According to totalfilm.com, the best movie bad guy of all time is The Joker, as played by Heath Ledger. Darth Vader is two. Hannibal Lecter third. Agent Smith from The Matrix is ninth. Gordon Gecko (way way underrated) is 11th. Hans Gruber (see Gecko) comes in 15th.
The complete list is here.
Not so coincidentally, the list reflects some of my personal favorite movies of all time. No secret; a great bad guy can turn a so-so movie into a great story.
That’s why Karlos Dansby going to the Browns isn’t much of a story. There’s not really a bad guy in it.
Oh, I got some tweets Tuesday from people who tried to paint Dansby out to be the scoundrel. One tweeter hoped that Dansby can root for the Cardinals in the playoffs while he’s bathing in the Browns’ money. Another suggested he had lost respect for him because he took more money elsewhere. Two tweeters do not make a consensus, but you get the drift.
Except I’m not buying this lack of loyalty angle. Dansby is 32 years old and has one last chance to hit the big time before walking away from the game for good. Is it wrong to criticize him for doing what many of us probably would have done ourselves? Yes. Yes it is.
So, no bad guy there.
What about the Cardinals? Certainly there is an immediate assumption by some (including my co-host) that the Cardinals low-balled their linebacker. Except that doesn’t make any sense. The Cardinals valued him. They spoke, often publically, about wanting him back.
They were in a difficult position and everybody knew it, leading Bill Polian to state that he felt sorry for Steve Keim. Karlos Dansby is 32, going to be 33 in November. You can’t pay a premium price for players of that age; I don’t care what they did for you the season prior. You make a fiscally responsible offer and if it’s not good enough you move on and hope your plan B (Kevin Minter) is an adequate replacement. Otherwise you’re stuck in dead-money-hell when that player really gets old.
Karlos Dansby did nothing wrong. The Arizona Cardinals did nothing wrong. A story without a bad guy isn’t much of a story.