The less said about Charlie Batch and the Steelers, the better. It’s no secret that my heart aches at the thought of what we let slip through our fingers with that uninspired loss: several records, lots of glory, bragging rights, &c. HOWEVER! As I mentioned earlier, I recovered from that “placid bed-sharting,” as I believe I put it, by watching the 1985 Spielberg/Columbus classic The Goonies. Suburban children! Treasure maps! Cyndi Lauper songs! It was what I needed. And so, without further ado, here is what I have been thinking about far too hard in the days since we let the Ben-less Steelers leave Baltimore with a win: If the Ravens could be characters from The Goonies, who would be who? Because I’m such a nice person, I’ve done all the hard work for you already …
Joe Flacco would be Mike Walsh
This is a no-brainer. What is the defining characteristic of Mike Walsh? He’s the good-hearted protagonist who, try as he might, constantly has his pure, adventurous intentions crushed by the fact he has asthma. Flacco, for all I know, does not have asthma, but what he shares with Mike Walsh is a desire to do well that is constantly undercut by his own physical limitations. Mike Walsh sees an exciting opportunity to explore, starts running into the distance, then has to stop and suck on his inhaler as he wheezes for dear life. Joe Flacco sees an exciting opportunity to gain positive yards, starts to throw the ball, then remembers he’s Joe Flacco and throws a near-pick-six, an overthrow, or a safe completion that might have gone for a touchdown had he lead his receiver just a little bit more.
Mike Walsh’s belief that he is the most important member of the Goonies is somewhat defensible, but mostly foolish. Similarly, Joe Flacco’s belief that he is the most important member of the Ravens is somewhat defensible, but mostly foolish.
Ray Rice would be Brandon Walsh
Who is the real leader of the Goonies? A person only says it’s Mike Walsh if s/he desperately wants to buy into the Spielbergian mythos of the (slightly weird) golden child who can lead a band of misfits to the promised land. Because that’s just so inspiring, isn’t it? Inspiring and epic! No, what it is, is a damned lie with no basis in reality. The real leader is Brandon Walsh. He’s strong. He’s tall. He’s handsome. He has authority over those little kids and saves them from certain death when he miraculously shows up as they are scoping out the villainous Fratellis’ lair. Make no mistake: The Goonies would never have found the treasure and would have ended up buried underneath the creepy restaurant-hideout if Brand Walsh didn’t come find them again, because he’s more valuable than all of them put together.
Naturally, therefore, the Goonies themselves tie Brandon to a chair and leave him toppled over on the living room floor. Likewise, Ray Rice is the best player on the Ravens, but, poor him, his own guys keep handcuffing him: specifically, Cam Cameron with ridiculous play calls, and John Harbaugh with tacit acceptance of Cam Cameron’s ridiculous play calls. Ray Rice isn’t exactly tall at 5’8, and I don’t know if you find him handsome or not; but as soon as you set him free, failure is less likely. I guess that’s why we didn’t give him a single carry in the fourth quarter of the Batch Debacle last week.
John Harbaugh would be Chunk
Is Chunk a good Goonie? He’s good enough: He’s loyal, unpretentious, and is decent at being comedic relief—even in truly terrible times, like when a corpse with a bullet hole in its forehead topples out of a freezer. Is John Harbaugh a good head coach? He’s good enough: He wins more games than he loses, yells at officials in hilarious ways even when yelling isn’t called for, and spouts biblical platitudes about being “refined by fire” that usually get the Ravens pumped up. But what do Chunk and John Harbaugh have in common? Despite the positives they both bring to the table, they always find ways to remind you of how ill equipped they are in certain important situations.
Chunk has a good heart (well, probably not in the medical sense), but he’s an obese coward. He’s funny, but in moments of danger he starts thinking about pizza. Harbaugh is a winner, but every three games his team looks breathtakingly bad; he’s a special teams guru who’s had crappy special teams for most of his tenure; and he refuses to call out Cam Cameron for being a moron. I wonder if Chunk has a successful but psychotic brother on the West Coast somewhere?
Cam Cameron would be Mouth
MA FRATELLI: You’re not calling terrible plays all of a sudden. You’re the one they call Cam Cameron, aren’t ya?
CAM CAMERON: Nnnnnnnnn!!! [Calls a screen to Anquan Boldin, the slowest wide receiver on the Ravens’ whole roster.]
MA FRATELLI: Huh huh huh. . . . Oh, ho ho! [Anquan Boldin gets stopped for a pathetic two-and-a-half yard gain.] Oh my god. Is that all?
CAM CAMERON: Mm-hmm. [Calls for Ray Rice to run into a wall of defenders for a two-yard gain behind a line that can’t block in obvious running situations.]
MA FRATELLI: OHHH MY GOD. [Waits for Cam Cameron to do something else stupid.]
CAM CAMERON: [Hesitates . . . . . . . . . before calling for three wide-outs to run 30 yards upfield on 3rd and 6.]