Ken Walker III highlights: Seahawks' rookie RB was electric in limited reps vs Ohio State
Seaside Bonus 8/11/22: Walker III could have starred that day, but Michigan State was helpless against C.J. Stroud's receivers
My heart breaks for Nicolas Cage every time someone uses “Nicolas Cage is the greatest living actor” ironically or as a meme, because I believe that Nicolas Cage is the greatest American actor of our time. What I used to only see as a joke among college bros, now I recognize that Nic Cage actually is the perfect embodiment for what audiences beg entertainers to be above all else:
Hollywood forgot that.
Whereas Tom Cruise could be the biggest movie star or Daniel Day-Lewis could be the most committed to the craft or Arnold Schwarzenegger could be the actual last action hero or Keanu Reeves could be the most resilient actor to return decade after decade or Joaquin Phoenix could be the psychopath who you love to watch burn and then rise again, Nicolas Cage is the only person who has managed to juggle all of those roles at one point or another throughout a 40-year career that stretches from Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982 to playing himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent in 2022.
Every time you think, “Okay, finally, this is it, Nicolas Cage can never come back from this, he’s simply CRAZY!” he comes back and hits you with Leaving Las Vegas or Adaptation or Matchstick Men or Pig and mocks critics not by getting angry (or more aptly, not by Drive Angry) but by giving audiences yet another 90-120 minutes of escapism from real life that few other actors can match.
Even if there are 20 or 30 Nicolas Cage titles not worth watching (or 20 to 30 movies that Nicolas Cage did strictly for money), there are at least 50 on his IMDb resume that feel like a valuable use of my time, every time. They span from action to comedy to drama to horror to family to The Family Man.
From smashing two vastly different roles in Adaptation (like Hollywood’s version of Nick Bellore) to being the world’s most unlikely action hero starting with The Rock (like Russell Wilson defying draft expectations) to making me and me alone believe that he was in a future cult classic with 2019’s Color Out of Space (like my relentless faith in Grayson McCall), there’s truly nothing more that I could ask for out of Nicolas Cage’s career.
We ask our entertainers to entertain us and that comes with major sacrifices that we never fully appreciate. These days, most entertainers seem unwilling to make those sacrifices to gain support and adoration from the audiences. Cage might legitimately be crazy…
But he’s legitimately crazy…FOR US!
So not every film on Cage’s resume is worth recommending and there are plenty that I’ve avoided out of fear of seeing him perform below his usual standards. USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage? Yeah, I don’t need to see that!
Left Behind? Pay the Ghost? Next?
How about you pay the ghost, I’ll stay behind and catch the next one instead?
Nicolas Cage may be the greatest actor of the last four decades, but nobody gets that honor without willingly trudging through a lot of filthy garbage along the way. Why judge him harshly for his bad movies when he has given me so much joy over at least four dozen GREAT movies?
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Let’s give the greats just much of an opportunity to have a bad day as anyone else would get and be appreciative of their good moments by knowing that forgettable work is inevitable.
This is the second-to-last entry in the Ken Walker III series reviewing his entire college career. It wasn’t one of his good days. But it was also the one time all year that he really had no opportunity to thrive.
Every time I looked at Ken Walker III’s game log at Michigan State, there was this eye sore late in the season that I was afraid of in this series: six carries for 25 yards, one catch for four yards against Ohio State.
By the time I was finished reviewing his film, which was much easier this time because there wasn’t much of it by comparison, I realized that I had miscalculated Walker’s performance based on his box score stats. As usual, stats are a misleading indicator of performance without verifying the stats on film.
Think of it like Zandalee, a 1991 Nicolas Cage film that few people have watched, but all the elements of what makes Cage so “Cage” are all on display to enjoy.
Like anything else that you think you’re going to hate, but end up loving, that’s how I feel about Walker’s seven-touch performance against the Buckeyes. Because if it weren’t for Ohio State’s offense overwhelming yet another defense that can’t keep up with a dozen five-star recruits, Walker III would have been the star of this game.
This is Ken Walker III’s second carry of the game, cutting off left tackle and making two defenders miss at the line of scrimmage, then using his speed to burst for a first down when he saw daylight ahead.
That’s safety Ronnie Hickman (#14) diving and missing and defensive end Zach Harrison (#9, former 5-star recruit) missing the first angle and running down Walker for the tackle.
Walker only had 25 rushing yards in the entire game but he actually had THREE runs like this against an Ohio State defense meant to carry a handful of future NFL players. If he had 15 carries instead of six, it would have been an entirely different outcome, but as you probably noticed it’s already 14-0 when Walker gets his second attempt.
It will be 28-0, 35-0, and 42-0 when he gets his final three.
That’s coming up in the rest of today’s Seaside Bonus. If you’re not in the Regular Joes, I totally understand and I’ve also unlocked three bonus posts for you to read from next week as a thank you for helping us grow so rapidly this offseason: Seahawks preseason preview: What to expect vs Steelers, Bears, and Cowboys / Seahawks Saturday mock game recap / and last Friday’s training camp notes
We hope to see you in the Regular Joes soon!
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Now, the penultimate game of Ken Walker III’s unexpectedly historic college career. A six-carry, one-catch game against THE Ohio State that had the Buckeyes defense thinking, I’m glad we have the nation’s best offense and don’t have to tackle THE Kenneth Walker III very many times in this game.