AU REVOIR, SAM BRADFORD?

A slow white guy can still accomplish some things in life and in football. For instance, he can fall the right way onto Sam Bradford's shoulder and force him to eventually have season-ending surgery. GO SLOW WHITE GUY.

If football is to play metaphor here--oh, and we want it to play the part of meaning/wheelbarrow--it is that a Duke can be brought low by the meanest stableboy's mistake. For two years Bradford was incendiary, throwing for 7,841 yards and 86 TDs in that span and operating one of the most productive offenses of his time running at full-bore off his snap release, booming arm, and sometimes telepathic ability to see holes in defenses. He did this as a freshman and sophomore. People are not supposed to be able to breeze in and do this as underclassmen, but Sam Bradford read that coverage, too, and passed right through it.

His exceptional success came at the cost of exceptionally cruel moments of random fate.

In 2007 his Oklahoma team lost a bizarre game against Colorado at Folsom Field 27-24, and then dropped their second game in Lubbock when Bradford suffered a concussion trying to make a tackle on Texas Tech linebacker Marlon Williams during an interception return. (Another stable hand interfering with the Duke's destiny.) They missed the title game and ran into a runaway beer truck.

In 2008 they ran into fellow nobility only against Texas in the regular season and in the title game; both went down as defeats. Five losses in two years separated Bradford from a national title, with three of the wins being of the strange and (in retrospect) inexplicable variety.

Football, as creative a game as it might be, is ultimately a game where beautiful gives way to brutal. Sam Bradford would have had perfection were it not for the random ugliness of a game based on blocking, tackling, and random contact: the knee to the back of Tim Tebow's helmet, the no-name special teamer who forces a fumble, the kicker whose name will only be remembered by the fellow real estate agents' company he keeps fifteen years later. It is, at heart, a democratic sport played to the mean by the mean.

Bradford said today that he needs more time to decide what he's going to do. Sense dictates that he should have the surgery and go: better that Bradford leave now with some of his special noble sheen intact and cash in with the NFL than stick around and expose himself to further abuse at the hands of his lessers. They get their days in the sun, too, and when they do stuff tends to start breaking and snapping in unpredictable, odd directions.

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