Monday, September 30, 2002

I'm Just Like All Those ARound Me

I'm nothing if not a football fan. I'm one of those that knows the game involves more than just hitting the person across the line from you as hard and as violently as you can. Yup I know stuff about cover two zones and cut back running and the most exciting part of the game when the head coach throws a red flag on to the field and we sit and watch the referee go to a TV monitor and examine an instant replay stopping the game for what only seems like fifteen minutes. I love the game so much I even participated in a fantasy football league last year with a bunch of other people who really passionately cared how many yards Mike Alstott got against the Carolina Panthers.

Two weeks ago on the weekend the Twins clinched their first playoff birth in eleven years I was as outraged as everyone else in town that the Vikings kicker missed two extra points that led to the second of our three open the season losses. Bench Dante, give the ball to Moe more and gosh doesn't that Biekert stabilize the defense? We're doing such a wonderful job of stopping the opposition on at least three of the four downs. Believe me I may be the first, but I won't be the last to lead the 'it's time to bring back Denny chant.'

Yeah it bothered me for a minute or so the news that former Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike Webster died last week from brain injuries he sustained performing like a hall of famer for those terrific Super Bowl winning teams. Webster spent the last few years of his life a destitute sometimes homeless man but I'm sure he was comforted knowing the pain he was in was merely a sacrifice for playing the game so many of us whittle away the weekends watching. But that's yesterday's news- I'm focusing my attention on the pass blocking play of Lewis Kelly. It's about time he got back to work. Who needs that greedy Bryant McKinnie? If he isn't willing to play for less than market value than we can find someone else who will.

And the latest escapades of Randy Moss leave me with mixed emotions. As a guy who lives and dies with each Viking victory and loss I know it's important that we keep Randy on the field with his mind focused on football. I've become a firm believer in the Randy Ratio. He may only play hard when he wants to play hard but there is no doubt that half a Randy Moss is better than two Kelly Campbells and three or four Troy Walters.

The question after the latest brush with the law was, of course, was Randy receiving favorable treatment because he's a big football stud or was he getting harsher treatment because of the same status? Who amongst us haven't wanted to nudge a traffic cop because the wannabe law enforcer is hindering our ability to get to where we want to go as fast as we want to go? If I had played bumper tag with a traffic cop would it have made front page news for three days? Would I have been charged with a felony when said cop hit the pavement? I really don't know. Thankfully Randy seems to be an expert on the law.

"I've been in a situation before. So I know the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor," he said.

When I first heard of the incident I thought it was merely the latest example of Randy not being the brightest bulb on the planet and having the emotional maturity of a twelve year old. Now I know better. I'm not being facetious when I admit he knows things I'll never know and I'll admire him for that as long as he averages 12 yards per catch this season on at least 40 percent of the balls thrown his way (at least the ones he is trying on). The media coverage of the whole thing was only as obnoxious as the amount of talk it generated around town. I'm glad people care so passionately about football and not that boring baseball or even the politics of a guy who was never even elected leading us into a war even though it seemingly will cause a lot more harm than good. We have our priorities in place- this is the stuff people should be worried about.

In the wise words of our great leader, George W., who will soon lead us into battle against the evil Iraq just like Steve Spurrier leads his Redskins into battle against the dreaded Dallas Cowboys, "Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again."

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