Forget Michael Vick and Vince Young. Given the Eagles’ pathetic performance this season, it’s time to anoint third-stringer Mike Kafka as starting quarterback. Why? First, Kafka has the coolest name in the NFL. And second, the Birds’ collapse can only be described as Kafkaesque.
Mike Kafka, second-year quarterback out of Northwestern, shares his last name with Franz Kafka, celebrated author of such surreal classics as The Trial and Metamorphosis. Do they share blood, too?
“I’ve had a few classes where professors have asked—there’s no relation,” he said in a December 2009 interview, adding that he had never read any of Kafka’s novels or short stories. “I think it’s a bit over my head.” (Better Franz Kafka than a bad snap.)
Franz Kafka was born in Prague to Jewish parents, wrote in German and didn’t become famous until after he died. Mike Kafka, a Chicago native, attended St. Rita of Cascia High School and signed a four-year contract worth $2.3 million.
At this point, what do the Eagles have to lose? Mike Kafka as QB 1 would give to the team instant literary cache. That is no small feat in a sport where the majority of players and coaches have no idea what “literary cache” means. (Hint: It involves authors.)
That cache could even trickle down to Andy Reid at his so-called press conferences. Instead of answering questions in mumbles and grunts, he could wax poetic on the Eagles’ season of Trial and their imminent Metamorphosis under Kafka.
Call me crazy, but maybe literary destiny is at work here.
In Franz Kafka’s most renowned work, The Trial, bank clerk Josef K. is arrested and prosecuted by a cold, remote bureaucracy for a crime that is never revealed to him or to the reader. Stay with me, boys and girls. If the Eagles really do name Mike Kafka to replace starter Michael Vick, the “destiny” part involves the end of The Trial.
As a knife is plunged into K.’s heart, his last words are: ‘Like a dog!’
Like I said, Kafkaesque.