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Top Gun

December 02, 1999 by Guest

Top Gun:

The Steeler�s own Tom Cruise

Okay, so maybe he�s a whole lot uglier than his on screen counter-part, but Kordell has more in common right now with fly-boy Maverick than he does with a professional football player.

Yeah, I�ll finally admit it: it's Kordell's fault that our men of steel are looking a bit sickly. For whatever reason Kordell just isn�t in the game. I�ve heard all your theories, and now its time for you to hear mine: I don't think he's the brightest, but I don't think he's so dumb he can't execute a play. I don't even think he's even a bad athlete or a bad overall player. He can obviously play, he�s done it before. I don�t even think he�s a whiny fag. For me, this harkens to a favorite 80�s movie of mine: Top Gun (OK, maybe Tom Cruise� problem IS that he�s a whiny fag� but that�s a whole other story)

The analogy is close to perfect� the hot shot (in our case Kordell) finally gets his chance to prove that he is the best of the best; does well in the beginning and has a terrible loss that takes his head out of the game.

[For those of you who need a refresher on the movie before we go on: The hot shot pilot, Maverick looses his navigator in a terrible flat spin that dumps them both into the sea and shakes Mav up enough to loose the Top Gun trophy. He later goes on to save the free world on duty off of an aircraft carrier.]

Well, Kordell arrived in Mirrimar the day Ron Erhardt ran that first Slash play. After his initial buzz of the tower, which sent everyone into as much of an uproar as a carrier captain with coffee all over his shirt, Kordell eventually slid into his shiny new job as starting QB. You could say his problems started after the loss of his go-to man Yancey, or that Chan Gailey�s move was a little too much for him. Maybe these past two seasons are the flat spin (victim yet TBD � Cowher, perhaps?) and we�re headed for the water right now.

But, you say, what does this have to do with horribly under-thrown passes, ignoring open receivers and an uncanny ability to telegraph his passes? Kordell�s problem is lack of confidence, lack of support and a measure of youth. He isn't a rookie, but he hasn't had any consistency since he started throwing the football for us. Three different offenses in three years is hard enough to keep up with even if you are just watching, imagine trying to play in it. Give him some consistency (not to mention some pass protection) and he'll grow in to it. Once he gets some experience and confidence, he�ll get some of that support back from you hooligans. I make no promises, but I would be willing to bet that if we keep our faith in Kordell he�ll come up big for the Steelers, just like Maverick did for the good old US of A.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I also have to make sure that some of you see the irony in blaming Kordell for all the problems that have lead to a 5-6 record going into the Jags game. OL, WR, and QB fly together, you can�t simply blame one part of the offense for the team�s un-ideal performance. Now all those bad passes definitely count against Kordell, but what about all the dropped passes? Missed blocks? Tomczak may be a little scared of how dangerous Stewart is on the field, but he�s the one who�s ended up the hero from Kordell�s, albeit unintentional, failure as a QB. When all is said and done, Tomczak�s success is only a result of Kordell�s failure. If we walk away with any kind of success as a result of his play (even a win at this point) it is only to be followed by the eventual necessity of his taking a back seat to Kordell. Starting QB or not, we WILL see key passing plays from Kordell in the remaining games.

The question remains � who�s Kordell�s new "Goose"? Will Gilbride fit the bill? Or are we looking for a new go-to man (maybe Bobby Shaw?). We are spoiled by our history of greatness, much like Cruise�s character�s hang up on his father�s greatness as a pilot and untimely demise. I know you are all tired of the comparisons to Bradshaw, so give mine a chance. My guess is it'll take Kordell a little longer than any other young QB because of that Ray Sherman fiasco... if Cowher leaves it'll be even worse. I clearly don�t think putting Tomczak in will help our cause, and Gonzalez and Wright are bound to have growning pains of their own. Send Kordell to a shrink, or better "Keep sending him up." He�ll work it out. This season it may only be one important play but you�ll be sure to hear a famous utterance come from the fan�s lips: "You can be my wingman anytime." And Kordell�s reply: "Bullshit, you can be mine."

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