Column: Losing for winning

By Ian Gold

Sometimes the best offense is a horrible defense and a stagnant ground game. NFL Week 8 is over, and some teams seemingly have already thrown in the towel. So what is next on the doghouse agenda? Lose. Lose quickly and win on draft day.

It’s hard to see your pride and joy look so futile. But sometimes you just stink and need an influx of young talent. There is nothing the front office can do now. The trade deadline has passed and free agency won’t pick up for months. Three seasons ago I watched my New York Giants play absolutely awful down the stretch. They were out of playoff contention and got worse week to week. While I never rooted for a loss, I secretly celebrated after the inevitable beating. I love Eli Manning, and we couldn’t be happier together.

The way some teams are playing it appears they are already watching Mel Kiper’s big board.

“So you say, if we lose the rest of our games we can get who?”

Some teams are bad, but don’t have that flopping-fish look just yet. Take Green Bay for example, they’re 1-6, but still are fighting. Brett Favre is most likely on his farewell tour and won’t let them go out like patsies. Giving up is not in his vocabulary, and that’s the legacy we have to thank him for. Also the Jets will never lie down because Herman Edwards is a fighter, who is due for some good sound bytes soon.

On the other hand, some teams look clueless, and if you watch the press box shot close enough you can see the general manager popping cork in the background while watching USC.

Here’s a look at some of the bottom-feeders hoping to gain from losing:

Minnesota – The Vikings had dreams of going to the Super Bowl. Go ahead and giggle, then start reading again. This team is horrendous. Its all-star quarterback is having the worst season of his career, the team can’t stay healthy and are having sex on yachts with dirty pirate hookers. I don’t think Minnesota will abandon Daunte Culpepper just yet, but they can’t seem to find a running back. I bet crawling to the finish line and drafting Reggie Bush would make the hurt go away. Bush on turf, a tear just dropped from my eye.

San Francisco -ÿThe Bay Area had Matt Leinart fever last year and had to settle on Alex Smith. Do you think they will covet the same star as the Vikings do? Bush is another California darling, playing in the same backfield as Smith did. But the 49ers are young and probably won’t quit, earning them too many wins to be in the Bush sweepstakes. Therefore, it’s time to sure up the defense. Big physical corners like Virginia Tech’s Jimmy Williams don’t come around often. Nothing says rebirth like a franchise corner.

Arizona – This was a team thinking divisional crown, but they are so bad that they are sharing the basement with the 49ers. The Cardinals keep making excuses. Sorry, your quarterbacks just aren’t any good. It’s time to lose a lot, and draft a marquee QB. Matt Leinart jumps out at you, he reminds you of Tom Brady to be honest. But the sexy pick might become the second Vick – Michael keeps saying how much better Marcus is and the dirty birds have been flying high. Marcus would love Arizona’s wide receiving corps, and he brings the dangerous ground attack that Leinart couldn’t. Choosing between Leinart and Vick, I don’t think you’ll go wrong.

Houston – David Carr has been battered for years now. When are they going to wake up and select a couple offensive linemen? Lately, the trend has been to pick up linemen through free agency because it’s easier to predict their effectiveness. But the Texans should have a very attractive pick in a draft packed with star power. Trading down to a team with multiple first round picks is their best choice. They probably could bargain for a third-rounder too. Texas’ other football team needs a lot of help but have their bases covered at QB, WR and the RB positions.

The Giants packed it in and grabbed a Manning, now I get to celebrate on Sundays. If these teams continue to make mockeries of themselves in 2005, they will be singing a different tune in late April. The podium of the NFL draft has great acoustics.

Ian Gold is a senior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected]