Sunday, September 12, 2010

Devotion for a New Season

Dear Coach Lombardi (You are still in charge of this department, right? Haven't been promoted or anything?) please heed these words.

Please instill these small bits of wisdom into the hearts, minds, and especially mouths of NFL fans, sportswriters, and other commentators.

Please remind us all each and every weekend that a pro football game is a chaotic, desperate struggle of large, athletic, violent men who are, for three hours anyway, insane as a necessity for their own survival. Players know, if the rest of us often forget, that they can get their blocks knocked off as easily when they're ahead or behind 51-3 as in an overtime barnburner.

Teach us that who's pushing who around is the vital key to making sense of that chaos, not game plans, "motivation" or any of that other hoo-hah and deliver us from overthinking. That's Bill Belichick's job, not ours.

Remind us that an afternoon/night of stylized mayhem is not a particularly effective means of assessing human character and that victory and defeat are almost never examples of moral superiority/failure on the part of the team we're discussing or rooting for, and very often the result of a ball that takes funny bounces.

Above all, instill in us the knowledge that what happened in today's game is not a straight line projection of what will happen each week until Super Bowl XLV. That way, normal fans may find peace, or at least less agitation.

We ask this in the name of thy trophy, Coach. And if you could find something, anything else for Tony Siragusa to do this fall, that'd be OK, too.


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