Nowhere Else Would the Words Kentucky, Viking, USO, Natalie Imbruglia, DUI, Sack, Minnesota, Johnny Knoxville, And Canada All Be Used in the Same Story: An Ode To Jared Allen
special to The DUD from Jeff Leinenkugel
That smile and Kentucky Waterfall was totally worth the 6-year, $72 million contract…
You know, as ‘journalists’ we are supposed to be somewhat unbiased. However, if you have read anything on this site before, you know that I use the term ‘journalist’ VERY loosely…think Taylor Swift. And where pretty much every story strokes the balls of the Wisconsin teams, I wanted say goodbye to a player that most likely has played his last game for the Vikings…one who I have enjoyed watching the past few years.
After a couple of DUI’s, the Chiefs decided to trade Allen to the Minnesota Vikings before the 2008 season. Jared Allen was already a league sack leader and dominant young player, but because of several arrests, the Chiefs dumped him. Well, we all love to point out the childish, stupid actions of certain players and Allen is no different…at least when he was a kid. After his second DUI and the ensuing trade, he faced the stark reality of being kicked out of the league. He locked it up, quit drinking, and went on to be perhaps the best pass rusher of his era.
Jared Allen has been a DOMINANT player on the field. We will get to that in a second. He has also been a complete clown (in the best way) off the field. His antics range from wearing the mullet (which was one of the best neck warmers ever seen in sports), always saying he was from the Culinary Institute (which was far funnier than saying your elementary school…when will that finally phase out?!), to appearing on Jackass and crushing Johnny Knoxville:
Of course, this man wearing an Ape Drape on his head terrorized the Packers for last six years, so most of you probably don’t find that funny. What you cannot take away from this man, however, is the stuff he does for his community, especially his work with the USO and Wounded Warrior Project (something I know is near and dear to this blog as well as me personally).
It is so refreshing to see someone not act as if football is truly a “tough” sport and to call it just a game. We get so wrapped up in this sport due to the saturation of outlets like FOX and ESPN telling us it is all that should matter that we forget what really does actually matter in the world. Allen has never forgotten that and has helped so many veterans. Below are two different videos certainly worth a watch, especially if you think this man is just a dumb hick…(If you haven’t seen what his golf tournament is about, be sure to watch the second clip…probably the best golf outing out there these days…unless you count the Perkins Open sponsored by Tiger Woods)…
Jared Allen turned just 31 years old this year (not that old by DE standards), the same age as Demarcus Ware, Terrell Suggs and Cameron Wake.
Acting like a kid is indeed cool, but when it came to playing the game of football, Jared Allen was anything but a kid. He is quite simply the best and most dominant pass rusher of his era. He is currently the NFL’s sack leader among current players by a margin of 9 over the next closest person (Julius Peppers) with 128.5 sacks. He has led the league twice in sacks (something only 6 other players have done with nobody doing it three times) during his career and came up a half sack short of the single season record in 2011 (Frankly, Jared Allen EARNED the record…Brett Favre was currently playing on Allen’s team that year, so he didn’t get the free lay down sack that Strahan got).
To put that in perspective for Packers fans: Clay Matthews is a dominant outside rusher. He is 26 years old. For him to get to 128.5 sacks by the time he is 30, he would need to average 20 sacks a year for the next 4 years. J.J. Watt needs to average (AVERAGE!) 13 sacks a year for the next 7 years to do what Jared Allen has done. DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys (who got a 7-year, $79 million contract) has less sacks (117) than Jared Allen. So does Dwight Freeney and James Harrison and you know, pretty much everybody else.
Allen already ranks 12th all-time in sacks and has only played the game for 10 years. Reggie White played for 15 and Bruce Smith (all-time sack leader with 200 career sacks) played for 18 years. Almost everyone above Jared Allen on the all-time sacks list is in the Hall of Fame. Some of the players not in the Hall of Fame will be when they’re eligible (Jason Taylor [14 year career] and Michael Strahan [14 year career]). If Jared Allen played just four more years and averaged only six sacks a year (he has never had less than 7.5 sacks a year and has only been in single digits in a season 2 times), he would be good for 4th all time.
Oh, what else other than dropping quarterbacks did Jared Allen accomplish on the field? As a defensive end, he has racked up 554 tackles, forced 29 fumbles, picked off five passes, and tallied four safeties (the one on Dan Orlovsky is still priceless). All in all, not bad for a man who rocked the Achy-Breaky-Bad-Mistakey on his dome while doing it.
And, because I have had a “semester” writing “poetry” in a real “college,” I thought I would do something that has never been done…write a poem. So here it goes:
The Kentucky Waterfall on your head
Putting opposing QB’s to bed
The Canadian Tuxedo blue as the sea
Flying into the backfield, free as can be.
Savannah Sleeping bag keeping you warm,
If you leave my loyalties, like Natalie Imbruglia, will be torn
You will always put opposing offenses to the test
And I honestly wish you nothing but the best.
Because most of what this guy says is gold, I leave you guys with this quote and this video about how mullets ( Mudflaps, Canadian Passports, Beaver Paddle, Missouri Compromise) are cool and manly: