Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Walk Down Memory Lane...with Brinkhater

When I was a kid I used to love fall mornings. The neighborhood kids would gather in front of our house and play two-hand touch with a Nerf football in the street for hours. Back then, we looked forward to playing the game on weekends instead of watching it on TV - and obsessing about it during the rest of the week.

For a couple hours every Saturday and Sunday in the fall, we became our heroes. I used to throw lobs to the sideline for my buddy Scott, who would fall into the yard with his tiptoes still "inbounds" on the curb. We used to practice these throws and "circus catches" that we saw on NFL Sundays. Despite the fact that we grew up in the 'burbs of Seattle, in our eyes no two players had a better knack for this kind of play than Dan Fouts and John Jefferson. Playing street football, the game usually ended as soon as one kid tripped and scraped up his hands on the asphalt. If the game ended early, we went right back to practicing those diving catches into the yard - Fouts to Jefferson.

During this same time, down I-5 in Seattle, a young Brinkhater began what developed over time into a full-fledged man-crush on another NFL football player. Steve Largent you'd probably guess? Even young Hooty had a #80 Seahawks jersey... but not Brinkhater. No, back in the 80's Brinkhater was then known as Mudbonelover. Yes, the object of his affection was none other than Dave Krieg - or DAVID Krieg as I'm sure Brinkhater would correct me.

I can only imagine what the street football games were like in front of Mudbonelover's house. I bet he proudly donned his #17 and sent one of his buddies on a deep post to the streetlight on the first play of the game. He'd drop back and throw a picture-perfect bomb for a score, a-la Krieg to Daryl "Deep Heat" Turner. He'd close his eyes and hear the roar of the Kingdome crowd as they did the "wave" in his honor. On the the next possession he'd get distracted by a passing VW bug and the Nerf would slip out of his little hands and get scooped up and returned for a score the other way.




Indeed, Brinkhater's admiration for Mudbone has endured to this day as can be witnessed here, writing under his pen name, Tammy Tokas.

Ol' Mudbone - the epitome of NFL mediocrity. Consistent, if unspectacular. Good enough to play 18 years in the NFL but retired having never led his team to the Super Bowl. It might surprise you to know that when he retired, his 38,147 yards placed him in the top-ten all time, despite a pedestrian 81.5 QB Rating.

Does this resume sound a little like the one being compiled by somebody else we know? Indeed, if you calculate Alex Brink's numbers in NFL terms, his rating of 89.6 looks pretty good next to Mudbone's...and get this: according to statistics on ESPN.com, Alex Brink has NEVER fumbled.

So Brinkhater, what happened to you? How could you have embraced one quarterback for his workman-like, over-achieving, underdog persona as a kid, only to turn your back on those same qualities 20 years later?

8 comments:

Sedihawk said...

Good ol' Mudbone. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Good QB though.

And, Brink HAS fumbled. Remember the end of the Colorado game in '04? He fumbled at the 1 yard line to end the game. And it was either the '04 AC or the '06 AC that he fumbled on a sack attempt, recovered by Jordan White-Frisbee. But oh well.

GREAT comp, Mudbone and Brink. Funny how you adore Mudbone, yet adopted the Brinkhater moniker. But I understand your disdain for Brink, as you said yourself, you "hated him at hello".

Hooty McBoob said...

...and as Alex Brink is to Dave Krieg; Josh Swogger is to Dan McGwire. just look what happened when the Seahawks handed the reigns to the prototypical QB.

They forced Mudbone out and threw themselves into a decade-long tailspin. History has a way of repeating itself and lucky for us, Dobes clearly learned from the mistakes in Seattle...

longball said...

Oh man, that brought on the nostalgia flood big time. I remember making those "toes in bounds" sideline catches too in a game me and my neighborhood buddies called Catch of the Day. I remember cold fall days outside in the yard with Bob Robertson on my Dad's old garden radio, playing Catch of the Day and hearing the ROAR from the stadium accross town whenever the Cougs had a big play. I was Kitrick Taylor, of course. I remember actually wondering why the Cougars never played the Seahawks, or why Dave Craig, Steve Largent, Kurt Warner, Paul Skansi, Ken Easley, etc wouldn't rather move to Pullman and just play for the Cougs.

Sedihawk said...

I remember we used to imitate Daryl Turner. Or TD Daryl Turner, as he was called. But what we would do is look down right before we caught the ball. If there was "paint" (meaning we were in the endzone), we'd catch it. Otherwise we'd drop it intentionally. Because before Chris Carter, there was Daryl Turner, and that's all that cat did was catch touchdowns.

Hooty brought up the Swogger - Dan McGwire comp, and I have to say I don't agree. I do agree in the size and arm strength comp, but Swogger was better in his short time than McGwire was (God, McGwire was horrible. He had the mobility of a glacier. But he sure was TALL!).

But would Swogger have been better than Brink? To me, that's a silly argument. There's NO WAY TO KNOW. The last thing we saw of Swogger was him melting down vs. Colorado, then coming back for a few mediocre starts with lousy completion percentages, and then he got hurt. We know the rest of the story. Sure, he led us to wins in the clutch against New Mexico and Arizona...but...that was against, well, New Mexico and Arizona. And that Arizona game would have been a loss had they not fumbled with a minute to go, and in fact all they had to do was take a knee two more times and that game was over (what a gift from Bob STUPID).

Swogger's BCS numbers weren't much to get excited about. And, there's no way anyone can say "yeah, but he was just a youngster and surely he would have improved." How do we KNOW he would have improved? For every QB that takes a beating early and then gets really good by the time they are an upper classmen/senior, there are just as many QB's that at the end of their career, you wonder why they never got better! Oh well, Swoggs vs. Brink is so 2005. Right or wrong, the coaches made that decision and they never looked back.

Now, Rogers vs. Brink, that's another story. It's easy to forget about the Cal game last year, and remember when they put in Rogers after halftime? Some thought it was just to give the team a spark or whatever, but, Rosie's quotes after the game were eye-opening. Something like "this was a change" and that there was very little that felt temporary about it. You have to wonder how things would have played out had Rogers not injured the shoulder in that game.

Brinkhater said...

Hilarious!!!!

In fact, it is so funny, that I really hate to comment for fear of re-starting all the stuff from the previous posts.

But, here's a couple quick thoughts:

1) Sedihawk noted that I hated Brink from hello. I did. I also can say without exception, that THE MOMENT I saw, DK, the mancrush was there. Simply put, I was his biggest fan from his first exhibition game when he was the 3rd string behind Sam Atkins. And it really is NO exaggeration that I would watch every single game thereafter hoping that #17 would get put in the gam. By the time that McCormick had replaced little Jimmy Puke Puke with DK in the strike shortened season, I was already bananas...what can I say?- it was love at first sight!

2) Without question, DK was the master of the soap dish pass. And, until a couple of years ago, he owned THE NFL RECORD in fumbles (I honestly forget who passed him). In short, DK wasn't afraid to make mistakes and/or be HORRIBLY erratic (remember the boos during the Monday night game that Largent broke the reception record--DK started off like 0 for his first 20 passes!)...Brink obviously is MUCH more consistent than my man DK. No argument there.

3) But here are a few things that come to mind when I think of DK

a) Following throwing a pick that appeared to end the upset bid, DK threads the needed to hit #80 on a 55 yard out pattern to set up the final touch and victory over the #1 seeded Dolphins in Miami...

b) Without C. Warner, DK throws for 30+ touches and leads the Hawks to a 12-4 record.

c) Down 7, with 1 minute to go, DK leads the Hawks on a 83 yard touchdown drive to tie the Oilers and force overtime (we lost, but the drive and touchdown to Largent were all so clutch).

d) His 450+ passing yards en route to beating the Faders on the last game of the season to give the Hawks their first AFC West Division title in 1988.

e) After being sacked a record 79 times in one game by Derrick Thomas, DK avoids Thomas and hits Paul Skansi on a 39 strike for the game winning touch as time expired..

Of course, given my love for DK, the list could go on and on, and on..

I suppose I could also write the same type of stuff about Brink, like the game winning drive against a 3-8 Baylor team last year. I suppose I could also write about his brilliance against a 7-5 Oregon team, or his great performance against a 6-7 Bruins team. But...

So, I think the difference, beyond the love at first site stuff, is that for good or for bad, for better or for worse, DK was BAD in some big games, but he was also really GOOD in some big games.

And I think that there's the difference, Alex hasn't been able to get over the hump in ANY big game. He couldn't do it at OSU in 2005; He couldn't do it against UCLA in 2005; He couldn't do it against CAL in 2005; He couldn't do it against SC last year; He couldn't do it against AZ, ASU, or UW last year; and this year, he can't do it cuz we suck too damn bad...

But I agree with you wholeheartedly about one thing: Next year, we are going to WISH that we had Alex on the field...because for the most part, the incompletions and interceptions just aren't there with him in a noticable way anymore...one only needed to watch Rogers' performance against SC to know that 2-10 looks optimistic for next year.

Viva Mudbone! And GREAT frickin' post.

Hooty McBoob said...

I struggled all day to come up with a decent topic and that's all I could muster.

Please know that my tongue was planted firmly in cheek as I wrote that - so thanks for being a good sport, Brinkhater :)

Now, we just need to work on the eHarmony connection with Tammy Tokas...

longball said...

As a lifetime Hawk fan who is also a Pullman native and Cougar maniac, you can imagine my shock as a child when my father politely informed me that my homey, Paul Skansi not only was a HUSKY, but had returned a last second, game winning kickoff (with about 6 unflagged clips) against our beloved Pullman Greyhounds in, what was at the time our only visit to the state championship game. despite all of Jeremy Steven's attempts to prove this rule wrong, Paul Skansi stands as the ultimate example that once you put on the blue shirt for the Hawks all past transgessions are forgiven.

As far as DK vs AB, i have to admit, that unlike AB, DK took his team to places they had never been before. No doubt that alone tips the scales in his favor in an endearment contest. Plus he was always rockin with that mini-mullet action.

Anonymous said...

I am the real Tammy...who the heck are you? It would have been nice to ask if you could use my name...but I guess politeness doesn't become a Cougar fan.