The Sherriff Speaks…
Note: I wrote this Monday night but because of work and sleep I haven’t been able to post it until tonight. Sorry for what you might think is revisionist history, but you get what you pay for. Keep smiling!
In case you weren’t paying attention last week, I correctly predicted the final score of the Super Bowl. To be exact, I wrote that I thought that Carolina would win 53-13. But using the tried and true accounting process of the Goldman-Sacks, I figure that I was close enough for government work. Honestly, I was able to correctly identify the top two teams in the NFL. That has to count for something, even if I got the teams out of order. To congratulate myself, I am sitting back enjoying a piping hot Papa John’s pizza and a frosty cold Budweiser. Life is good.
I would like to take a moment and discuss the quarterback play from the game. Before I get into the analysis, I would like to offer up my impeccable credentials to talk about playing quarterback on that stage. In college, I was the starting quarterback for an intermural flag football team. Actually, I had only one start but by halftime of that game, a super hero, nerf-like velocity throwing the football combined with my scary nuclear bomb accuracy had combined to throw two pick six touchdowns to the other team. I had one completion and seven sacks. Due to my unique skill set I had led my team to a 0-42 deficit at halftime. The other guys on my team decided that I was too good for them and they traded me, a hot Papa John Pizza and a six pack of Budweiser for a opened bag of Ruffles and half a Kit-Kat bar.
So last night, both quarterbacks left a little to be desired. Peyton’s legendary laser like rocket arm was missing in action and Cam’s dart like accuracy looked more like someone swinging a dead cat by the tail trying to hit the broad side of a barn. Who cares how they played, I want to talk about the after game shenanigans.
I have never been interviewed after losing a Super Bowl, but if I were honest I don’t think I would be as cordial as Cam was last night. I can get kind of irritable (that is Christian speak for hate-filled venom spewing demon child). Occasionally I get frustrated (which is the Christian word for Pissed Off). When that happens, hide the women and children because the wrath of Rob is on full display. Once my Mom for to see what both irritable and frustrated looked like.
That was the day in 1979 that Joe Montana threw “The Catch” to Dwight Clark that beat Dallas in the NFC Championship. I am so thankful that camera phones were not invented then because my Mom would have slapped it all over YouTube and Facebook. I was a ten-year-old kid and the only stake I had in that game was that Dallas was my team. I had nothing riding on it and my life didn’t change any based on a victory or defeat. But I went into a full blown rage literally trashing my room, flipping my bed all the way over and ripping posters off the wall. In case you’re wondering, I left the Farrah Foster poster untouched. It was a controlled rage.
Cam was irritated by his teammates mistakes and frustrated by first failure in a championship game. He is a twenty-six-year-old kid who doesn’t live in his parent’s basement and was being pestered by grown adults trying to goad him into a soundbite. I’m forty-six-year-old adult who scared my kids just before Christmas by my rage when Arkansas State lost in the New Orleans Bowl. When they are playing in their sports, it takes all of my self-control to stay calm enough that my wife doesn’t have to publically reprimand me. I have been known to say, “Show me a good loser, and I will show you a loser.” Note: he actually said that line on Tuesday. All things being equal, I think he handled himself quite well.
Which leads me to the winning quarterback last night. A thirty-nine-year-old man who was quite possibly playing his final football game of his career. There are only two other players still in the league from Peyton’s draft class. One announced his retirement earlier this year and the other is a kicker. Saying that Father Time has been kind to Peyton would be an understatement. The cumulative toil of the game has left his battered and broken. By his own admission, he will need a new hip in the upcoming years. Several of his neck vertebra are already fused together, his arm looks like limp spaghetti, his legs are like twigs and those are just the injuries we know about.
Peyton struggled last night and thanks to a great defense and special team’s play, he was able to toss a final pass to complete a two-point conversion. Iconic stuff, things that legends are written about. The entire world was ready to send Peyton off into the sunset with a ticket-tape parade and a slot as a first ballet Hall of Fame induction ceremony. An icon in two NFL cities and the most famous Tennessee Volunteer, all he had to do last night was say thank you and acknowledge it has been a great ride because everyone knows that it sucks getting old.
But something strange happened on the way to the ceremony. Papa John showed up and Peyton kissed him on the cheek. Then he thanked Papa John on the podium and spouted off something about wonderful Budweiser is. Maybe it is me but I want my heroes to be more like Lou Gehrig spouting off things like “I am the luckiest man alive.” That kind of talk from superstars makes us all feel better about ourselves and helps us put them on the podium of idol worship. Peyton was so emotional about the end of his career that he went pizza and beer in his ride off into the sunset moment.
Again, maybe it is me but I don’t mind when my NASCAR driver stands in Victory Lane, drinking a Coke and smiling. Because nothing says thrust quenching like an ice cold Coke after 500 miles in rush hour traffic with no air conditioning on a 105-degree sunny day while sitting in a plastic molded seat wearing a five pound, full face, head gear tied to the car with ¼ inch movement in any direction. And nothing sounds more fun than talking about heading to the local hardware store while feeling the urine soaked adult diaper under the full fire proof body suit.
I have been trained by NASCAR to love corporate sponsorship and I have no disillusions that any Presidential candidate isn’t totally indebted to that same corporation. Sorry, but I prefer my quarterback hero to be ill tempered after a tough loss rather than launching into a slobbering love affair with a pizza guy and a beer company in his final championship glory.
In retrospect, I think that maybe I need to be a corporate sale-out and find myself a Papa and a beer. Give me enough money and I will kiss a grown man on the cheek and tell kids how cool it is to drink beer. I will even wear a diaper and tell everyone how great it feels when I pee myself. I can be like Peyton and have no shame.
Until next time, keep on rockin.