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CitK Reveals Ruskell's Top-Secret Methods!
Ever wonder why the Seahawks draft or sign certain players, while releasing or bypassing others? I have the answer, and if you'll bear with me, I'll give you the entire story.
The Seahawks, like any typical modern business, employ holistic methods when it comes to acquiring personnel. The front office screens potential draft picks and free agent signings using a battery of wily tests intended to gauge the applicant's fitness in body, mind, and soul. For the Seahawks, however, one assessment trumps the rest, as far as influencing the decision whether or not to pursue or retain a player. This test, officially titled Anagrams in Determining Suitability (AIDS), is more commonly known within the team offices as the Anagram Exam.
The use of anagrams to reveal hidden character traits and as predictor of future actions was originated by Sigmund Freud, who employed the method to attempt to (unsuccessfully) influence the 1908 U.S. elections, famously declaring, “William Howard Taft? More like ‘fat admiral who wilt!'” Accurate as this portrayal of Taft eventually turned out to be, AIDS fell by the wayside as an analytical tool, regarded by most psychologists as inferior to the phrenological methods favored by the majority of early 20th century mental health professionals. That is, until the 2004-5 NFL offseason.
Late one March night Tim Ruskell, newly installed Seahawks GM, paced his library, searching for his tattered copy of “When Pride Still Mattered,” when he noticed a musty tome embossed “AIDS for the Workplace.” Intrigued by the title, Ruskell was rather delighted to discover the book not to be an instruction manual on how to slyly distribute a horrible disease among one's unsuspecting co-workers, but a method of bringing to light a person's innermost character traits by rearranging the letters in their name. Ruskell tried it on himself: “lemur's kilt.”
He fell back against his recliner, dumbfounded and inspired. His parents had for years displayed a photo on their living room wall of an infant Tim, in an umbrella stroller at the Japan Monkey Centre, surrounded by lemurs, several of whom were inexplicably wearing kilts. The young Tim, an intent look on his face, was unsteadily reaching out toward one of the lemurs, causing a blur in the photo where his arm had been moving. Though still a baby, Tim’s mind retained this scene, and throughout his half-century on the planet, he still felt he was continually grasping for that lemur’s kilt, that secret to success that eluded him as long as he had known. The adult Ruskell immediately understood the reason he’d stumbled onto this method. AIDS was to be his life’s destiny!
Ruskell set to work transforming the Seahawks using his newfound method, AIDS, which he, on the gentle urging of Seattle’s LGBTQ community, soon renamed the Anagram Exam. Each player was brought into the GM’s office and asked to take a Wonderlic test, a Rorschach test, a urine test, a cholesterol test, a body fat indicator, a lifting test, and a proctological exam. Finally, the players were asked to spell their full name, then were allowed to depart. Ruskell, throwing a mere glance at the results of the physical and mental tests, would quickly type the player’s name into his word-processor, then feverishly pound out anagrams for the next 3-5 hours, depending on the length of the name and how many RSTLNE’s it contained. Once he had done this for the entire roster, plus each potential college draft pick and NFL free agent, he was ready to put his stamp on the team.
Among the players subsequently released by Ruskell, a few stand out. Chronic malcontent Jerry Lee Rice, who was revealed by the Anagram Exam to be a lustful, petulant, authority-mocker, (“I leer, cry, jeer”), was almost immediately axed. So was Kenyatta Cornelius (Ken) Lucas, who was shown to obtain all his football skills from the dark side, as a “lousy satanic rune tackle”. Anthony Lamont Simmons was similarly allowed to leave, despite scoring near the top of the charts on every other test. No doubt the result of his Anagram Exam (“nanny lotions mammoths”) scared the team off, mindful as they were of the public’s backlash against the Sonics’ Ruben Patterson following his legal trouble a few years earlier.
On the player acquisition front, Ruskell—though desperate for DB help—decided against trading for Patrick Frank Surtain. The team sought, and was granted, permission to perform one test on Surtain, naturally the Anagram Exam, which showed that he may not be the most comfortable teammate with whom to travel, (“irritant fur knapsack.”) This was proven to be true in 2005, as several of his Surtain’s new Chiefs teammates were soon quoted saying things like “don’t sit by Surtain—that woolly backpack will make you itch like a 19th century Honolulu Harbor gentleman's establishmentl!” Indeed, since Surtain joined KC the team has basically regressed, due no doubt in large part to Surtain’s cancerous influence on his teammates while traveling, something that no one could have otherwise foreseen, if they had not the benefit of Anagram Exam, Ruskell’s amazing augury device.
Ruskell has also experienced great success in acquiring players based mainly on their anagrammed name. Mosiula Mea'alofa Tatupu, a little-heralded USC player, was shown to have a ravenous appetite for the opponent, (“Ma’s Meatloaf Luau Utopia,”) which has been proven true in the NFL. Floyd Seneca (Pork Chop) Womack, though oft-injured, was re-signed due in part to his role as clubhouse cutup, often keeping the team plane in stitches on their long trips with his Chapelle-esque “askance comedy flow.” Other notable successes for the Anagram Exam have been Patrick Manning Kerney, whose return from injury to slither past blockers and tackle opponents was obvious: “re-entry mink pancaking,” and Julian Thomas Peterson, whose name pays a grammatically-challenged tribute to his mega-toned midsection, “just a phenomenal torsi.”
That’s not to say Ruskell’s method is totally foolproof. A few mistakes have been made. The most egregious miscue made by the Anagram Exam is likely backup QB Charles Lester Frye, whose intrinsic ability is revealed to be that he “rectally refreshes.” No, thanks! On many levels, the Seahawks gamble on Steven Hutchinson really hurt, setting their running game back several seasons, but at least Ruskell learned to “not invest hunches,” because “even snots unhitch” on occasion. When the Seahawks were looking for help at receiver, Nathaniel Burleson seemed to be the toughest, most virile wideout available, (“none hunt a ballsier.”) But after several years in Seattle his limited skillset has been exposed as more similar to that of a former Hawk: “hello, a nu Bannister.”)
Of course, by 2008 the Seahawk roster has been fully molded by Ruskell’s anagramagic touch. Should the Hawks match up with Denver in the Super Bowl, the stout Brandon Mebane will be a surefire double-digit tackler, as he’s “nabbed roan men.” Darryl Anthony Tapp dares running backs to elude his “hard laptop tyranny,” which the ladies say more than makes up for his small stature. Brandon Coutu was drafted somewhat to fill the void at kicker, but moreso because he’s known as a vocal clubhouse leader, regularly regaling his college teammates with his latest off-color “bra undo count.”
Christopher Clarks Spencer, the Seahawks’ affable center, employs a sneaky hand-blocking technique to deter defenders trying to bypass him with a swim move: “chipper scratch snorkelers.” Owen Schmitt’s oral toughness impressed the Seahawks enough to draft him, as he regularly “chews on mitt” to strengthen his jaw muscles, so essential to making an effective block. Fellow recent draft pick John David Carlson probably won the team over in his interview session, but Carlson’s selection status was not finalized until his Anagram Exam revealed the presence of “John’s candid valor,” a trait entirely undetected by the rest of the teams interested in Carlson, but not by Ruskell, (who, curiously, values candid valor more than any other quality in a young player.)
Well, I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Seahawks’ best tool for evaluating a player. Here’s hoping Tim Ruskell will continue doing what he does best, and perhaps we may see these players on the Seahawks come 2009: WR Jared Dillard, (whose name, “darter jilt lad” indicates he is quick and will leave defenders behind,) OL Herman Johnson, his mean streak developed on the mean streets, (“ho/john manners,”) or LB Brian Cushing, whose anagrams, (“such braining,” and “bashing incur”) so reveal his on-field persona that, though a projected sixth round pick, the Seahawks are likely to take him with their very first selection. And he will no doubt succeed, thanks to Tim Ruskell and that musty tome, late one night, three years ago.
All images thrown together by Citizen K
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