It is both simple and complex at the same time. The bottom line though across all spectrums DeSean Jackson ain’t about that life.
The release of Jackson is news for a number of reasons. His talent – work ethic – affiliations – skin color – and his mere existence have churned up discussion in the past 2 weeks. All of it and none of it is relevant.
My take as a homer – a born Philadelphia Eagles fan – is that this shit doesn’t really matter. The kid is gone and we will see him 2 games a year and since he is now signed to a divisional opponent he is technically the enemy.
What is missed though is that to those outside the bubble of Philly sports – outside the bubble of how we rate and evaluate talent – outside the bubble of being Black – is the mere existence of Jackson makes him the enemy.
I admit to not being impressed when he arrived in Philadelphia. I looked at his skinny legs and neck and rolled my eyes. I didn’t give a damn that he was fast with sure hands. I simply saw yet again a #2 receiver and wondered if the football gods hated me so much that the only #1 receiver I would see in my lifetime as a fan would be Terrell Owens in midnight green.
By the time Jackson arrived I was over the fantasy the Andy Reid would ever bring a Lombardi to Broad St, and to me at least Jackson was proof of that manifested.
Jackson proved me wrong on the talent scale. He has it in abundance. Yes he is fast, but he is also more than just fast. Sometimes. Maybe. On occasion. Kind of.
Now no one can ever take away from the kid that punt return right there. I recall every moment of that game, that win, and my pride in my Eagles. I recall my gratitude to Jackson for getting it done when it should not have been done.
You can’t live on that glory forever though. NFL films is full of highlights from glorious moments in football history. This is one no doubt – but for me at least – have you brought home a Lombardi lately? No? Then what ever it takes to do it – DO IT.
My Birds have been to 2 Superbowls in my lifetime. We lost them both. 2 in the span of 41 years. This shit ain’t cute.
I’ve watched Reggie White let go. I’ve shed tears when Jerome Brown was taken from us far too soon. I’ve watched Donovan McNabb play on a broken leg. I’ve witnessed athlete after athlete come into Philly, leave Philly and have their glory elsewhere.
It feels terrible, but at the end of the day no one person above the team.
Now if that team is bringing home the gold, it is simpler to say that. Yet, real winning teams have that mentality and the gold to back it up.
New England might be satan, but they win with that mentality. Or they used to before the NFL stopped them from cheating.
So the homer girl sees one of the more talented receivers in the game released amid “controversy” over his affiliations. It is a pickle, until it is not any longer.
- How do you defend the action? You look at the facts – not the supposition – the facts.
- The 2014 draft is receiver rich
- Jackson’s salary is a lot in comparison to the current receivers on the roster
- Jackson’s work ethic can (and is) questioned
- Kelly is a brand new coach with the right to make the team meet with his vizion not Reid’s vizion which frankly didn’t work which is why he is no longer here
- The alleged gang affiliations regardless of if I like them or not affect how the player is perceived – which affects the ability to trade him for value
Those are the facts. . It is a business and it is complicated, and the myriad of reasons aside – Jackson is gone.
We can spend a lot of time vexing and flexing over the intelligence and logic of his being gone or we can get over it.
I vote get over it.
My boyfriend in my head Richard Sherman brought up some good points about the public opinion and discourse that say the Eagles decision is questionable. But the decision is made. It is done.
Explaining how Sherman “gets” Jackson and considers him a homie for life doesn’t bring Jackson back.
Identifying that there is a double standard for players vs management & White vs Black, doesn’t change anything. He is gone.
It brings up a dialogue but it doesn’t put Jackson back on the roster.
Which is where my being a homer comes into play.
I am less interested in long drawn out debates about Jackson – simply because Jackson is not helping to bring home the Lombardi. Being that he was sent to Washington he will also not hurt our chances of bringing home the Lombardi so for the homer girl – all this shit is irrelevant.
For the Black woman – raising a Black man – and who loves Black men and wants them to thrive and succeed in this world that hates them it is not that simple.
How’s that James Isray penalty thing going? Oh it’s not? But Jackson has a tattoo so now he’s in a gang? Really? Naw son.
Except for my own sanity it really needs to be naw son.
Pointing out the injustice everywhere makes me weary, and I can’t afford to be weary. It wounds my soul, and my soul needs to no longer be as battered and bruised as it is.
It brings tears to my eyes and makes me wanna holler but I am dehydrated and my throat is raw.
No this is not fair, yes it is a double standard, and quite fucked up in its existence.
I can fight this fight or I can hold onto my strength for a bigger fight.
I choose a bigger fight, and leave this battle to those with more vizion and energy. I choose to say fuck it I just want to see the Lombardi. That is my flaw in this situation that is painfully already flawed.
I look at Cooper’s stats and say they are comparable. I say he can say nigger nigger nigger all he wishes if it brings home the trophy.
I look at Macklin and say he’s a skinny fast bastard too.
I look at Chip Kelly and hope and pray he’s gonna take us to the promised land and not be Reid 2.0.
And I look at my fellow man – my fellow Black man Jackson and say sorry kid this is your own fight I have not the energy.
It makes me question if I am the activist I think I am, or if I am taking the path of least resistance.
Either way? Jackson is gone. So does it really matter?
Yes it does.
But this is someone else’s torch to run with – not mine – not today.
Jackson is not a gang member. He is not a hall of fame future resident. He is not about that life regardless of if you focus on the personal or the professional. He really and truly is another Black man in the system not allowed to simply exist but compelled to defend his existence.
He ain’t about that life.
And today neither am I.