Free Agent Olindo Mare

Some Seahawks fans were beside themselves when Seattle signed Olindo Mare in 2008. Mare "sucked." "Suck" is one of those words that says more than it means to. It's applied to all sorts of flavor of the week villains. It's up there with "overrated" as words people use to present a strong opinion, while unintentionally revealing their own ignorance. It says: I want an opinion but I am not very informed nor inclined to inform myself, so I will compensate by being forceful, judgmental and salty in a socially acceptable way. I will shout down those that disagree. I will feign smugness. I will glory in my betters' failure.

Well, Mare didn't suck then and hasn't sucked since. He was stuck in the kind of slump that's sure to happen over a long enough career. The 24 hour news cycle rushed to bury him. The echo chamber reverberated the stupidity. Soon it became accepted fact. The force of orthodoxy on football fans is staggering. Suggesting that Mare might not be a bad signing became by a malformed twist of perception controversial. Jesus, John, Mare sucks.

Olindo's a Florida guy and with his career winding down, I wouldn't be surprised if he signed closer to home. He still kicks a high percentage of touchbacks, consistently among the best in football, but to my eye his kicks are increasingly dependent on a flat trajectory rather than raw power. I could see his kickoff ability unraveling at some point and him becoming a liability. But until then, if Mare is interested in Seattle, Seattle should be interested in Mare. There isn't much to say about a kicker. Accuracy or how we interpret accuracy is too unpredictable to depend on. Touchbacks are much more valuable than most football fans appreciate, and though my eyes tell me his abilities are eroding, that doesn't show up in the stats, and that shouldn't stop Seattle from re-signing one of the best kickers of his generation.

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