The Redskins beat the Eagles on Sunday and will undoubtedly be the talk of the league this week. League execs and NFL analysts will spew hyperbole about QB Jason Campbell’s rapid maturation, rookie head coach Jim Zorn’s unexpected toughness, and RB Clinton Portis’s return to Pro Bowl form. Barely mentioned will be the ascendance, steady play, and wildly flamboyant nuts of Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, who is quickly becoming the greatest white tight end and most compelling cult hero in the NFL today. Cooley’s nuts won’t be in the headlines, but as Michael Vick said before he went to prison, they should be.
Integral to this discussion is the fact that Tony Gonzales finally broke the yardage record on Sunday and became “The Greatest Tight End Ever To Play The Game”. It’s about time. Now he can retire, stop boring us all with the Mario Lopez look alike thing, the endless helping children on United Way commercials thing, the inevitable runner up on 2010 Dancing With the Stars thing, the could have played in the NBA and has to remind us by dunking the football over the uprights after every touchdown thing, the Latin-lover Oprah brown-noser upstanding All-American thing. DAMN, dog. STOP. You are BORING, hombre. Tell me the difference between you and Helio Castroneves and I might change my mind. For now, move out of the way and let a white man show you how to dangle nuts in the most manhood-myth defining position in all of football.
Now that he’s out of the way. . . .is there any Cockasian who can challenge Cooley as the greatest TE in the game?
Whabout Jeremy Shockey? The USA tattoo and golden locks are kinda extreme, but it always feels like he’s pushing too hard – his current sports hernia speaks for itself – to make us all believe he’s packing bitches in his lifestyle. Relax, Hardcore, only the whitest of the white in pro sports, Karl Malone, can burnish his image by riding off on a Harley after games. Jason Witten? Naw. He holds some cred for earning the title of “Most Bad-ass White Boy” from the Latino Cowboy Fanbase Association, and for stoically performing the greatest NFL Films slo-mo highlight from all of last season when galloped 53 yards helmetless after getting lit up by a Philly safety and miraculously keeping his feet. That was cool. But not as cool as this:
Chris Cooley has his nuts out on the regular. There is no one better, in 2008 and beyond, to maintain the whitey-Tight-E legacies of Novacek and Chmura before him. Nicknamed Captain Chaos, he’s made a name for himself by keeping his nuts out. On The Field Nuts Out: he led the Washington Redskins in touchdowns his rookie year, went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, and has been inevitably clutch on 3rd down his entire career. Off The Field Nuts Out: he got in trouble with the Skins and the league for repeated sexual shenanigans with Redskins cheerleaders, and eventually made one of them his wife. On His Blog Nuts Out: Cooley and his brother operate the Cooley Zone, a blog famous for its Jackass-style variety show web antics and for the above picture, where Cooley exposed both the Redskins playbook and his genitals to his adoring readership. Yeah, take another look.
I do not say the following lightly: Chris Cooley is the only current Redskin who’s visceral emotional connection with fans matches that of slain Washington safety Sean Taylor. And not since John Riggins have the Redskins fans so personally embraced and loved a player like they do Cooley. Why all the fuss, you ask? Because he’s potentially Hall of Fame good. And because he’s a white tight end.
Football season isn’t Football Season without white tight ends. Let’s start with Saturdays. The Big 10 sucks at football, so why do we as Americans continue to agree that it is the greatest and most storied college football conference ever? For one reason, of course: white TEs. (Note: I’m including Notre Dame into this discussion because of its geographical proximity and general Midwestern similarity to all teams in the Big 10; they actually should have joined the conference in 1999 but for some crazy Vatican-like protectionism from their Board of Trustees. Watch a Michigan game on network TV on a Saturday. Then watch a Notre Dame game on network TV on a Saturday. Then watch an Auburn game on network TV on a Saturday. Then tell me Notre Dame isn’t a Big 10 team.)
Listen to the names of the starting tight ends for Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame – respectively: Brian Zematis, Carson Butler, Charlie Gantt, Jack Simmons, Josh Rooks, Rory Nicol, Mickey Shuler, Kyle Adams, Travis Beckum, and Kyle Rudolph. Every single one of these dudes is 250 lbs and white. When you imagine these lumbering collegiate utility linemen catching an 8 yard seam pass on 3rd down, trudging downfield slower than the fat kid in 5th grade public school during the timed mile portion of the Presidential Fitness Test, running over a DB, and shedding tacklers for 5 more yards before finally hitting the ground for a huge first down, you imagine America. Yup, I can almost smell the scent of Bacardi Limon and grass from all those Saturdays I spent passed out in someone’s lawn 3 blocks from my college team’s stadium, listening to the crowd cheer on our white TE. Can you smell it, too?
I have to qualify all of this by saying that I understand that, statistically, the greatest tight ends of all time aren’t white. Kellen Winslow, Sr. Ozzie Newsome. Shannon
Sharpe. Tony “Helio” Gonzales. Most recently, Antonio Gates. Stats are one thing. But there’s no one like a white tight end to remind us all of what it means to be an American hero. Five words: Jay. Novacek. Has. Four. Rings.
There’s a different feel to a white TE. There’s an aura. It’s all about embedded racial stereotypes – yes, all about America! When a black TE catches a ball, you’re like: why is that big wide receiver so slow? When a white TE catches a ball, you’re like: what incredible hands on that gritty, unselfish TE! Amazing – he’s such a great blocker and can catch! I bet he’s got a really great girlfriend!
Right now, the Redskins are playing like they’re going to get a lot of exposure come December and January. For the sake of everyone who roots for the New England Patriots, listens to Jenny Lewis, goes to Burning Man, and wonders how the white man can possibly still be relevant in America, I can only hope that exposure will include Chris Cooley and his white TE nuts.