Right now, Kyler Murray is footballer Allen Iverson. You might read this analogy as high praise. It is not.
It’s recognition of Murray’s dynamic abilities, small size and uncanny ability to solve the problems he creates for the Arizona Cardinals.
A week after an embarrassing performance in the season opener, Murray added two more quarters of the dull game to his 2022 resume. At halftime on Sunday, his Cardinals had a real problem. They were 20-0 behind the Las Vegas Raiders.
The diminutive QB, with a 2XL contract, was a laughingstock on social media around 2:30pm on Sunday. Twitter memes blamed a beta test of a new video game for Murray’s lackluster performance. Ninety minutes later, Murray was the NFL’s toast.
He shaved, blinded and rallied Arizona to a 29-23 overtime win. Numbers don’t tell the Murray story. It had to be seen to be believed and appreciated. In a game of giants, the five-foot-tall wannabe tacklers look like level 1 ghosts chasing an elite Pac-Man video player.
The two-point conversion run that Murray converted early in the fourth quarter couldn’t be deducted in a game by “Madden.” Later in the fourth, in a game to be forgotten, Murray escaped a sack, danced around in the backfield, and forced a holding call against Las Vegas that converted a fourth and four. Four games later, Arizona tied the game with a Murray touchdown run and a two-point laser sighted eye to receiver AJ Green.
Kyler Murray is the answer.
He’s the problem too. Just like Allen Iverson.
You couldn’t take your eyes off Allen Iverson on the basketball court. The undersized point guard captured your attention and imagination. They marveled at his skill and fearless approach. You were so impressed by his ability to dominate men twice his size that you overlooked his tendency to create his own problems. Iverson was an outsider. Who doesn’t love to cheer for an underdog?
My problem with Iverson was that he could have been Isiah Thomas. I’d rather be Isiah Thomas than Allen Iverson. Thomas was the solution, not the answer. The answers are temporary and change depending on the question.
Iverson won an MVP trophy but never won an NBA title. Thomas never became MVP but won two titles in the era of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
Thomas had a better career than Iverson. Thomas doesn’t get the recognition his achievements deserve. Winning two championships during a time when the NBA has invested heavily in promoting Jordan, Magic and Bird is one of the most impressive feats in modern team sports.
I like watching Kyler Murray. I can’t imagine him winning a Super Bowl. He’s too inconsistent. His decision-making is too unpredictable. He doesn’t care about preparation. So the Cardinals tried to put a film study clause in his contract.
Like Iverson, Murray is one day captured in an interview mocking the discussion of the practice.
“We’re talking about training. No game.”
Murray’s career will feature a long list of highlights and appearances in the Pro Bowl. He could even become MVP in a season. Being Allen Iverson in football will make Murray unforgettable.
As is Iverson. No one will forget Iverson’s crossover dribble against Michael Jordan. No one will forget Iverson, who outplayed Tyronn Lue in the 2001 NBA Finals.
But Iverson won’t be remembered as a winner or a champion.
We live in a time when many athletes and fans would prefer the legacy of Iverson to that of Thomas. Many people prefer style to substance.
I’m not one of those people. Iverson underachieved. Kyler Murray is following the same path.
https://www.theblaze.com/fearless/oped/whitlock-kyler-murray-answers-raiders-challenge-but-remains-a-problem-for-arizona Whitlock: Kyler Murray ‘answers’ Raiders challenge but remains a problem for Arizona