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Behind the Stats with Corn Kernels

By Corn Kernels

By Corn Kernels

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are falling from the trees. An assortment of mums tucked inside pots that look like pumpkins are on sale everywhere for $24.99. Corn maze magnates are busy engineering not-everywhere-you-look kinds of pumpkins like pumpkins distinguished by their thick and sturdy stems, plus polar bears, crystal stars, and Island Cheese. And lucky children don shoulder pads or pom-poms, because Football season is in the air.

Billy begs dad to let him try out for the team. Corn stalks are $3.99 a bunch. Janey comes home after sorting out prepicked pumpkins, which, price-wise, look to be good this year, then locks herself in her décor chamber to work on her splits. Everybody is excited about next weekend’s big game. But what do we really know about football? I’m professional quarterback Corn Kernels, and I’m here to take you Behind the Stats.

We’ll start today by looking at the most misunderstood position in all football: quarterback. And here at Behind the Stats we don’t pull any punches, so let’s get right to it: contrary to popular belief, QB play is irrelevant to team success. Sound crazy? Drive to Ed and Millie Awald’s farm and take a gander at their all-white pumpkins (!) which are good for carving or for displaying on your front steps, and you tell me what’s really crazy. The hard truth is that quarterback play is negatively correlated to team success. Keep that in mind when tallying up your favorite team’s record over the last four seasons.

unnamedAn even greater misunderstanding arises around the role a quarterback’s father plays in team success. Football 101: it is the QB father’s duty to be in the stands, wearing his son’s jersey, showing all the love and support he withheld throughout his daily life. If a wide-open receiver is underthrown by 10 yards, look to the stands: where’s the quarterback’s father, ask yourself? What did he have to do that’s more important than watching his own flesh and blood on game day? Is he drunk? You bet he’s drunk, and making it rain with his son’s money, feeding the pumpkin catapult with whopper after whopper, five dollars a pop, all to impress the farm’s seasonably-employed females. “If only my son had an arm like that,” he’ll quip as the massive rig slings ten-pounders, “Oh now you wanna launch a white pumpkin?,” he’ll ask with a squint. Before they can respond, he’ll pull down his trousers and bend over “how’s this for a white pumpkin?” and he’ll laugh with his upside-down face between his legs like a grinning jack-o’-lantern while all the girls give a playful slap before taking him back behind the goat-mosh. You want to know why his son is just 3-for-11 with two interceptions in the first half? Go and see for yourself. And when you do, tell him all his son ever wanted was for his father to be proud of him. All he ever wanted was for dad to say, “Son, you played a heckuva game, let’s take that hayride you wanted,” and to give a boost and then sit beside him, put his arm around, and say, “Son, I know I don’t say it enough, and I know I’m a tough old bastard, but when I criticize you, or work you over, it’s because I care about you. It’s because I love you, son. And that’s never gonna change no matter what.”

And that’s this week’s X’s and O’s with Corn Kernels! Where we go Behind the Stats.

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