Jamie Squire - Getty Images
It's time to reminisce, share some memories, and cut ties permanently.
Wow, this letter feels like a long time coming, doesn't it? It's hard to believe that we've been together so long. I mean, could 2009 really be almost 4 years ago? Seems like just last Sunday I watched you struggle on a sub-.500 team as we got blown out of Arrowhead in embarrassing fashion to (insert any team here)... oh wait, that WAS last Sunday.
Sorry, Matt, it's happened so many times that I get a little confused at this point.
And that's really the problem, isn't it? This time in 2009, I was trying to get over a 34-14 drubbing at the hands of the Eagles, where you passed the ball for a grand total of 90 yards.
And now, three years later, I'm trying to get over a 20-37 drubbing at the hands of the Chargers, where you threw multiple picks and managed to make more bad throws than... uh... than...
Sorry Matt, I can't even think of a funny comparison to make right now. That's how bad you were, Matt.
Now, before you start with the usual excuses, let me say this right away: stop it. Just stop it, Matt. It's not the line's fault. It's not the receivers' fault. It's you. Throughout your entire tenure here, receivers and the offensive line have undergone massive change. Yet somehow, some way, they all end up looking bad with you behind center. When everything else changes with similar results, I need to look at the one common denominator. And that's you.
I mean, even my friends at ProFootballFocus (I know they aren't perfect, Matt, but they're all we've got for this kind of help) don't support your blame game. 2 sacks, 3 hits, and 6 pressures. That's all you faced all game, in 42 passing attempts. Come on, Matt, that's not that bad. That's no excuse for the terrible, terrible throws you made.
Yes, I know you threw for two touchdowns, Matt. But come on. Jamaal Charles MADE that touchdown happen by being, well, Jamaal Charles. And your throw to Dwayne Bowe was the ugliest excuse for a deep pass I've ever seen. And I've seen Mark Sanchez play, Matt.
Anyways, this is all besides the point. It's not just about last week Matt. It's about the whole year. And the year before. And the year before. And the year before. You're the same guy you've always been, regardless of the team around you. You aren't getting better as the team gets better, Matt. You're failing the Christian Ponder Test.
Now, you might want to know what that means, since it's just a made-up test I invented over the last week. What that means is this: Christian Ponder has gotten better as his team around him has gotten better. He had is issues, sure. But he got a shiny new LT, his stud RB back, and a little improvement here and there at TE and the OL and hey presto! He's completing a crazy percentage of his passes and being the game manager the Vikings need, and the kind of game manager I wish I had in my life.
Notice that he hasn't turned into a franchise QB for his fans. But he's gotten better. He hasn't just "tried really hard." He's actually gone out there and been the QB those fans needed. I get so jealous, seeing them rub their "new" relationship in my face every day. They're the new "it" couple, Matt. And it's because Christian did better when he was given some help.
You've gotten even more help to make things work than Christian did, Matt. Our therapist went out and found you all kinds of help and a great support system. Most QBs would be very happy with the people you've got fighting the good fight with you. But you still look exactly the same. I know sometimes things are tough. Sometimes that support system lets you down. But you're not a kid anymore, Matt. It's time to stop expecting others to carry you through the hard times.
I talked to one of your ex's today, Matt. You remember, the one from 2008? Don't bother to ask how I got the number, I just did, ok? And you know what I found out? You were the same guy back then, too? See, since I didn't know you back then, all I could look at were stats and stories. But they didn't see what your fans saw then, Matt. Your ex knew, even back then, that you'd never be a franchise quarterback.
Your ex told me that you were also doing all the same things back then... staring down receivers, making wobbly "floaters" of passes (in every sense of the phrase) downfield, failing to look past your first read. If I'd have known all the problems you had back then, Matt, I never would have invested my energy into this relationship. I feel like I was lied to by the people who set us up. Don't think I'm just mad at you. I just wish I'd known what I was getting myself into; a relationship that would never work long term.
I know you're probably wondering if I'm going to run right to HIM. I know you don't like him. And really, most people don't. He's a male model-wannabe, inaccurate, never-succeeded-anywhere JAG who almost got our poor friend Terrance killed last month. But here's the thing, Matt... I'm not looking for a long term commitment right now. I'm just looking for a way out of this relationship. And if the only way to keep you away from me is to be with him... well, that's just what I'm going to do.
("Closing Time" begins to play in the background)
For a while I was scared to leave you. Just because the last time I did I ended up with a guy who was bad news. I know you were worried about me when I was with Tyler. He was... the worst. I didn't tell you about it because I didn't want you to get mad, but he was abusive. Abusive to my eyes. I'd never felt like a victim before I was with him. When Kyle chased him away, it was one of the best days of my life.
The problem is I can't let fear of meeting someone else like Tyler keep me from doing what needs to be done. HE isn't very good for me, but he's no Tyler. And it's time for me to stop living my life in fear, Matt. It's time for me to get over what happened with Tyler. I'm done letting that own me and keep me with you.
(music increases in volume)
What I REALLY want is to meet someone new, though. Someone brand new, who I can call "mine." Someone who's the kind of QB who makes my heart beat just a little faster. Someone who everyone else wants to be with. Someone that I have to actually make some sacrifices in order to be with. And I'm willing to give up anything to get there. I can't take anymore of this blind-date stuff. No more guys with "issues" that no one else wanted. I just want... just this one time, Matt, to be a part of something where we take a chance.
(dramatic crescendo of music)
It's weird, writing you again like this. You know, in a way it's my own fault. I said I would stay away and I didn't. I mean it this time though, Matt. This isn't like before. I'm about to say the last words you're ever going to hear from me, but before that, please know that I did love you, once... a long time ago. It was real. And in a way, I'm glad it happened and will always remember those little moments (the '09 Steelers game, the '10 Seahawks game, the '11 Colts game...) with fondness. But Matt...
I don't ever want to see you at quarterback again.
(acoustic... "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..." as I put this in the mail)