I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this is the Jim Rome Show, but I’m never looking to make it about me. That’s just not who I am and not how I roll. But every so often, I do need to point something out and the thing that I need to point out is the fact that back in August, I set the world on its ear when I started the show with a Jacksonville Jaguars take. And people said that was crazy and there’s no way I could do it again. And I did.
Led off two shows in three days with Jags takes. And then went back again and did the unreal move of three in five days. Now I’m not trying to take credit for what the Jags have done this season… far from it. But I did the impossible then. And I’m doing it again right now… by leading yet another show with a Jags take. And this time, I’m doing it on radio AND TV.
Not because I’m trying to prove something, but because THEY’VE proven something. And because Blake Bortles is back in the news. Of course he is. And not for anything that he’s done, but for things that other people have said. Like Titans safety Kevin Byard who said that he’s trying to make Tom Brady QUOTE “look like Blake Bortles if I can and try to catch a couple picks.”
Blake had to be like, what the hell? I’m just sitting here, minding my own business, getting ready to face the Steelers and someone in a different game who is playing a different quarterback is ROASTING me?
But then again, Blake is used to it. Because Blake because he’s been getting roasted all year. In fact, he’s been getting smashed pretty much ever since he stepped into the league. He’s been the entire world’s speed bag and that hasn’t changed, even though he’s two wins away from the Super Bowl. He knows it. He even gets it.
“It’ll probably never stop. There’s people who think LeBron James sucks. So if that happens, I’m sure there will always be people who always think I suck.”
Man! Is that ever rich?! I love that. And I love it for so many reasons, starting with the fact that I figured I’d work my whole career and never once mention Blake Bortles and LeBron James in the same sentence. But that’s why this job is so great, because the unexpected always happens.
Now, if you’re waiting for me to come in here and crack Blake Bortles for comparing himself to LeBron James, then you can keep on waiting. If you’re looking for me to say, Blake, you can’t compare yourself to LeBron James because you’re barely Kyle Singler, you can keep waiting for that, too. I’m not going to mention the fact that he was benched for Chad Henne at one point and that LeBron was never benched for Cole Aldrich.
I’m not doing that. For two reasons: first off, he’s not really comparing himself to LeBron. Blake’s just making the point that if someone as great as LeBron is told he sucks, then Blake will always be told he sucks. In other words, if arguably the best ever to do it is told he sucks, where does that leave me, as one of the worst to ever do it? And secondly, even if he was comparing himself to LeBron, I wouldn’t have a problem with it because how can you respect if not love this dude’s confidence. Reminds me of this guy I know who came off the golf course with another guy I know, and asked, “How did it go? What did you think of my dude.” And his response was and I quote, “I have never seen a dude that ugly with that much confidence.” I thought that was a line of the ages. I still do. And it kind of reminds me of Bortles. Not in how he looks, obviously, because personal appearance is not show fodder, but rather in how he plays. Not well. But dude is walking around like he’s Joe Montana.
How can you not love the confidence of a guy coming off one of the all-time worst postseason performances by a quarterback and he’s referencing one of the greatest to ever lace ‘em up. That’s what you want in a quarterback. You might not want Blake Bortles as your quarterback, but you want Blake Bortles’ attitude and approach in your quarterback.
And he’s right. He could win the Super Bowl, be named Super Bowl MVP, and he’d still get annihilated. The only thing that would change is that he’d replace Trent Dilfer in that tired argument about whether you need an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl that always ends with “but Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl.”
The other thing that Bortles has that all the great ones do, is amazing self-awareness. He knows he couldn’t even hit a screen pass in that win over Buffalo. He knows playing like that is going to get them hammered in Pittsburgh. Just as he knows the best chance they have of being the Steelers is for him to turn and hand it to Leonard Fournette 70. He admitted as much, quote: “Hopefully we can throw less. That would be awesome,” adding “Leonard (Fournette) goes off again (181 yards in 28 carries) and those guys up front play as well as they did last time and we can run the ball up there and not have to throw at all.”
How can you not with a quarterback who says, ‘for us to win, they need to take the ball out of my hands. The last thing any of us in this locker room want is for me to be throwing the ball. Trust me, there isn’t a single person in this organization who trusts me, or my decision making or my accuracy with the ball. You don’t need to tell me; the last thing I ever want to do is spin the rock.
How about you take a break from kicking this guy and just appreciate the fact that he’s one of a kind. Is he great? No. But his attitude is. And the fact that he knows for them to win, he should just stay the hell out of everyone else’s way, means they might actually pull a miracle in Pittsburgh. Just I did by starting another show with a Jags take. Difference, I’m going the grain. I’m the one guy who has Bortles back. The one guy not saying keep LeBron’s name out your mouth. You got this, Blake, just keep doing you and do whatever the hell you want. Except throw it. Don’t do that. Ever again.