Life is a clown.
No matter how happy and funny it seems on the outside, somewhere deep inside, the inescapable gravity of negative emotion remains ever-present.
Carson Wentz’s surface hides what lies below.
After Nick Foles led the Eagles to a massive upset over the Rams, the most common thought echoed across social media was not “good for Foles” or “this is really exciting” or even “I’m happy,” but “I can’t wait for the bad hot takes about Wentz’s future.”
It is always stressful to have big conversations about the future. About the unknown. About things entirely outside our control. It is much easier to ignore The Future, to proceed with the status quo until things have become so irrevocably broken that all we can do is wallow in self-pity about how we should have just addressed the monsters before they grew so large they could not be defeated.
Wentz is a monster.
It’s not his fault, of course. He doesn’t want to be a monster. He simply has no control. You can identify a monster by the reaction whenever its name is mentioned. The malodorous cloud is evident. The vibrations in the air itself change. Every conversation about a monster becomes toxic. Merely thinking about the monster becomes toxic.
Wentz’s life and career is now a battleground on which others fight while he simply tries to reclaim himself. The gravity well grows deeper.
When a fact appears self-evident, people prepare to defend it against those who are less informed than them. It is a basic human instinct. This defense mechanism is sufficient until it becomes unable to differentiate between friend and foe. When this mechanism fires blind, it obliterates reality and fiction indiscriminately. What is supposed to be defense of the truth quickly becomes destroyer of the pursuit of more perfect knowledge.
Time changes all things.
For 13 games in 2017, Carson Wentz was undeniably an MVP candidate QB. But then he got hurt. Pre-injury 2017 Carson Wentz no longer exists. He is the former truth. It is impossible to deny that he once existed, but it is equally impossible to deny that he no longer exists. That Carson Wentz is fractured.
Fractured wrist. Fractured back. Fractured ribs. Torn knee. Fractured back again.
Fractured pride. Fractured mystique. Fractured aura. Fractured confidence.
His MVP season is a beacon of light through the darkness, but the darkness remains. The light surrounded on all sides by mere averageness and constant injuries. Rehab. So much rehab. Watching his backup win his dream.
The guy you shouldn’t worry about.
This is not a monster of Foles’ making. Foles is not the future. Foles is the mirror. Foles is the doubts that run through your head as you lay in bed late at night. When the mere thought of asking whether Foles is a better option than Wentz causes recoil, the cause is not Wentz’s challenger, but the mere existence of a challenger. If there is an actual conversation to be had about who is better, then the question of whether Wentz is the future is already answered, even if Wentz is ultimately better. Only by shutting down the conversation entirely can Wentz remain on an unassailable pedestal.
He’s just a man. Do not deify a mortal. Have the conversation. Accept what it entails. Move forward.