We all have that friend. The barroom hero. The guy who starts a beef and, the more people are there to hold him back, the tougher he is. The more people intervene to establish peace, the more he wants to throw knucks. The further away somebody drags him, the louder and angrier he gets. And the whole ride home he won't shut up about how he should've just killed that guy while he had the chance. Until eventually you realize no one's actually ever seen him swing a fist in anger. And if there wasn't anyone there to step in, he never would've started the fight in the first place.
Jalen Ramsey is that guy.
There's no shame in not being a tough guy. I haven't been in an actual fight since 3rd grade, when I told a kid named Mickel he smelled like a pickle. Which I admit I shouldn't have said, though truth is a defense against libel and he did have B.O. And I won by a decision. The point is, I've been talking my way out of brawls ever since, and doing a hell of a job at it since there's not a mark on me. There's no shame in my approach because I'm a 5-9, 165 lb functioning alcoholic who writes and does stand up. I'm not the brashest, most uber-confident, cockiest son of a bitch in the NF frigging L. Ramsey is.
At least he's supposed to be. He spent so much time last year telling anyone with enough memory on their phone to record the interview how he's the best cornerback in the business and how virtually every other football player in the world is inferior to him he could've sold "Shit Talk Tour '18" t-shirts listing all his appearances. This year he showed up to camp in a Brink's truck, for crissakes:
… while a crowd of three people went wild.
You can't put all that time and effort carefully crafting your image as an arrogant, fearless badass and then back down to Marcus Peters. Letting him get all up in your face. Keeping your helmet on the whole time. Letting teammates and club assistants push you away like you're strapped to a two-wheeler, Hannibal Lecter-style. Timidly turning and walking into the locker room once you cross the plane of the doorway like there's a force field keeping you inside. That's a terrible, no good, very bad look for a guy with so much - and I despise this word so I only use it here ironically - swagger.
There's simply no coming back from this. Ramsey can't ever look anyone in the eye ever again. He's forever the Beta who challenged the Alpha and backed down in front of the whole herd. So now it's his lot in life to walk around with his head down, his ears pulled back and his front legs bending low in the submissive position. I don't know how he can ever show his face in public again. And if I'm an opposing quarterback, starting with Kyler Murray this week, I'd target Ramsey on every passing down because he is defeated, permanently. You can't unfuck yourself after something like this.