Look. We get it. Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh are brothers. They both coach football, and they’re both coaching in the Super Bowl, and that’s cool. Brothers facing off in sporting events is an interesting storyline because it makes us think, “Hey, I wonder what would happen if my brother and I were really good at a sport and had to face off in a championship game?” (Spoiler: you’d probably play like the professionals you’re supposed to be, and it’d be boring as hell. Second spoiler: you’re not that good. Stop daydreaming.)
And yeah, it could be intriguing. It’d probably be more intriguing if it were brothers actually playing rather than coaching. Like, say if the Brooklyn Nets were to face the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans/Rougarou in the finals, it’d be an exciting story. What would be more exciting would be the fact that hell was freezing over, because this matchup will never ever ever ever happen.
Now then. We’ve established that this is a storyline that people will care about. In fact, people care about this storyline so much that actively disliking the storyline is a storyline itself. How nauseatingly meta.
So here’s our goal this week. We’re going to focus on storylines that interest us far more than the last name Harbaugh. We’re going to be so focused on this that we’ll make up stories that probably aren’t real stories at all. Because during a 2 week period where you can literally turn anything into a story, why just focus on the big ones?
Today’s story in the Stories More Interesting Than Harbaughs series (SMITH for short, just to make Alex cry more): what would a ring mean to Randy Moss?
We haven’t heard much about or from Randy Moss all season. And to me that is simultaneously incredibly sad and incredibly encouraging.
It’s sad for obvious reasons. We’re not going to pretend that Randy Moss is a big reason for San Francisco’s success. He’s lost his ability to stretch the defense. His yards per reception were on par with his career stats, but that’s because his receptions and yards were severely below par. He’s been used sparingly this year, and hasn’t had a game with more than 4 catches. So yes, he’s been about as important to this offense as any fourth string receiver is.
It’s encouraging because we know who Randy Moss is and what he has acted like for most of his career. Even in 2010, when it was obvious he was losing a step and no longer was talented enough to be a big dick, he still, amazingly, was one. We remember his antics, his bad sportsmanship, his bad tastebuds (you wouldn’t feed cafeteria food to your dog? Do you not realize how great Minnesota cuisine is?), and all the other things that made him a general turd of a human being.
But he has taken a full backseat role with the Niners this year, both in production and in publicity. He’s just gone about his job, catching a touchdown here, an 8 yard gain there, making not so much as a peep in the press. I’m sure that’s been as helpful to this team as anything he could do on the field. With a young quarterback and a largely inexperienced team before last year, it would have been easy for Moss to screw up the chemistry of the organization. But he didn’t, and now he’s close to getting his first Super Bowl ring.
If the Niners win, Moss probably won’t win Super Bowl MVP (duh, he’s not a quarterback). But it’s interesting to consider what a ring would mean to Moss both as a player and a person. For his playing career, it isn’t much more than icing on a Hall of Fame cake. His stats are amazing, and his impact on the Vikings and Patriots are hard to argue. At this point, a ring won’t change anyone’s opinion of him on the field. It will just be something next to his name years down the road when everyone will be too young to remember what Randy’s ass looks like (I’ll never forget).
But as a person, this ring would mean a lot. It obviously means a lot to Randy since he presumably looked at his team, figured they had a legitimate shot at a title, and didn’t make waves all year long. It would’ve been easy to do so during an eight game stretch in the middle of the season where he had eight catches. Instead, he put the team ahead of himself for once in his career, and it’s one game away from paying off.
Will Randy be able to continue the selflessness streak and win his first ring? Will he go nuts and bring back the old, trash talking, locker room altering craziness if the Niners are down at the half? Will he ever say the words “Straight,” “cash,” or “homey” again? I don’t know, but I’m more interested in that than two brothers coaching, that’s for goddamn sure.