Remain Calm, Etc.: Fourth and Looooong Yardage
Posted October 10, 2013on:
Good Thursday, Widdershins,
Unless you are very, very new to TW, you know that I loves me some football. I grew up with a father who escaped the Shawsheen textile mills by being a middle linebacker of sufficient talent to attract collegiate attention. Football started at my house Friday night with the high school game, then Dad carted every set in the house into the living room and watched 3 games simultaneously non-stop for the weekend. There was no conversing with him except during commercials, when Mother and I would plant ourselves in front of the fridge and convey whatever we had been thinking quickly before play restarted. Otherwise, about the only thing we heard was “Yeah!” or “Fumble!” for two solid days. Eventually, I got with the program and learned to like it, also.
I’m not alone at this, either. A standing joke in my home state is that the girl you can take home to meet your mom is the one that can best discuss the ‘Dawgs with her. I can attest to this being true for the last sixty-plus years, and I doubt that it had just started with my generation. The South is football-crazed in general, with “The Game” ranking behind Church and active labor in order of importance. Everything else, including weddings, funerals, and great-grandma’s hundredth birthday party is planned around them.
Imagine my surprise when one of the best players to ever don the Red and Black stuffed his well-shod foot into his wide-open mouth on College Game Day. David Pollack (number 47 in our programs, number 1 in our hearts) was a DGD, or Damn Good ‘Dawg. He was selected for the Bednerick, the Lott, the Lombardi, and the Hendricks awards. He was an all SEC and All American selection during multiple seasons – just about every award that a collegiate athlete might garner – prior to being a first round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. A potentially brilliant pro career ended with a broken neck. Fortunately, there were no sequelae, but now he is an ESPN broadcaster, and generally one of the more measured voices on the set. This particular day, however, he objected to Condoleeza Rice being considered for the committee who will select the four teams for the forthcoming National Playoffs at the end of next season. Seems that Mr. P, firmly believes that the committee members should be selected from “guys” who have lived and breathed football. Indeed, “guys” who have actually played football. Check it out:
Let me say this about that:
(1) Jeebus, David! We raised you better than that. AT least you are aware that you have committed an all-timer of a fumble here.
(2) I do not have to be a bundt cake to judge the Pillsbury bake-off.
(3) I do not have to be a pitmaster to judge barbeque. In fact, you would not ever want to try any barbeque that I make, but I have eaten plenty of great ‘que in my day. To paraphrase Potter Stewart, I know it when I taste it.
(4) I disagree politically with Ms. Rice on just about everything that you can think of, but she is from Alabama and knows good football when she sees it. She was a season ticket holder for the Redskins when they were possibly the worst team in America, and attends Stanford games whenever they play. This woman is a stone football fan, and she is far from stupid. Her background as an analyst well-qualifies her to study stat sheets and make a reasonable decision. For Pete’s sake, we allow random citizens with no particular skill set to decide guilt, patent infringement, and general malfeasance.
Needless to say, David Pollack is not alone in his feelings, although he is pretty much catching all the wrath of women sportscasters and fans in general. However, in the spirit of compromise, I have a suggestion. Women won;t vote on football decisions, if men agree to abstain from our health care decisions. For me, this works.
This is an open thread
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