WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 09: Linebacker London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after a key play in second quarter action against the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field September 9, 2007 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins 16-13. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
London Fletcher may be the leading tackler of the decade, but he's not recognized much -- unless being recognized for not being recognized is a thing, and in that case he's the unawarded leader of that, too, proving the point in dizzying recursive infinity.
On the list of "smart players who can grasp complex systems, stay focused through a long season, and cope with nagging injuries," Fletcher gets the most half-accurate, half-styming nod:
Constantly knocked for his lack of size (he's just 5 feet 10), but he has what I call "crib" talent: He had the smarts and instincts to be a Pro Bowler from the moment his momma plucked him out of his crib.
This is the point where we read that three times, wonder what GQ pays for freelance work, and then laugh as we imagine a helmeted 2-year-old plopped in the middle of Pro Bowl action.
Then we realize it's horribly inappropriate to laugh at a baby being tackled, even at Pro Bowl effort levels, and wonder how close Japan is to making this possible with a lifelike toddler robot.
With luck, that future lifelike toddler robot can make lists for GQ. While no one can quibble with Fletcher's inclusion -- he is a very smart player -- let's get real: the only person on earth possibly pooping his diaper and grasping complicated schemes at the same time is Joe Paterno.
But this is a GQ lauding Miles Austin for his "rare ability to concentrate," Elvis Dumervil for "get[ting] his brain to quickly tell his feet what to do," and Courtland Finnegan for how he "watches how a wideout lines up and figures out the route he's gonna run," so what do we expect?
Fletcher may be smart, but all one can take away from this particular list is exactly how dumb GQ thinks most football players are. Even when he's winning, LBF still can't get respect.