Let me ask you a question. What did you love about Jerry Colangelo?
He won you say? Well…he did and he didn’t. His Suns and D-backs teams won a lot of games over the years but if you’re getting down the brass tax (whatever that means) Jerry’s teams only won one championship. All those years, all those teams, one title.
So what was it then? I think, in part, it was his willingness to try. Big, bold moves. Maybe they worked, maybe they didn’t. Acquiring Charles Barkley. Giving Steve Nash more money and more years than even the mighty Mark Cuban would. Signing Randy Johnson to a massive deal coming off an expansion season. Trading for Curt Schilling the very next year. Countless others that you’re probably rattling off in your head now.
Fans love that kind of high risk/high reward type of thinking. Even when it doesn’t work – the D’backs giving up half the farm for Dan Haren – I think on some level most fans at least appreciate the effort.
I think of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kevin Kolb. It would be bold. A huge gamble. Controversial. Costly, both in terms of the money to pay him and the players/picks to acquire him. A whole lot of risk and a whole lot of reward.
And then it occurs to me. Have the Arizona Cardinals ever made a move like that? Had a moment like that? A bold, gutsy, screw caution, go-for-it-right-now type moment? If they have, I can’t recall it. The perception of the Cardinals is so conservative and conventional. It’s about time they slid their chips into the middle of the table and declared themselves all in.
Acquiring Kolb would be that moment.
Cards play by play man Dave Pasch was on the Doug and Wolf show last week; he believes the Cardinals are going to be aggressive this off-season. Bulger, in his view, isn’t aggressive. Palmer isn’t aggressive. Kolb….is.
You could play it safe, acquire Marc Bulger or Matt Hasselbeck. Give up a lesser pick for Kyle Orton. Push the Bengals on Carson Palmer. But none of those players have the long-term potential that Kolb does. He could your franchise quarterback for the next seven years. Or he could be a bust. There is only way you’re going to find out.
If you feel Kevin Kolb is overrated and lacks the credentials – is too much risk and not enough reward – I bet even you would, on some level, appreciate the audacity demonstrated by acquiring him. It might not be the right move but it would be one made with the right idea in mind.
And sometimes that’s good enough.