I am a notorious optimist and humanist. This seems to be a contradiction in terms and it is. I see the glass half-full when I know the glass is broke. You should know this. I am about to step out on the rim of that glass, about to step out in faith and write things I know I shouldn’t.
Max Hall can’t be successful but I believe he will be. My head tells me a rookie (forget about the undrafted part) cannot take the field against the New Orleans Saints and play well enough to win but my heart will testify to the existence of miracles. I have seen them with my own eyes. The underdog not only can win but does.
So why do I believe this kid can do the job? I ask myself this even as I write it. I have no reply other than saying that I do. I believe my eyes. I have seen him from day one in Flagstaff and recall the times I laughed out loud and said to anybody within ear-shot, “All the kid does is complete passes.”
So why are we so sure Max Hall will fail against Greg Williams and the opportunistic complexities of New Orleans Saints defense? Why do we know with all certainty he will not be a successful quarterback at the NFL level?
Because it just doesn’t happen. I won’t bore you with the facts; we all know they’re out there…like the truth. And the truth says the odds against Hall being the solution for the Arizona Cardinals is a non-sequitor, a logical fallacy – especially against the Saints.
We have been conditioned. For many of us, the truth is not only cruel but acute, coming at us on a daily basis. Reality beats us down; reality has beaten us down – like so many times before. We cannot allow ourselves to believe in what cannot be because of what it must say about us and our intelligence or knowledge of football and life. We are cynics for a reason.
Since the beginning, this natural conflict has existed throughout the time/space continuum: fact verse faith, knowledge verse feeling, intellect verse emotion, science verse religion.
But I still believe the kid can do it. The kid knows how to read coverage; he gets the ball out quickly; he is an accurate passer.
Drew Brees did it and Max Hall could eat peanuts off Drew’s head. Kurt Warner did it and Warner didn’t have the college career Hall did – nowhere close. Ken Whisenhunt kept this undrafted free-agent rookie on his team because he saw something in him that made him say, “I believe.”
In this age of “enlightenment,” people are mocked for their beliefs. If you don’t have proof, shut your mouth or scorn and loathing will be your reward for believing in things unseen.
I don’t care. I have been mocked before. People mocked me when I was bold enough to voice my hopes of getting a college scholarship. People mocked me when I said I wanted to play in the National Football League. People mock; it’s what many of us do.
So let me be clear: I believe Max Hall is special. And I believe Max Hall will be successful in the NFL.
After all, he has the “It Factor.”
And although the pessimists, cynics and humanists might say something else, the optimist in me knows…”it” happens.