Sunday, May 13, 2007


The Bizarro World. A backwards world the exact opposite of our own. A place where an imperfect duplicate of each of us resides. On the Bizarro World, Up is Down and Down is Up. Our backwards doppelgangers say "Hello" when they leave and "Good bye" when they arrive. Everything is the opposite. For example, on our world NFL General Managers strive to improve their teams by trading for draft picks and quality players in exchange for expendable talent. The best GM’s, a Bill Polian, a Ron Wolf, or a Don Klosterman, do this effortlessly. On the Bizzaro World, their imperfect duplicates do the opposite, getting rid of good players and high draft picks in exchange for disappointing players who will do little for their new team. Some say the Bizzaro World is just a fictional place to be found only in the pages of Superman comics. Perhaps. But allow me to point out at least two Bizarro General Managers who actually exist and live in our world. And for five years, these creatures actually possessed complete control over the personnel decisions of a professional NFL franchise. The names of these Bizarros: Dave Wannstedt and Rick Spielman. Don’t believe me? Check out this series of moves they turned in from 2001 and 2003:

2001: MIA blows a first round pick on CB Jamar Fletcher. Spielman reportedly wanted to draft Drew Brees but Wanny, still believing Jay Fiedler to be Marino's worthy sucessor, overruled him. The frequently burned Fletcher was a huge disappointment in his Dolphin tenure.

2002: MIA trades two 1st round picks plus a 3rd rounder for Ricky WIlliams. Now this move looked pretty good for awhile as Ricky was great in 2002 and ok in 2003. However, Ricky's long strange trip had just begun. In 2004, the world discovered that he was a head case of epic proportions as well an afficionado of the hippie lettuce. Ricky's quitting in 2004 (to avoid failing a drug test) played a big part in the Dolphins' 2004 collapse. (And Wannstedt's giving Ricky 775 total carries in two years also probably didn't help Ricky's desire to return either). Ricky contributed some in 2005, but it looks like the ganja monkey on his back has ended his career. So two plus years of Ricky, no playoff appearances, the loss of all those picks, and the collpase of the franchise in 2004 means the verdict is in on the trade: disaster.

2003: MIA spends its highest pick left, a 2nd rounder, on OLB Eddie Moore. The constantly injured Moore stunk when healthy, played in only 18 games, and was wavied in 2006. Spielman wanted to draft Anquan Boldin but Wannstedt overruled him

Other than Chris Chambers and wife-beatin’ Randy McMichael, none of the Wannstedt/Spielman drafts produced much in the way of talent though I’ve only highlighted the top picks. Anyway, by the end of 2003 H. Wayne had had enough. He stripped Wannstedt of his power over player personnel in 2004 (I wonder why) and gave it to Spielman, who was made GM (I wonder why. No, really I do. Does anybody know?). Spielman celebrated his promotion by going into Bizzaro-overdrive, let's just call it Bizzarodrive, and executed these magnificent trades in 2004:

1) A 2nd round pick for Eagles QB A.J. Feely. Possibly the worst trade in team history. Feely had started four whole games in his three-year career. Needless to say, Feely was not the answer at QB. He wasn't even good enough to be a backup.

2) Jamar Fletcher and a 6th rounder for David Boston. Fletcher wasn't any good, but at least he's still playing. Boston blew out his knee racing for an overthrown Jay Fielder pass in practice and didn't play in 2004. The one bright side of the devastating injury was that Boston didn't have to serve a four-game suspension for steroid use after all. The Dolphins cut him, resigned him, and he caught five whole passes for them in 2005 before tearing still more knee ligaments. He hasn't played since.

3) A 4th rounder to Minnesota to move up in the first to take T Vernon Carey. Carey appears to be yet another first-round bust. Miami could have just stayed put and taken UM nose tackle Vince Wilfork, but instead as a Patriot Wilfork now gets to terrorize the Dolphins twice a year. Miami actually had Wilfork ranked higher than Carey on their draft board but they needed a O-lineman to replace their 2000 1st-round pick Todd Wade who let get away in free agency.

4) Adawale Ogunleye and a 6th rounder to CHI for WR Marty Booker. Booker's a good receiver, though wasted in the Dolphins' putrid offense, but Ogunleye was one of the team's best defensive players and resigning him would not have cost them that much more than what they paid Booker.

5) A 3rd round pick to STL for RB Lamar Gordon. The Rams probably would have released Gordon eventually but Spielman just couldn't wait. Gordon played in three games for Miami, averaged 1.8 yards a carry, and then suffered a season-ending injury. He's out of football now.

I don’t believe any humans could have purposely made this many bad deals in such a short time, thus my Bizarro theory. After a 1-8 start, Wannstedt resigned as head coach during the 2004 season and Huizenga broke out the Blue Kryptonite on Spielman after the season. Me so happy. But for five years Bizarro Dave and Bizarro Rick were actually given the keys to an NFL franchise. And they drove it into the ground.


Mike said...

Didnt Jamal Fletcher drop several crtical touchdown passes in a playoff game with the Pats in 2000 or 2001? What a douchebag, setting up an Adam Vinitieri winning ield goal?

Uncanny analysis. How the f&%^ did these guys end up in the NFL?

Rob said...

Absolutely correct sir! Go here for Fletcher's greatest hits of 2002: