UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS, WEEK 3: IT SHOULD BE CALLED “NECESSARY ROUGHNESS”
I am still trying to figure out what kind of column this should be. I have found that a general blurb is too limiting. I can’t cover anything in the depth I want to, and I always leave out somebody who feels their team is deserving of notice. I am reminded of watching Monday Night Football as a child, desperately hoping that my team would make the halftime highlights reel, and being horribly offended when they didn’t. Plus there is the stone-cold fact that I just don’t care about a lot of teams in the league. Reporting on them is boring. So after considering my options carefully, I decided to write about WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANTED.
Week Three in the N.F.L. saw a couple of perennial loser teams continue their winning ways, a couple of big-time QB’s continuing their slides towards oblivion, and left a couple million guys like me trying to figure it out. But why? Because football, and sports in general, offers one of the last true escapes from this crazy modern world, and the fact that all of your friends are doing it makes it even more acceptable. It’s kinda like having a one-day vacation once a week, and if your team is playing on Monday night, it even comes back again for a little while. But damn… never has a vacation been so vulnerable to fate’s whimsy. Interceptions, penalties, and especially potentially career-ending injuries to franchise players that your team then lies to you (the fan) about can really screw up your fun. But that’s OK, it’s not like you flew the family to Disneyworld. No matter how bad it gets, the fridge is full of beer.
As the deepening severity of this whole Peyton Manning situation has been made clear, I am forced to re-visit this subject, though I don’t want to. Believe me, I would much rather be writing about how Peyton was piling up stats than about what might be the last act of his career. Peyton Manning has been one of the biggest and best stars in NFL history and what has happened to him is a crying shame… but what did happen to him? It seems like every day we hear another tid-bit about when the injury occurred or how many surgeries he has had, and increasingly ominous reports about what his future may hold. But one thing we know (or thought we knew) was that Peyton was one of the classiest players in the N.F.L. — he was a player rep during the recent lock-out and more than any other he has finally silenced those who couldn’t get over the franchise packing up and leaving glorious Baltimore (glorious compared to Indianapolis, anyway) in the middle of the night so many moons ago (if you don’t know what I am talking about you need to bone-up on your N.F.L. history). But now I am wondering about everything, like why there was no attempt to secure a decent back-up before the season started. Maybe they really thought it was going to get better, in which case they are revealed as delivering a mis-diagnosis. Maybe Peyton Manning himself is the center of this controversy… it wouldn’t be the first time a star player lied about an injury. Hell, coaches ask their players to do it in games all the time! Sounds like turning the tables to me. The only thing for sure is that we DON’T know the truth, no matter how the Colts or Peyton Manning himself try to spin it. What we do know is that the Colts are 0-3 after a bruising 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I wasn’t going to touch Vick and Philly until I saw his petulant ranting against N.F.L officials making supposed unfair calls on him. The question in Philly isn’t whether Vick is the man or not, the question is how long it’s going to take Philly to wake up to the fact that he isn’t. Maybe as long as it takes until he flips off the crowd, like he did in Atlanta. Oh, please do Michael, because if you do, those people in Philly are going to come down and rip your fucking dick off and shove it in your mouth, just like you did to your dogs. Put a fork in him, then hand it to the G-Men with a big win.
While I am handing out things, let’s go visit the Buffalo Bills, probably the most-maligned or at least the unluckiest team in N.F.L history. I mean shit, didn’t they lose like five Super Bowls? Much like the animal that they take their name from, the Bills have been hunted into near-extinction, only to rebound to the point where they are dangerous again (wild bison kill more people than bears, a fact that is completely un-checked). On Sunday the Buffalo Bills had a HUGE win over the New England Patriots, and their unfortunate history is making this season’s success all the sweeter. I know for a fact that Metal Blade president and long-suffering Bills fan Mike Faley is doing cartwheels around his office today! Take it easy Mike! You don’t want a new hip!
Other notables games included all the ones you can go read about at NFL.com. The last thing I wanted to bring up was this ridiculous revelation that N.F.L. coaches sometimes tell their players to fake injuries. The only thing ridiculous about it was that people were surprised! How many times have you seen it — a team is getting torched, the wheels are falling off, or more commonly the guys are just gassed and need a couple minutes to catch their wind, and suddenly so-and-so is flat on his back with what the replay reveals is a hard-to-read injury, and you think to yourself “that guy is faking it!” Of course he is! What do coaches do? They try to win games in any way possible. The good ones stick to the rules, but know how to stretch them. If their team is about to lose a huge game, and that game may hinge on the coaches ability to slow the pace down, even for one play, then a coach will do whatever he can to accomplish that! Hell, that’s why they put in that rule about injury time-outs a couple of years back. And personally I would rather see a fake injury than a real one any day! Unless of course you are Michael Vick. I know how the N.F.L. can deal with this… penalize injuries!
That’s it for this week. I’m having fun, and I hope you are too. Catch Oderus’ live tweets from every Redskins game this season at therealoderus on twitter. Which means I am on my way to Texas!
– Dave Brockie