I travel to Los Angeles frequently for work, which comes with varying advantages and disadvantages. Among the advantages are beautiful weather, palm trees, and beautiful women. Among the disadvantages are traffic (not the movie starring Michael Douglas! That was ok!) and the same beautiful women because they won’t sleep with you unless you make seven digits. I have seven digits on one hand, but I’ve found that it’s just not the same. But my favorite thing about visiting L.A. is the occasional celebrity sighting or encounter.
I once ran into Tiffany Amber Thiessen at Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Santa Monica. Tiffany Amber Thiessen! Yes, your friend and mine, Kelly Kapowski of Saved By the Bell. Even though I was more of a Lisa Turtle guy myself I was rather thrilled to see TAT consuming a halibut taco. Oh, the simple pleasures of life. I have seen Kato Kaelin arguing with a woman about a parking spot. I had a beer with Andy Dick at a dive bar in Burbank. All of these moments I treasure with the same passion that I once held for my Star Wars action figures. But one moment stands above them all. While waiting in the check-in line at LAX I saw a group of people making its way toward me, a hive of bees swarming around one individual making his way through the airport….Brad FUCKING Pitt. I didn’t get closer than twenty feet to him, and could barely see him, and we didn’t make eye contact or have a special moment or anything, but it seemed like an exciting thing at the time.
What does this all have to do with our beloved Seahawks, you ask? Patience, grasshopper! You have so much to learn! Go wax on and wax off and paint the fence and come back when you have learned a valuable lesson. Back already? Nice work. You are now ready to defeat the Cobra Kai.
So after seeing his royal Bradness, I stood in line wondering why and how he became famous and other talented actors didn’t. There’s the matter of his looks. That helps. But there are plenty of good looking actors and actresses who don’t reach his level of superstardom. What I ultimately decided was that it is a combination of luck, opportunity, and talent. For Brad Pitt, he just happened to be cast in a little movie called Thelma & Louise and it ended up being his breakout role. You could go down a list of actors and actresses and point to the role that MADE them. After Thelma & Louise, Brad Pitt’s career went on a rocket ship trajectory and he is now followed through airports by tens of hangers on, photographers, and adopted children.
The question I am interested in is: who will be this year’s Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise for the Seahawks? It’s exciting to think that there is a fairly unknown player on this team that will rise to become a star. It’s happened recently with the likes of Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson, now two of the more prominent players in the entire NFL. Not all actors rise to the level of Brad Pitt though—there are plenty of well-known actors that do not become megastars. They too had a breakout role. For the Seahawks, players such as Doug Baldwin (rookie year), Brandon Browner, and Bobby Wagner might qualify as the “Paul Rudd” breakout players.
In order to make my predictions seem more important, I sought sponsorship. I first thought it should be the “Thelma & Louise Breakout Player”, but realized that sounded pretty lame. What company most represents a breakout? Valtrex! According to a friend I know, this drug helps prevent Herpes breakouts. Perfect! But maybe not so family friendly. Which is why I present to you my candidates for the 2013 Seahawks Proactive Breakout Player of the Year.
There will be two types of players eligible for the SPBPOTY. The first type is the player that has not had much significant action in an NFL regular season game. They may be rookies or players that just haven’t had much opportunity. The second type of player that is eligible for the SPBPOTY is a player who has received playing time in the regular season but makes a significant jump to play at a much higher level. We will consider this player to be very much like George Clooney, but with two different possibilities. It could be a role player who gains a starting role, like Clooney making the jump from playing a handyman on the Facts of Life (and many other TV roles) to landing the role of Dr. Doug Ross on ER. Or, it could be an established starter who makes the jump to being a bona fide star, like Clooney making the leap from ER to being one of Hollywood’s leading men.
In order to provide some means of measurement and comparison, and to pander to my sponsor, I will rank the breakout candidates from 1-10 zits (10 zits is really, really good!).
1. Benson Mayowa: Remember the show Benson? Robert Guillaume was the best, and he played a believable monkey in the Lion King, too. I think our Benson is destined for the same level of stardom this year, which is to say not much. He’s on the list, obviously, and he like all players has a legitimate chance to breakout because Pete Carroll will play people that deserve to play, but I think he’s on the roster mostly as depth and as a player to keep for the future—his breakout may come, but I doubt it will be this year. He has at least the first four weeks to impress, but is a candidate to be dropped when Irvin returns from his suspension. (2 zits)
2. Jermaine Kearse: Chop Chop has looked very good this season, flashing KR skills, solid route running, and (GASP!) good hands. It’ll be tough for him to get his looks at WR with Rice, Tate, Baldwin, and (eventually) Harvin in front of him. Once Rice’s ______________ (Body part) (I love Mad Libs!) gets hurt in week four, it’ll be easier for him to see the field. Something tells me that he’s a bit of a preseason wonder. (4 zits)
3. Stephen Williams: Faces same difficulties as Kearse as far as seeing the field, but has the distinct advantages of size and having shown the ability to go deep. I think he will be much more important to the team than his stats will indicate. This year’s BMW? (6 zits)
4. James Carpenter: JC was a carpenter. Just saying…he might be the savior for our offensive line. He has the size and seems to have the talent, but needs to stay healthy. I wouldn’t bet on it, but he’s still a SPBPOTY candidate. (5 zits)
5. Walter Thurmond III: Antoine Winfield’s releasetirement paves the way for WTIII to step up. Like Carpenter, Thurmond has been bit by the injury bug his entire career. He has looked great and been healthy all preseason. I’m a believer. (7 zits)
6. Christine Michael: Pretty sure I’d go by Chris if that was my name. Or Christ. But no, he goes by “Kristin don’t call me Christine” Michael. For some reason that I can’t articulate I think this is a good sign. Has speed and change of direction oozing from his pores, which is probably why he will breakout this year. I think the Hawks will find a way to get him touches and he has a chance to breakout even if Beast stays healthy. (8 zits)
7. Golden Tate: This would have to be a George Clooney ER to movie star jump. Though he played great last year and became known league wide, he did only have 45 catches and 688 yards. I don’t think 60 catches, 1000 yards, and 8 TDs is unreachable for Tate, and in a contract year he will be extra motivated to produce. (8 zits)
8. Russell Wilson: What? Didn’t he breakout last year? Yes. Could he do it again? Absofreakinglutely. Pete Carroll, when asked to pick this year’s breakout player, selected Wilson. “He’s a million miles ahead of where he was at this time last year”, Carroll said. There’s part of me that thinks expectations for Wilson are too high—that if he replicated last year, even with a few more interceptions, it’d be a successful sophomore campaign. But there’s this other side of me that 100% believes in Russell Wilson. His work ethic, leadership, and desire to be great could contribute to a legendary season and career. While I know I should curb my enthusiasm, I prefer to think about how great Russell Carrington Wilson could be. There’s a chance that we remember this year, not last, as the year that he ultimately broke out. (10 zits)
Thoughts? Opinions? Feelings? Jokes? Discuss below….