You are here: Home>Collections>Bears

Marshall's mind-set perfect for violent NFL

March 21, 2012|By Jack M Silverstein, For RedEye

It is March 2012, year of the apocalypse, and here in Chicago strange things are happening.

The temperature has been freakishly for a week now and looks to continue that way for most of the month." To celebrate, new Bears general manager Phil Emery swapped a pair of third-round draft picks for wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Believe me: you have never seen a Bears receiver like Marshall. The team's all-time leader in receptions is a running back. Its best wideouts of the past 30 years are, in some order, Marty Booker, Curtis Conway, Willie Gault and Marcus Robinson, with one Pro Bowl between them.

Marshall, meanwhile, is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, with a 6-7 wingspan, a 37-inch vertical leap and five 1,000 yard seasons, or six fewer than the Bears have produced in 91 years. He can run, jump, catch, block and has a body that would make Jerry Rice swoon. They don't make YouTube reels featuring Bears receivers, unless you count Marshall, who has his own channel.

Of course, it is possible that Marshall punched a woman in the face last week. This will make it difficult for some Bears fans to root for him. But the cognitive dissonance involved in enjoying professional football is already a dangerous sports fan quagmire. Football chews up its participants with vicious efficiency; with the exception of O.J. and Rae Carruth, the stars you watch every Sunday have probably dished out more lasting brutality on the field than off it.

Even if he did not punch the woman in the face, Marshall seems, at best, to be an angry, aggressive man with a zeal for physical conflict. Not the sort of fella I want to join for a night of alcoholic cavorting, but exactly the sort I want to watch play football. The sport is a cruel death match that destroys its gladiators while granting immortality upon a chosen few and delighting spectators with feats of strength, speed, balletic grace and much-craved violence not seen in any other arena.

This is why we're watching. This is why we love this game.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack

RedEye Chicago Articles
|
|
|