One of my favorite parts of NFL coverage is no matter how bad you were at your job, you qualify as an expert because some clueless owner made the mistake of hiring you. Imagine if you hired a plumber, he came over and not only didn’t unclog your toilet but clogged the others in the house and was so incompetent you had to fire him. Then the next day or week you’re listening to a home improvement podcast (I’m assuming those exist) [Editor’s note: At this point, who doesn’t have a podcast?] and the host brings on the idiot plumber as their “expert.”
Would you listen to that podcast again? Likely not, and you would probably have second thoughts on the vanity that Bob Vila’s drunk nephew told you to adhere to the wall with a hot glue gun. So when I saw a story about Mike Martz ripping Trey Lance and Justin Fields for failing to break passing records during a monsoon, my reaction was elation.
In no other facet of life would we ever care about what a failure says regarding another person’s job performance, and I get endless joy from the outrage over a podcaster pulling the string behind Martz’s bloated carcass. The former St. Louis Rams head coach is a notorious asshole, and anyone asking him for his takes has to know what they’re in for.
Here’s the snippet first if you want to poison your ears.
If you don’t want to listen, the cliff notes version is that Fields was “completely awful,” and he’s never seen such a bad performance in an opener from a starter. Lance — who he “never liked” and still doesn’t like — “misses easy throws,” isn’t a “particularly good runner,” but besides that is “a hell of a player.”
I watched the entire Bears-49ers game, and there is zero way of knowing how good either of those QBs is having played in a rainstorm that can only be described as biblical. There was a torrential downpour before the game, and it oscillated between a steady drizzle and sideways sheets of precipitation during the contest.
At one point in the second half, the camera was so splattered with water and condensation that Fox made the field lines black so you could tell you were watching a football game.
It’s also easy to pile on Lance (13-of-28, 164 yards and a pick passing; 54 yards rushing on 13 carries) after that start. No one would say he played up to the preseason hype. However, he lost his starting running back during the game, and his star tight end the week of it. It’s still early, and the weather and running situation isn’t going to make a quarterback power the go-to offense every week.
The buckets of rain that drenched both teams in the always-sloppy-regardless-of-weather first games of the season make the success those two quarterbacks had relative to the circumstances. Fields turned a broken play into a touchdown to Dante Pettis and was able to muscle a ball to Equanimeous St. Brown for six on another occasion.
Martz described the Bears as a team without hope, which is patently false if you watched Fields (8-of-17, 121 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception) pull a win out of the storm cloud they played under despite the team barely breaking 200 yards of total offense. Please, please, please make Martz a weekly segment and let him drool out nonsense.
Two Martz stories to leave you with just so you’re aware of how much energy you should expend mulling over the sizzling opinions this man offers up.
The first comes via Deadspin editor and Chicagoan Julie DiCaro, and really isn’t a story as much as it is a hot mic catching Jay Cutler telling Martz to go fuck himself during a Sunday night game against Minnesota.
Only the most repugnant of humans could make Smokin’ Jay Cutler empathetic. So with that in mind, if you’re wondering who could turn Martz into a figure worthy of pity, look no further than Stan Kroenke and the hives his general appearance elicits.
If you don’t remember Martz’s departure in St. Louis, he was hospitalized during the latter parts of the only head coaching job he ever had, and as soon as he got medically cleared to coach, he was fired. I’m not sure how you feel about a coach losing his job due to injury (and asshole-ery), but even I thought it was savage.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, don’t worry about Martz. Everything he says should be taken with the several sandbags of ineptitude that make up his DNA.