He sucks. Well, what about his play compels you to make that statement? They gave him a shot once and he sucked.
While that statement says nothing, it is enough to have wiggled its way into the descriptions of the LA Rams‘ backup offensive linemen. It’s the ‘common language’ of saying nothing that is is the commentary that collapses an NFL offensive lineman’s dreams, lifetime body of work, and constant vigilance to be ready to play someday into a single letter grade: F.
Saying that a player sucks is some form of universal fanbase vernacular that conveys anything from ‘I’m not convinced that he is quite up to the task of starting 17 NFL games’ to ‘I would be happier to put an orange pylon on the field’. The more outlandish the perspective, the more likely it will attract supporters from other fanbases, register more ‘likes’ on Twitter, and maybe even more followers.
It’s a ridiculously simplistic flawed perspective. It is the antithesis of development, and experience, of learning. It is the final and permanent decree of finality. The unlearned’s viewpoint of halting intelligent conversation by never letting it get started. It takes the woods of the doubting Thomas and amplifies it to the nth degree. It rules out the possibility of debate, and of the chance of accepting the facts that great players are not anointed or born that way, they must achieve that greatness through adversity and perseverance.
Claiming a player ‘sucks’ is both myopic and foolish. It shunts further conversation. It defines ambiguity in absolute terms. (Only the Sith talk in absolutes!) It’s bad taste, but in today’s upside world of ridicule and one-liners, it’s socially acceptable. In its most basic elements, it seeks to diminish someone else in an attempt to become more prominent.
Rookies who have yet to take a single NFL snap are often touted by fans, pundits, and analysts as sure-fire fixes to an offensive line that struggled. Veterans who have yet to play significant numbers of snaps, but who have been coached and trained for months, perhaps years, to show up in an NFL game and perform well, are discounted like the wrapper to a candy bar. Oh, the irony!