This would normally be a matter for Comrade McKenna, it being a Washington United FC Real Rovers matter, but Alex Smith belongs to the nation now, since the moment he had his leg destroyed and then robo-assembled again so he could continue to chase the dream that has done nothing but simultaneously enrich and savage him.
With the news that Ron Rivera has moved past the Dwayne Haskins Experiment and decided that They Who Shall Not Be Named will now employ Kyle Allen as their starting quarterback, thoughts promptly skipped over Allen, who served Rivera in that capacity a year ago in Carolina, to Allen’s backup, the aforementioned Smith.
This is all part of the ongoing Washington Quarterback Wormhole, as the Fightin’ Anonymii haven’t had a starting quarterback last more than three consecutive years since 1993. In fact, in those 27 years, they’ve had 33 quarterbacks, and only four (Gus Frerotte, Brad Johnson, Jason Campbell twice, and Kirk Cousins thrice) have managed to start all 16 games in a season. This is more than just the curse that was highlighted by Robert Griffin III’s shredded knee in 2012; this is the way of Washington.
And when they signed Smith in 2018 as a bridge to finding the next Griffin only to see Smith’s own leg mangled in a loss to Houston, and his life endangered during what ended up being 17 surgeries to save the leg, he fiendishly rehabbed to the point where he has now positioned himself to do the maddest thing he has ever done: play again.
As the backup to Allen, Smith is now a heartbeat away from the usual horrors that await a Washington quarterback, though horrors are hardly a new thing to Smith in this game. Drafted by the wrong team (the 2005 49ers, who passed over Aaron Rodgers so that Smith could take Rodgers’s beatings for him), rehabilitated during the rational Jim Harbaugh years only to be dethroned by Colin Kaepernick after an injury that turned into its own disaster, he went to Kansas City and benefited under Andy Reid until he was made redundant by the song stylings of Patrick Mahomes. He found a new home in Washington and led the Unworthies to a 6-4 record before getting hurt again, this time catastrophically.
In short, you’d think he’d take the hint by now, but he is more tough-minded (and clearly stark-staring nuts) than 15 years of mostly heart- and bonebreak. He is now the usually crappy Washington quarterback luck from returning, and we are just as close to having his 30 For 30 replayed on ESPN ad nauseam until and after the next change happens.
Except, of course, that here comes the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse—COVID The Nineteenth—on the outside and closing fast. More Titans and Patriots are coming up redlined as we see just how patient the virus can be before manifesting itself upon the unsuspecting swab, and the NFL is now transitioning from blind confidence to outright panic that the virus will swallow the season.
Probably, if we know Smith’s luck, that’ll happen either right before he is named the franchise’s 35th starting quarterback in 27 years, or right after the WFT catches the damned thing en masse and ruins his next and last chance to have the sport he loves far too ardently knee him square in the goolies.