By way of context, this clip that just resurfaced is from late August of last year, after Jarrett Stidham played the entire fourth preseason game against the Giants and went 18-for-28 for 225 yards, two TDs and an INT and ran for another 50 yards. And here was the smooth, chocolately goodness of his Molten Lava Take:
"In all the years I have been covering your sports the National Football League I have never, ever seen anything like this. It's happening again right before your eyes. Bill Belichick has his new Jimmy G. His new next Brady. He has now fallen in football love with Jarrett Stidham. It's very clear, especially after last night, he is fast-tracking Jarrett Stidham to replace Tom Brady next season ... Clearly the goal last night was to make Jarrett Stidham look as good as he could look because he was going to play with first-stringers.
It is clear to me that Bill Belichick is desperate to have the opportunity to show the world - as he is now 67 years of age - that he can win a Super Bowl without Tom Brady. He's desperate to find his new Jimmy G. Got him. In Jarrett Stidham. And fast track him to replace Tom Brady."
Skip then digresses into some ragtime about how unfair it is that the QB who led the Patriots to four of the previous five Super Bowls had to stand there in full uniform for no good reason and watch his replacement play the entire game. But by then, to me he was just making R2D2 buzzes and whistles. After the Stidham comments I was, in Paul Simon's words, hearing without listening. Because he had me at "next new Brady."
I went back and found my own reaction to that game. And I have to confess, I saw less of the new Jimmy G than I did the next Brian Hoyer. I mean, I knew he'd stick. I just somehow overlooked how fast his track Stidham's track was:
Jarrett Stidham looks like the prototype of a mid-round QB prospect who needs time to develop but will be in the NFL for 15 years. I’m looking forward to a day three years from now when we’re all upset they traded him for a 2nd round pick. And I’ll be stunned if the Patriots don’t carry three quarterbacks.
As it turned out, I was stunned. They did just carry two. But the fact it was the rookie over Hoyer, a guy they trust so much he's now back on the roster for the third time, was the first indication we had that Bayless was right and Belichick had fallen in football love with Stidham. And now I think we're all prepared to do likewise.
I still think it's a stretch to say the coach is desperate to prove he can win without Brady, no matter how many years we've been listening to it. I stand by what I've been saying all along: That he's just desperate to win, regardless. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone but himself. And ultimately the decision came down not to him somehow developing this need to get credit in his late 60s that never existed before, but how best to achieve his goal. With the QB who'll cost two years at $50 million, or the one who'll be on his rookie deal for another three years, is 20 years younger, and has all the mental and physical tools to be a very good NFL quarterback?
Today, we have our answer. But Skip Bayless, the wisest, sagest, most prescient prognosticator we have with an almost godlike ability to see the future, new it back in August. We should never doubt him again. All hail Skip, the one true prophet of our times.