Late last week, the Seattle Times published the results of a survey it conducted regarding various Seattle Seahawks. In order to complete the survey, it asked eleven of them a series of questions. I’m not going to devote any space to criticizing the underlying methodology, because this exercise was intrinsically dumb. But one question was dumber than the rest, and it is the subject of this post.
Before I get to it, a drop of background. The overwhelming majority of survey questions were positive, in the sense that they could have easily been heavily-censored high school superlatives. For example: Who has the best hair? (Cooper Helfet) Who is the best dancer? (Richard Sherman) Who has the best celebration? (Brandon Mebane)
And so on.
There were precisely two exceptions to this general pattern: Who is most likely to get yelled at by a coach? (Ricardo Lockette, and fine — we know that from watching games) The other was the aforementioned silliest question in the whole damn survey: Who drives the worst car? The eleven* Seahawks surveyed gave a total of three answers: Mike Morgan (5), Brock Coyle (3), and Byron Maxwell (2).
Picking on someone for having bad hair, or being the worst dancer, for having the worst celebration — these are “negative” questions the Times could have asked to provide a little insight into the Seahawks and their individual personalities. Instead, the paper decided to ask who possesses the worst car. This tells us absolutely nothing. Don’t believe me? Check out the list of Seahawks described as driving the best cars: Earl Thomas (4), Kam Chancellor (4), and Marshawn Lynch (3).
Since you may be unfamiliar with the Seahawks roster, and especially its bottom half, allow me to elaborate. The three best cars are driven by veterans who have received multimillion dollar contract extensions at some point within the past few years. The three worst cars are driven by a 2011 undrafted free agent, a 2014 undrafted free agent, and a 2011 sixth-round pick (out of seven).
Of course, anyone making an NFL salary earns enough in any given week of the season to purchase himself a nice new car. Heck, two of those players own Super Bowl rings worth as much as $50,000 apiece. So let me be clear: I’m not asking you to cry for these guys. What I am asking you to do is realize how truly silly this question is, and how little the amount of money a player is willing to spend on his wheels tells you anything you didn’t already know.
Interesting, you might think to yourself, that Brock Coyle drives a car his teammates apparently make fun of. But then it might occur to you that he probably drove it out from his home in Montana because he lacks the job security — and possesses the common sense — not to spend the limited money he’s been lucky enough to earn in the NFL on a brand new car.
Interesting, you might think to yourself, that Marshawn Lynch drives a car so nice he feels the need to set it off with velvet ropes when he parks — but of course he does, because, well, read the hashtag:
*The Times noted that not every Seahawk answered every question.