Last night, I climbed under the covers with images of dancing Becton, Wills and Wirfs bears in my head and I thought I had better distract myself if I intended to get a good night’s sleep.
So I turned on Dateline and watched in horror to learn of some dude rescuing his three children from an inferno in his own home only to discover that his wife was trapped in her bathroom with no way out because the window had been boarded up. Tragic coincidence? Or heinous murder?
Two commercials later, I must have fallen fast asleep because I woke up at midnight to Jimmy Fallon. Typically in that situation I race to turn the TV off in fear of not being able to get back to sleep—-but suddenly—-I was entranced by a live performance of “Me and My Guitar” by A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, featuring H.E.R. on lead guitar.
The was NO chance I could turn this off—-you can see for yourself—-in fact, wait till you see H.E.R.’s guitar solo at the end of this 3 1⁄3 minute version—-wow:
Sometimes, it feels like fate to wake up to the TV on in the middle of the night. It’s as if I was absolutely meant to hear this song.
The second it was over, I turned off the TV and attempted to plunge back into a golden slumber.
Yet, to be perfectly honest, a sudden wave of emotion came over me. And I hadn’t fully realized it until that moment in the dark—-that no matter which players at the NFL Combine blow me away—-the 2020 NFL Draft for the Arizona Cardinals will always begin and end with the hope of reuniting QB Kyler Murray with WR CeeDee Lamb.
So then I got to thinking—-why am I so emotionally attached to this kid?
The first reason is obvious—-I witnessed and admired the magical chemistry that Murray and Lamb had at Oklahoma and I dreamed of seeing them playing for the Cardinals.
The second reason is—-the Cardinals haven’t drafted a #1 WR since the 2004 NFL Draft when they selected Larry Fitzgerald with the #4 pick.
And then I got to thinking—-if there is an ideal WR for Larry Legend to pass the WR1 baton to, that WR is CeeDee Lamb.
Fitz and CeeDee have much in common—-
- The love of the game
- The ability to play their best when the lights are brightest
- Their phenomenal hands and ability to catch toughly contested passes
- Their love for their teammates
- Their eagerness to block
- Their humble, soft-spoken personae off the field
Like this nugget Professional Pancake Flipper posted for us to see on yesterday’s “Combine WR Conundrum” thread:
Nice little block by CeeDee Lamb.#BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/u6xdfQtwXJ— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) December 30, 2018
Yeah—-something akin to this for The Legend himself:
And this other nugget from Professional Pancake Flipper:
Take a gander at this 50/50 TD catch:
Akin to these:
CeeDee: Humble and Soft-Spoken:
Larry: Humble and Soft-Spoken:
Here’s The Rub:
When the Cardinals drafted Larry Fitzgerald in 2004, they did not have a franchise QB. Over Fitz’s 16 year career he has caught passes from 21 different QBs, highlighted by two 3-4 year stints with Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer.
This time when the Cardinals draft a #1 WR, they have their franchise QB, Kyler Murray, already in place. The Cardinals are now in a position to develop unprecedented continuity at the QB position—-thus imagine how auspicious it would be to have Kyler Murray and CeeDee Lamb in tandem as Arizona Cardinals for their entire careers.
Kyler Murray has made it clear—-he wants the Cardinals to take CeeDee Lamb.
In my opinion, Murray’s the single most important voice in the organization that the Cardinals should heed.
Murray and his young teammates are taking ownership of this team—-they want to win and win for years to come and not just be a 2 or 3 year flash in the pan.
That’s all I could think about in the middle of the night while watching A Boogie sing “Me and My Guitar.” Give Kyler what he wants. And when H.E.R. nailed that guitar solo, all I could see was CeeDee Lamb breaking away from the pack and taking it to the house.
And, of course, then I found myself loving every minute of watching Larry Fitzgerald tackle CeeDee with joy in the end zone.
The Cardinals have been blessed all of these years with having a true and genuine All-Star at WR—-so much so—-it feels like a time-honored tradition. A raise of the glass to the great ones I have seen with own eyes: from Sonny Randle to Mel Gray to Roy Green to Anquan Boldin to Larry Fitzgerald.
Now that’s a tradition and leap of faith to be reminded of in the middle of the night—-on the eve of February 29th.