When I heard about "The Trade," I immediately lit myself on fire on the public square of my hometown. The next day I disemboweled myself while wearing a Dan Saleaumua jersey. The day after that I stood holding nothing but a briefcase in front of a tank painted with the words, "Pick #34."
Finally, I decided that this sort of rational behavior was getting me nowhere. So I did the unthinkable.
I made peace with it. Seriously. I did. I'm fine with it. Here's the formula I followed to get to the unthinkable, untenable position of being OK with Alex Smith being our starter in exchange for two high draft picks.
1. I read and re-read and re-read a paragraph written by ESPN's Bill Williamson (here) where he reminds folks that the Raiders gave up a #1 and a #2 to get Carson Palmer (even though Palmer was coming off a five-year run that included exactly one winning season and a weird "fake-retirement-holdout," while also looking pretty washed up). Williamson also reminds us that Arizona gave up a #2 AND Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kevin Kolb (even though he was Kevin Kolb).
This does not help me in a "At least we're not the Raiders or Cardinals!" sense. It helps me understand what the market is for quarterbacks. Giving up a #2 and a #3 for Alex Smith seems ignorant...it's also better than what the recent market has set as precedent.
I will ALWAYS think the price I paid for my house was too high. But the price for my house wasn't set by what I think is fair. It was set by the market. I had to live somewhere and I decided the house I bought was the best place. I will always think the price the Chiefs paid for Alex Smith was too high (unless he's really good, in which case I will forget immediately). But the front office decided that they HAD to have a quarterback, that the immediate answer wasn't to be found in the first two rounds of this draft, and the market is the market. I'm going to have to go with their talent evaluation over mine.
2. I had to make the conscious decision to talk myself into Alex Smith in spite of my feelings about the trade. In other words, I'm not going to hold this trade against Smith. He didn't set the market. He didn't ask for those picks to be given up. Shoot, he's probably with me in wishing his new team still had those picks too. They'd help him even more physically than they'd help me emotionally.
I had to make the conscious decision--now--that I want Alex Smith to succeed worse than I want to be "right" in blasting away at this trade.
So you go, Alex Smith. You dink-and-dunk and 70%-complete your way right into my heart, you big lug. I won't hold this
lousy trade I have completely come to grips with against you, my friend. You are my guy.
3. Finally, I had to force myself to promise myself to vow the following oath: Since I will ultimately judge the new regime on wins, I must reserve judgment until, you know, games have actually been played.
(I can't say more on step 3, because I'm still working on it. This is EASILY the hardest step in the plan.)
So there you have it AP: one layman's self-help plan for making peace with the trade. It worked for me. I no longer hold any bitterness toward this
ignorant self-fleecing trade.