What’s More Depressing: RGIII’s Career Or Derrick Rose’s Brittle Body?
Human beings are imperfect. We are the sum of our flaws. Life is a random collection of events that mean nothing and happiness is an illusion. We're talking to you, D-Rose and RGIII. Take solace in the fact that one of you is more sad than the other -- it just might make the remaining sixty some-odd years of your lives slightly bearable.
In all likelihood, Robert Griffin III has played his final game as a member of the team whose name shall not be named. After getting bumped for an unheralded backup -- for the second time in less than a year -- it's become clear that the writing is on the wall and it says "We do not like how you play football, Robert."
Tactless, we know. Life is horrible.
Then there's Derrick Rose, who did not re-aggravate his hamstring injury from earlier in the season, but had to sit because of tightness in the area last night against the Nuggets. Whether you believe coach Thibs about the severity of his latest physical woe or not, Rose is clearly frustrated with his body right now. Look at this face. This is what a sad man looks like.
Ok, maybe he always looks like that -- but could that be because he's in a constant apathetic state to suppress the pain of his existence? Possibly? The point is, this man knows something about his body's fragility that the rest of us were passing off as some Lemony Snicket-caliber bad luck. He's doomed.
So who's situation is more depressing? Chicago or D.C.? Which players' outlook more dire? More hopeless? RGIII's unfulfilled potential or Derrick's Rose's body? Come into my basement and let's discuss.
WHICH FRANCHISE IS SADDER?
CHICAGO: At this point in the season, it'd be wrong to say the Chicago Bulls "are in crisis mode," but lets take a look at how their grand plan is taking shape. The promise of the former MVP guard prompted the team to go all-in this season, signing Pau Gasol to a three-year, $22 million deal that increases the likelihood of Jimmy Butler's departure next season, when he becomes a restricted free agent who turned down the team's qualifying offer this offseason. Why would he leave? Because the team won't be able to pay him because they signed Gasol (and Gibson and Noah) to long, lucrative deals under the assumption that core could compete for a championship alongside the singular talent that is Derrick Rose.
Rose has played 52 games since he was relevant, way back in 2010-11.
Most likely scenario: the Bulls compete with an improved version of last year's team in an historically weak Eastern Conference, despite lacking a healthy scorer for the rest of enternity. That's losing-your-dog-but-eventually-finding-him-but-he-never-really-seems-the-same-again sad. Still sad, could be worse.
Worst case scenario: Butler leaves next year, Rose retires (or never really gets to play again), and Noah leaves for greener pastures. That's oh-my-god-we-were-forced-to-eat-our-dog-because-we've-been-trapped-in-our-home-for-three-years sad.
D.C.: Washington, on the other hand, just missed out on the best quarterback of all time, instead trading the farm to get RGIII with the next pick -- who they've now officially moved on from. What'd the Rams end up with in return? The second pick in this year's draft, offensive tackle Greg Robinson, linebacker Alec Ogletree, Zac Stacy in 2013, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins, defensive tackle Michael Brockers, and guard Rokevious Watkins in 2012.
All Washington got was some weird memories and a bunch of angry fans looking to exchange their $150 Griffin III jerseys for something of equal or lesser value. (Maybe some gloves?) Good luck getting Dan Snyder to cave on his return policy, guys. That dude is impossible.
Washington now finds itself without any real direction on the field, a new coach in over his head, immersed in an ongoing discussion regarding identity politics that they cannot win, with a 28-year-old quarterback who was drafted in the third-round by the Browns. Picking over the Browns' discarded passer scrap heap is the NFL equivalent of scrounging for seafood in the dumpster behind an Arby's.
Most likely scenario: The Redskins draft a offensive lineman (tackle Brandon Scherff from Iowa?; Andrus Peat from Stanford?) and begin rebuilding. That implies they'll miss the playoffs for at least the next two seasons (sad), but it provides some hope that this franchise will sniff a Super Bowl at some point before the NFL is disbanded and the robots take over (sort of sad).
Worst case scenario: They trade up for Jameis Winston. That's your-mom-remarries-her-ex-husband-from-before-your-dad-and-he-starts-stealing-stuff-out-of-your-car sad. Total shit show.
WHO IS A SADDER HUMAN BEING?
Derrick Rose: He's rich, accomplished and handsome-ish (we think), so you'd think he's probably cool about the possibility that he never plays a full season again, right? Wrong. As we all know, happiness is relative and Rose (who just turned 26) is too young to rest on his laurels. Simply knowing the what-could've-been over the last two seasons is enough to make someone cry uncontrollably into their high school yearbook. Rose could've had a ring and another MVP on his resume, instantly giving LeBron a run for his money as the biggest name in American sports. No dice.
A sadder thought, however, is that instead of becoming a shoe-in hall-of-famer, Rose spent the last two seasons convincing the public he's more concerned with his knees 20 years from now than winning basketball games. People hate when athletes get huge guaranteed contracts, then dog it all the way to the bank. Rose could've been a basketball god, but his body (and overly cautious demeanor) have made him somewhat of a sad cliché. What's worse is that there's a high likelihood he never again plays at the level he did in 2010. That's the sad-equivalent of winning the lottery, getting absolutely shit-faced in celebration, then getting arrested for exposing yourself to a school bus full of children, and losing the lottery ticket in the ensuing chaos.
You could've been a millionaire, now you're a sex offender. Good job, asshole.
Robert Griffin III: His potential has yet to be realized, which should give him hope that the best is yet to come -- whether or not that's actually true. ICYMI, hope is better than sadness.
On one hand, RGIII should be sad that draft-mate Andrew Luck could very well win MVP this season while he sits on the bench with his NFL future up in the air. On the other hand, he can/does blame the ineptitude of the Washington franchise -- which should both make him feel better (not totally his fault), and worse, knowing that the world sees him as a petulant douchebag who throws his teammates under the bus to avoid taking responsibility quarterbacks generally accept. However, he can take some solace in knowing that he'd have been better off in Indy, so, ya. While that's coping with lies and speculation -- at the expense of his reputation as a decent person no less -- it's better than knowing you blew a perfectly good opportunity to cement yourself as one of the league's best players.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that Griffin isn't really good anymore, has definitely lost a step, and might not find a job as a starter next season. He went from being Aaron Rodgers to Ryan Leaf in the span of three weeks, which has got to feel like coming down from a meth binge (Leaf slam). From an ego perspective, falling so short of expectations is crushing. From a money perspective, though, it's literally like losing your lottery ticket -- which causes you to go on a meth binge. With meddling, inconsistent quarterbacks like Jay Cutler getting $126 million for simply taking snaps and losing games, the fact that RGIII isn't even in a position to get starter money -- while he's still on his four-year, $21 million deal -- actually makes me sad (and I'm a Giants fan). Derrick Rose makes $22 million NEXT YEAR ALONE!
CLINCIAL SADNESS CONCLUSION
Derrick Rose's sadness stems from the a shoddy set of legs that have all but ruined his shot at the long, prosperous career he was destined for. Griffin's sadness is a result of a bad franchise that didn't properly support him. That being said, Rose still has a pretty good shot at winning a title in the next few years, even if it means he has to play restricted minutes in 30 regular season games. Griffin will end up on another hapless, pathetic franchise next season, and won't win a damn thing as a starter unless the planets align and the Patriots sign him during one of Bill Belichick's offseason acid trips.
Griffin is the sadder dude.
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