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Why, Charles Woodson, why?

Veteran defensive back Charles Woodson decided to return to the city where his career began, signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders this week.

Veteran defensive back Charles Woodson decided to return to the city where his career began, signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders this week.

I didn’t think he’d do it. I really didn’t.

When the Green Bay Packers let him go, I thought Charles Woodson would come to his senses and retire.

After all, he’d had a good run.

He won an NCAA National Championship with Michigan in 1997. He was the only defensive player in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy.

He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998. He earned NFC Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2009. He was voted to the Pro Bowl eight times and named All-Pro seven times. He was selected to the NFL’s All-2000s team. He won a Super Bowl in 2010.

He’s tied for 19th all-time with 55 interceptions, 18th all-time for interception return yards with 896, and second all one for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns with 11.

In his prime, there was really no one like him. He was one of the more versatile defensive backs in recent memory. He wasn’t just good in coverage or a ball-hawking cornerback. He also roamed the middle of the field like an extra linebacker and even lined up on the line of scrimmage. He lasted long enough to be relegated from cornerback to safety.

What more did he have to prove?

Images of Charles Woodson returning interceptions for touchdowns became a fixture of Packers Nation lore.

Images of Charles Woodson returning interceptions for touchdowns became a fixture of Packers Nation lore.

Until the last moment, I hoped he would take the hint. I hoped he’d do some serious soul searching, realize the gig was up, and decide to retire gracefully. I wanted him to depart with the blessing and gratitude of his adoring fans. I thought he might even become only the second player in Packers history to be given a public retirement ceremony.

Instead, he signed with the Oakland Raiders of all teams.

Like so many aging players before him, he couldn’t resist the allure of giving it one last shot. He decided to rage against the dying of the light. Instead of going out in glory, he decided to abandon the Green and Gold for the Silver and Black. Or more precisely, for the silver and gold.

For a player who claims to be so driven by a hunger for championships, this move isn’t just puzzling — it’s inexplicable. The Raiders aren’t just a dead end — they’re a black hole. They haven’t won more than eight games since 2002.

I understand nostalgia is a powerful force, and maybe that’s what this is. Maybe Woodson just wants to go home, to finish his career where it all started.

Still, why should he feel more affection for Oakland than Green Bay? Oakland kicked him to the curb when things didn’t work out as they’d hoped.

It was Green Bay that gave him a second chance. It was in Green Bay that he resurrected his career. It was in Green Bay that he blossomed as a player and became one of the most statistically prolific cornerbacks in the league. It was in Green Bay that he finally earned his long-coveted ring, and it’s in Green Bay — certainly not in Oakland — that he would have a decent chance of winning another.

The only thing Oakland offers him that Green Bay doesn’t is a paycheck.

So is that what this is all about?

Is this about a player so passionate for the game he simply can’t bear to give it up? Or is this just an attempt by Woodson to milk the cash cow one last time before she gives up the ghost?

If that’s all it is, I can’t say I fault him. As far as I am concerned, Charles Woodson is a gun for hire, and he’s free to ply his trade wherever he wants. Even so, I just can’t help thinking this isn’t the storybook ending he might have hoped for. It feels like a tawdry way to close out what has otherwise been a stellar career.

More than anything, I want to see Woodson go out with dignity. He’s already lost a step or two. I want to see him walk away before he’s nothing more than a shell of his former self. I wish him nothing but the best.

But Oakland? Why?

479 comments
zombieslayer
zombieslayer

I'm not disagreeing with you here.  I'm just trying to think what he's thinking...


Woodson was 1 pick 6 away from the tying the record.  My personal opinion is he wasn't getting offers from anywhere else and he wants to retire with that record.  Or at least tie it.

Oakland won't give him a Championship.  He's not delusional.  He knows that.  But, in Oakland, he starts.  He may have lost a step but I've seen DL get pick sixes before and he's faster than any DL in the NFL.  NOBODY playing today knows how to jump on a poorly thrown ball like Woodson.  All it takes is one mistake and he ties the record.

The saying in football is once you're done, you're done.  Yes, he's lost a step.  But he still starts in Oakland.

As someone in SF who has a soft spot for the Raiders (because they have great fans, unlike their neighbors across the bay), I wish him best.  Except of course when he plays the Packers.

bp.
bp.

We've talked about this before, but let us quote Don Banks who described their first meeting in a rather G-Rated way.


If you've forgotten, Detmer reproduced a bizarre and semi-obscene gesture from that bastion of pop culture, Beavis and Butthead, and incorporated it into a little mid-field dance. Facing Favre and the Packers, Detmer executed a move that came to be called "the whip."

Now, here's how we described it:

I think it had to have been 4th quarter when this happened because the Detmer celebration (after throwing a TD) was one that no Detmer, and no QB, really, would make without thinking the game was in hand. Detmer "simulated" reaching into his pants, digging out his cock, and then slapping some chick's ass as he did her from behind. Stockton and his partner said something like, "Wow, that's some crazy dance from Detmer." No, it wasn't a dance. He was miming pulling out his cock, and slapping a chick on the ass! Favre gets back on the field, drives down the field, and chucks a TD pass. He, looking right at Detmer, apes the cock-whipping out dance. The TV people are oblivous: "Favre's mocking Detmer's crazy dance!"

For the love of God, let Brook Bollinger get injured so the Detmer/Favre simulating doggy-style pantomine can have a Part Deux. Please, please, please!

LKP
LKP

Big gulps huh. Welp see ya later

bp.
bp.

SDL has brought to my attention that in fact Finley has the dumbest celebratory move in the history of the NFL, and likely all sports ever.  What's the best?  Outside of Koy Detmer, of course.  He wins forever.

I am going with Merton Hanks.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

Hola pendejos

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Here's an idea for your miserable "stuck-at-work-on-a-fucking-beautiful-Friday-in-fucking-May" asses:

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If / when players (like Brian "Dumber-than-day-old-dog-shit" Urlacher**, Sir Charles Woodson and the like) hit 10, 12, 15 years in the league WTF not just say they don't count against the cap and up to five (5) of 'em on a team don't take a regular roster spot?

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.... oh, and fuck the NFL, Goodell, the shit-sucking owners, and the greedy muthah fuckin' players for ass-raping the game and shitting on veteran players / fan favorites in the autumn of their HOF careers

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FUCKING POLE-SMOKING GREEDY BASTAGES!!

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Fact.  Period.  Pfffffttttt!!!

zombieslayer
zombieslayer

Wanted to also add, I don't think there's a sane fan anywhere who believes Woodson won't be in the Hall of Fame.  He probably already is a first ballot Hall of Famer.  If he has that record, there's no doubt whatsoever that he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

bp.
bp.

@Preparation_A Well, you closed the convo in two seconds by bringing up the Lambeau Leap.  Even Bears fans can't fight it.

bp.
bp.

I love this story and you all have to live with that.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

@tmonson78 

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I can't think of even one (1) group celebration that wasn't totally fucking gay

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(not that there's anything wrong with that)

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I'm glad they outlawed group-grope celebrations, but think the rules on individual celbrations should be pretty loose - like Pam Anderson Lee's buh-jynah


tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

You are one pathetic loser.  No offense.

bp.
bp.

I can never find video of Detmer being Detmer.  But here is the NY Times discussing his move:

"Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Koy Detmer celebrated each of his three touchdown passes last week in, well, an unusual way. After every touchdown Detmer would, while standing, simulate what could only be seen as a sexual act. On the field. During the game.

Detmer calls the move the ''whuppin' stick'' and says the action, which includes the swaying of his hips, is his way of dancing. "

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

Ah, Jeff Fisher.  Still bringing it today.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

the fur coat really brings out the douchiness.

bp.
bp.

@SDL @___bp___ Detmer, against GB, simulated pulling his wank out, moving his hips like elvis, and slapping his wank back and forth after throwing a TD.

Favre threw a TD on the next possession and did it back at him in a more muted fashion.  Hilarious all around.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

the Roy Williams "wiggle."

bp.
bp.

@SDL @___bp___ It does suck having a player with the very worst celebration in league history.

bp.
bp.

This one is from a real life wife beater.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

...with 12 year old boys.

bp.
bp.

@tmonson78 As you are uniquely qualified to comment, was John Denver full of shit?

LKP
LKP

@tmonson78 Awww Austria. G'day mate. Put another shrimp on the barbie

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

That is a lovely accent.  New Jersey?

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

What makes it epically bad is the score of the game.

bp.
bp.

@tmonson78 That is pretty bad.  I mean, not as bad as a shark move that looks like an odd rooster, but bad.