Imagine two less-than-impressive candidates battling it out for one of the most coveted and toughest positions in America to obtain. One candidate looks the part and has the record (even if it’s a mirage) and the other has the money. Both candidates spend time trading off who’s in the lead with neither one deserving to win the competition.
No, it’s not the plot of the new Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis political comedy The Campaign, it’s actually the storyline for the Cardinals’ quarterback situation.
While the movie is funny, the Cards’ position has been more of a comedy of errors. Neither John Skelton, the QB who looks the part and has the winning record, nor Kevin Kolb, the one with the big money contract, have impressed in the team’s first two preseason games. Both have failed to move the offense down the field and have shown the kind of accuracy usually reserved for a public men’s room after a few too many drinks.
Yes, it’s only been two preseason games and a combined 21 passes have been thrown by the two players, but has either signal caller instilled enough confidence in you to believe the Cardinals can win this season? (If you answer yes, you’re either watching a different team or you’re more of a basketball fan because you enjoy lob and bounce passes more than completions.)
It’s a situation that feels oddly familiar like déjà vu or a glitch in the Matrix. While the names may be different (and not for our protection), the competition is beginning to feel an awful lot like the battle between Derek “I take this serious” Anderson and Matt “check down” Leinart. Two quarterbacks trying to straighten out their career in the middle of a chaotic Ken Whisenhunt training camp, trading off starts with fans just looking for someone to take the reins. That competition in 2010 led to the Max Hall era (or was that error?) and a 5-11 record. At the rate things are going, we could easily be heading for the Ryan Lindley show and a similarly disappointing season in 2012.
Could Kolb or Skelton turn it around prior to the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks? Of course. But if Cardinals‘ quarterback history has taught us anything, what you see is likely what you get.
So who should get the job? Don’t believe anyone who tells you that it’s Kolb’s job strictly based on salary. The only currency in the NFL — which prints more money than the U.S. Mint and has more wealth than Bruce Wayne — that matters is wins and losses. At this point both seem like they’ll be leading the team to more of the latter rather than the former.
In this campaign season the Cardinals hopes may rest on a third party candidate. Regardless of who becomes the quarterback, their best offense might have to be a good defense. That, or maybe Will Ferrell or Zach Galifanakis could come in and play the part of QB, it probably can’t be much worse.