Jacoby Jones' Deal With The Devil Ends In A Pool Of His Own Blood
Why has Eli Manning been largely average (and kind of dopey) for his entire career and yet strung together two of the most courageous postseasons in NFL history?
Why was Tommy Maddox a complete bust as a first round pick in Denver, and then out of nowhere has one good season in Pittsburgh AFTER selling insurance for a few years?
And seriously, what in the blue hell do we make of one game wonders like Larry Brown or Timmy Smith?
The fact of the matter is that sometimes there just are no good, tangible reasons for sudden impact by an athlete. It's the beautiful randomness that makes sports the ultimate reality show. We have no idea how or why these things are happening.
I am, however, a big believer in karma, in sports homeostasis, and in the natural balance of the sports world recalibrating itself at some point. When something happens for no good reason, oftentimes the market corrects itself. Put simply, what goes up, must come down, and in the end these outliers and their All-World performance can only be categorized as a "deal with the Sports Devil."
And if that's the case, then Jacoby Jones' pact with Sports Satan might have the most painful severance payment in the history of sports karma.
I think it's critical we understand how we arrived at this point, so let's recap, for just a moment, the last 16 months in the life of Jacoby Jones:
* After a five year career in Houston where he was best known for never improving as a wide receiver, getting pinched for a DWI, and committing the biggest gaffe in the short history of the Texans when he muffed a punt in the playoff loss to Baltimore, Jacoby Jones was released in May 2012.
* After signing with the Ravens shortly after his release from the Texans, Jones had a 2012 regular season that was a lot like his five seasons in Houston, making some impact in the return game, but showing minus skills and doing almost nothing as a wide receiver (30 catches).
* As soon as the calendar flipped to 2013, something happened. For three legacy changing plays, Jacoby Jones, morphed into a combination of Jerry Rice and Devin Hester -- the Hail Mary pass against Denver to tie that playoff game at 35, the Super Bowl bomb from Joe Flacco right before the half to give the Ravens a 21-3 lead, and the 108 yard kickoff return to start the second half of the Super Bowl and give the Ravens a 28-6 lead.
* It all culminated with Jacoby Jones' being named the 87th best player in the league in the annual NFL Top 100 Players poll, a sporty accomplishment considering Jacoby was never even the 87th best player at his own position.