Bowl ring. Even the Golden Boy himself has Mo Lewis to thank for paving the way to allow his magnificence to be unleashed. You know those 1972 Dolphins, the team that loathed your team's very existence last year? Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese broke his leg midway through their undefeated season. Earl Morrell stepped in and we're left with this intense level of senior citizen douchebaggery for the foreseeable future. You are also subbing for a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and have the hoodied mastermind as your coach, so you have some things that are in your favor.

Mr. Cassel, life has just gotten a little tougher for you. My advice to you is to make good decisions, with your most important being that you make sure #81 is happy. After all, you can't be worse that Alex Smith, so there's that. Congrats on the opportunity.


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