How The Lakers Could Learn From The NFL

We live in an intolerably impatient world. Before quarterbacks play a single down in the NFL, they’re touted as surefire busts or greats. We want – no, need – to be the first to say something. And when we get things wrong? Who cares. No one will look back and go through each of our terrible takes to point out how stupid they were.

When we’re right? Oh dear God… We high-five ourselves. Think of how sad that would look if Twitter was real-life.

This behavior makes me miss days of yore, when quarterbacks didn’t start right away because such an introduction would be like teaching a child to swim by throwing them in the deep end. Of a shark tank. The Lakers could learn from those good old days, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Take Jameis Winston, for example. Yes, just across the field Marcus Mariota played extremely well. It helps to ease pressure when your counterpart is being booed off the damn field. How is that healthy?

Oh, and when Mariota undoubtedly stumbles, you can bet many have “Was Week 1 Fool’s Gold?” headlines already lined up.

Look across the league. Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Sam Bradford, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and the list goes on. All guys who started within their first season. I wouldn’t trust a single one of those guys in a playoff situation. Yes, there’s Andrew Luck as the exception here, so we’re batting one for what, a dozen? 15? 20? That isn’t ideal. Like, at all.

I know, you’re all saying: “Anthony, this is a Lakers website. Were you so affected by the latest kick to the nuts your Vikings handed to you that we have to listen to more of this crap?”

Again, patience is a virtue. *Shifts ice*

The Lakers head into this season with the basketball equivalent of a rookie quarterback (D’Angelo Russell), running back (Julius Randle) and second-year wide receiver (Jordan Clarkson). Yes, they’ll obviously or play consistent minutes right away, but should they bear the weight of the entire franchise as the aforementioned quarterbacks? Hell no.

Thanks to how this roster is put together, they won’t have to. While it might be infuriating early in the season when Byron Scott leans heavily on veterans, after this first weekend of football and having seen the effects of placing too much pressure on youth, I might actually be okay with it, but for only so long. Eventually, we’ll have to find out what they really offer.

Look, I’m obviously playing the result in this examination of growth between two very different sports. Just look at the NFL again, though. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Tony Romo all rode the bench before finally getting their shot. Compare that list to the one above and I’d be perfectly fine placing my team’s playoff hopes on their shoulders.

I know. “Wait and see” is among the most boring things a writer can say, but I’m riding with it. I’ll happily admit to being boring. So, while I cannot control how Byron uses the rookies early on and throughout the season, I can, however, control how I judge said rookies. Listening to Buccaneers fans boo the future of their franchise after a single half of football was sickening.

So Lakers fans: learn from how stupid the NFL can be.

Author: Anthony F. Irwin

The old guy.

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