Oh Captain, My Captain: Who is the Real Kirk Cousins?

When the Washington Redskins drafted Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III in 2012, my brother and I could feel the excitement all the way down here in Jacksonville, Florida. Over the years, the most we had to brag about as fans was the fact that we swept the New York Giants, the defending Super Bowl Champions, the year before. Seriously. That’s all we had.

2012 was a special year, no doubt. The Redskins rallied from a 3-6 record after the bye week to win seven in a row, including a division crowning game against the team we hate the most, the Dallas Cowboys. Alfred Morris broke Clinton Portis’s single season rushing record. Despite the injuries to Griffin, there was reason to be hopeful. After all, we had the best back up in the league! Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State!

In 2013 we finished 3-13.

In 2014 we finished 4-12. Improvement, but not really.

Four games into this season, a season in which Kirk Cousins is the starter, we are 2-2, one of those wins coming against a division rival, and on pace to double our win total from last season. However, in these four games, and over the course of Cousins’s tenure as a Redskin, I’ve seen two incredibly different versions of my starting quarterback. Each week I struggle with my own faith as a fan because I find myself always wondering… Who is the real Kirk Cousins??

Well, I sat down with Kirk Cousins recently to find out just that. ***

***by “sat down with Kirk Cousins,” the author means “decided to make a lot of shit up.”

Caleb Sarvis: Thanks for sitting down with me today. I’ve been slacking in terms of my NFL production here at Bench Points. You’re really doing me a favor.

Kirk Cousins: No problem, man. I love Bench Points. I read it every chance I get. Excited to be a part because I feel like you never tweet about me.

CS: Well… come on, Kirk. What have you given us so far to tweet about?

KC: Did you not see that game-winning drive the other day? Slice and dice, slice and dice, and boom! Perfect throw to Pierre for the win.

CS: That was pretty awesome. You gave me and my brother something to celebrate. But if we’re being honest, you were bailed by some great receiver work. I mean, Jamison Crowder! He saved you a few times, and he played for a basketball school!

KC: Michigan State is better than Duke at basketball.

CS: I know we’re on record and all, but Kirk, are you drunk?

KC: Pretty much always.

CS: Well this should be interesting…

KC: So questions. Answers. I have a beard this year!

CS: Well, let’s look at this. Game 1, you throw two interceptions and we lose the game. Game 2, no interceptions and we win. Game 2, two interceptions and we lose the game. Game 4, no interceptions and we win.

KC: Wow, I didn’t even realize how consistent I am.

CS: No, that’s not the point. The point is: interceptions are bad. We lose when you throw them. See?

KC: Yeah, sometimes the ball just doesn’t go where I want it to go. But I’m actually trending upward. I’ve only started three games in which I didn’t throw an interception… [I have to note that for whatever reason, Kirk Cousins winks here.] and two of them have come this year! Progress.

CS: I want to believe in the progress, Kirk, I do, but will this sustain? I mean, the whole reason I’ve brought you on today is ask which of you is the real you? The one that throws an untimely interception, or the one that’s poised in the pocket and capable of leading the Redskins to a winning season?

[Kirk Cousins vomits on my floor.]

KC: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. That was just so much pressure right then.

CS: The question?

KC: Making me choose! I don’t know. Sometimes I feel good. Sometimes I feel weird. Sometimes Robert gives me a pregame snack, and sometimes I throw up in my helmet between plays.

CS: Wait, you’re accepting pregame snacks from RG3?

KC: Yeah. A pregame meal is essential and Robert’s always looking out for me. Though some games I’m not hungry and he gets mad at me. But I can’t help it if there’s no rumbly rum in the tum-tum. [Kirk squeezes his stomach with both hands.]

CS: Kirk… think about the games you won this year. Did you eat Robert’s snacks before those games?

KC: Uh… no. I’m pretty sure my mom packed me leftover tamales. She makes the best tamales.

CS: Kirk! Don’t eat Robert’s pregame snacks! He’s trying to sabotage you!

KC: No, no. Robert would never do that. He’s my best friend. We have matching jerseys.

CS: Everyone on your team has matching jerseys. You’re a team.

KC: Yeah, everyone on my team is my best friend. We hang out like four times a week. Sometimes twice in a single day. Coach Gruden likes to do show us films in our down time! [Kirk makes a reel motion, as if he’s trying to make me understand the category is movies in a game of charades.]

CS: Anyway, any thoughts on this Sunday?

KC: I don’t know. Want to hang out?

[I sit in silence, waiting for Kirk to laugh. He simply stares at me with those dough boy blue eyes filled with nothing by sincere curiosity. I’m a teacher. Sometime you have to give it time to click. It never clicks. I’m tempted to smack him, but he’s my quarter back, and no matter how I feel about him, the alternative is Colt McCoy. I’d rather have Tebow!]

CS: Thanks for stopping by, Kirk! Now hurry off to D.C. before you forget who you are! And remember, tamales are good. Anything RG3 offers is poison!

KC: Anytime. Really. You should come over sometime, we can watch a Skins game together.

After Kirk left my house, I drank for three days straight before anything made sense again.

The Redskins play the undefeated Falcons this weekend. Which Kirk will show? Will he pack his mom’s leftover tamales or will Robert Griffin III pressure him into eating these pregame snacks? Find out, Sunday at 1:00 pm Eastern.


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