Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pomposity Goeth Before the Pratfall

One way or another Ray Lewis figured to make a significant contribution to Super Bowl XLVII. Who knew it'd be comic relief?

Deer antler extract spray? Just try and say that without laughing. Then consider it's actually a banned substance in the NFL, NCAA and all other professional sports and try to STOP laughing.

Com' on, now, deer antler spray is what's sold by some lovable old rogue of a medicine show man in an episode of an old TV Western like "Gunsmoke" or "Bonanza" when the stars wanted to show their agents they could too play comedic roles, damn it. Jocks who spray or inject that crap onto and into their bodies aren't cheating, they're being cheated, victims of their own gullibility and failure to stay awake in those Physiology 101 courses they took as part of their Sports Marketing majors.

As it turns out, a professor at Johns Hopkins gave Lewis a dandy alibi. If he did, as was alleged, spray himself with eau de Bambi, Lewis wasn't taking a banned substance because the substance doesn't that way. It's not like DEET, you have to shoot it to get the, well, whatever one gets from it.

Lewis denied the charge of quackery without an NFL license. "It's a trick of the devil" he said of the charge. This lets us know that immediately after hanging up the pads for good Sunday night, Lewis is headed at warp factor 11 towards the 4-5 a.m. time slot on one of those evangelical preacher cable television networks. A fitting career transition, I think.

Lewis has been a superlative football player. He is also perhaps our most pretentious NFL player. Nobody in the league takes himself quite as seriously as does Lewis. Alas, this unlovely trait probably is a big reason he was one of the greats.

Everyone loves seeing the stuffed shirt or jersey slip on the banana peels of life (banana peels are probably a banned substance, too). So the discovery in short order that the other noted athletes accused of falling for the deer antler extract dodge were Vijay Singh, who is every bit Lewis' equal in the pomposity department, and University of Alabama football players. Really, the opportunity to hear Nick Saban be forced to utter the words "deer antler extract" ought to bring joy to the heart of every sports fan on earth.

As an encore, I look forward to reading and listening to commentary on how the evils of deer antler extract threaten the integrity of sports. Those will be Pretentiousness squirting itself with seltzer and committing suicide by custard pie.


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