Duke star J.J. Redick is pasty; he has the look of an idiot savant, who you couldn’t trust to operate machinery; and he also tends to choke in big games. There is only one logical conclusion:
J.J. Redick is a Manning.
It’s the only obvious answer after having watched J.J. Manning hoist continuous bricks in a Senior Night loss to North Carolina on Saturday. J.J. Manning opened the game with a good stroke but capped off his Cameron Indoor Stadium career by missing 15 of his last 16 shots. One basket in a gym he has played in for four years. That’s only one more basket than The Bish’s toupee scored in the second half. And J.J. didn’t look quite as stylish. J.J. Manning also flounder against Florida State (and is 23 for his last 80), but we figured that was due to the courtside presence of Cowgirl.
And who could forget the 2004 Final Four when Duke choked away an 8-point lead in the final three minutes against Connecticut? The Blue Devils had one last chance to win the game in the waning seconds, but Rashad Anderson and Emeka Okafor stripped J.J. Manning of the ball. That set a precedent in motion.
Former Cal State Fullerton guard Ralphy Holmes had more clutch plays than J.J. Manning. And Ralphy didn’t even get selected to the all-conference team in the Big West. People think that J.J. Manning should win the Wooden Award as the player of the year. Why?
You know that feeling you get when an opposing player (somebody you probably hate) is wide open for a three? You scream, “No, not him!” because you just know that it is going in.
You no longer get that feeling when J.J. Manning has the ball in his hands. If anything, you breathe a sigh of relief when he shoots the ball because you know it will not find the basket. It’s kind of like watching Alex Rodriguez hit during a clutch situation. Or more aptly, one of his brothers trying to win a playoff football game.
It’s only a matter of time before his biological father, Archie, comes to rescue him against those critical of J.J. (although we appear to be the only ones at the moment). Still, J.J. Manning did have to at least answer one question about his shooting.
"It was a weird night," he said. "I'm just not shooting the ball well right now. I'm getting great looks, but they're just not going in."
Wow, he didn’t blame his teammates for not getting him open looks. Archie obviously didn’t raise him, but that choking gene is still prevalent.
Adam Rank is a syndicated free-lance journalist based in Sunset Beach, Calif. His work has appeared in NFL.com, NFL Insider Magazine and various newspapers across the country. He is also the founder of the award-winning website, http://thehaternation.com . The site was recently voted the Orange County’s top site for player hating by the editors at the OCR. (Just kidding, Greg. Please don’t call.)