I know that's not saying much given the fact that you can count the amount of notable gingers in sports on your fingers (thumbs excluded), but I think that play perfectly captured what it's like to be a ginger athlete. Don't get me wrong, I actually like Andy Dalton, he seems like a nice enough guy. A hard working player that came from a relative small school, albeit a great football program, and has actually achieved a fair amount of regular season success. Who can't get behind a guy like that? However, to ignore the fact that his hair color, and the overwhelming sense of insecurity that comes with it, has had a detrimental effect on his ability to get over the hump would be disingenuous. There is a reason the term 'red-headed stepchild' exists, and it's not because every secondary family includes a ginger. It's because those with apricot-colored follicles are born behind the 8-ball. They must constantly try to atone for the limitations placed upon them by poor genetics.
Is there any better example of that than this play right here? Andy Dalton, a quarterback who is not at all known for making unorthodox plays, shot-putting a pass, that seemed better suited for the schoolyard, right into the hands of an awaiting defensive lineman? If that doesn't scream overcompensation, than trying to account for his mistake by tackling a guy that's twice the size of him certainly does. Of course. Of course that's how Andy Dalton hurt himself. Getting blindsided or hit below the waist wouldn't have been a ginger enough injury. He had to potentially ruin his team's surprisingly successful season by trying to do too much. That would have never happened to a brunette or a blonde. Shit, even a bald guy would have avoided a situation that catastrophic. Andy Dalton just can't help but be just a little different than everyone else, and it's not even his fault. It's literally impossible for a ginger not to be inside his own carrot topped head. That's as good a reason as any for his playoff struggles. Unless, of course, you want to take the low hanging fruit and say it has to do with his lack of soul...