Completely Unrelated: Mario Williams

As I have acknowledged before, my interest in the National Football League generally is limited to the extent to which the N.F.L. relates to the Georgia Bulldogs.  

Show me a team with no 'Dawgs on the roster and I'll show you a team whose existence is a matter of complete indifference to me.  If there ever again is another Super Bowl pitting two teams with no former Georgia players on either squad, I will mute the T.V. during the game and watch it for the commercials.  

In light of the fact that I view the N.F.L. through Red-and-Black-colored glasses, I haven't been following the buildup to draft day terribly closely, so it hasn't much mattered to me which player went No. 1.  I completely understand why this has been the subject of much conjecture, speculation, and advocacy at, say, Burnt Orange Nation, but, here in Bulldog Nation, it ain't no big thing.  

However, there are guys who cover the N.F.L. draft in great detail.  In fact, there is a whole cable channel that pays a lot of guys a lot of money specifically for the purpose of getting into the minutiae of the selection of collegiate players by professional football franchises.  

Why, then, was the signing of Mario Williams such a surprise?  No, I didn't see it coming, but, then, I didn't care and I wasn't getting paid to follow it.  

So let me make sure I understand this.  The Texans drafted this guy . . .

. . . instead of this guy?

Susan, Thomas, and I were out running errands for much of the morning and I was listening to the coverage of the draft on 680 The Fan, where the reaction, both of the local commentators and of such national broadcasters as Mike Golic (a likeable guy who gives the lie to the notion that Notre Dame has high academic standards for athletes), was one of stunned incredulity at the Mario Williams selection . . . yet, with each remark, they seemed to answer their own question.  

The standard line seemed to go something like this:  

Holy smokes!  What a stupefying move!  No one could have seen this one coming!  What were the Texans thinking?  I know Houston already has a quarterback, but how could they not take Vince Young or Matt Leinart even though they already have David Carr?  I know Houston already has a running back in Domanick Davis, who just signed a five-year contract, but how could they not take Reggie Bush even though they have absolutely no need for another tailback who can catch passes out of the backfield?  Taking a defensive end with the No. 1 pick overall is crazy!  Remember Courtney Brown!  Granted, the Texans ranked 31st in the league in total defense last season, they just released Gary Walker, and they need a legitimate pass rush because their defensive line tallied a single-digit sack total last season, but what are they doing taking Mario Williams, even though he's almost 6'7", weighs over 290 pounds, and has been compared to a cross between Julius Peppers and Lawrence Taylor?  This is nuts!  This is why Houston is a loser franchise, even though they play in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts and the only way they're ever going to win their division is to get somebody who can put some pressure on Peyton Manning!  It's Sam Bowie all over again!  What a bunch of morons!  They could have taken Reggie Bush, although serious character questions about the Heisman Trophy winner have arisen in the last week!  Despite the fact that the Texans were in negotiations with both Bush and Williams last week and they were able to sign Williams before the draft without having to pay the outrageous sums Bush was demanding, they could have drafted Reggie Bush, in spite of the fact that drafting Bush without being able to come to terms with him could very well mean a holdout, which would keep him out of uniform and off of the football field, but, oh my goodness, Reggie Bush is such a great player that you just have to have him on your team, even if he plays at a position where you have no needs and he isn't under contract and he isn't in camp and he hasn't been to practice and he won't play in any games but he's just so great a player that questions like, "Can you sign him?" and, "Can you rely on him?" and, "Do you need him?" and, "Will he actually be available to play?" shouldn't even be considerations, because, golly gee whiz, he's Reggie Bush!

When I first heard about the Mario Williams deal, it didn't make any sense to me, but, the harder E.S.P.N. tried to sell me on the idea that taking Mario Williams with the No. 1 pick was a bad idea, the more clear it became to me that---for the Texans, at least---taking Mario Williams with the No. 1 pick was perfectly logical.  

The general manager of the Houston Texans.

L.D. sometimes writes about "The Narrative" . . . the established storyline set down before the fact, which becomes the company line.  Anyone who thereafter deviates from The Narrative must be excoriated for the stupidity of daring to question the edict handed down from on high.  

The thing of it is, E.S.P.N. isn't Big Brother, Bristol isn't Mount Olympus, and the 2005 U.S.C. Trojans were not, in fact, The Greatest College Football Team of All Time . . . so, if an N.F.L. team chooses not to take Reggie Bush with the No. 1 pick in the draft, well, maybe, despite what I recently had to say over at The M Zone, N.F.L. general managers really do know more than Mel Kiper, Jr.

In Mel's defense, though, he still has great hair.  

Go 'Dawgs!

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