The last couple of Sundays watching the NFL games on the FOX network, I’ve seen this Cadillac commercial that had this song I didn’t recognize. I tend to think I’m pretty good at songs from the post-Beatles era onward. If I heard a few notes of any song, I could reasonably tell you the title and artist relatively quickly.
Many of you have seen this great play already on YouTune, and on the various newscasts the past few days. For those of you who don’t follow football or are outside the United States or both, I thought I’d give a brief explanation.
Last week, the perennially contending New England Patriots were in South Florida playing the Miami Dolphins in a regular season game. With seven seconds left, the Patriots kept a 33-28 lead, so if the Dolphins were to win the game – they’d have to score within that time. Seven seconds was time enough for one play, maybe two with luck.
The Dolphins had two options. The most likely play would be to throw a long pass and hope for an unlikely reception. Instead, the Dolphins, knowing the Patriots were contemplating the same thing, thus defending the entire length of the field – threw a short pass. They hoped to use the space the Pats weren’t defending and pick up the 69 yards they needed to score with help of laterals and the speed of their receivers.
The Patriots, again thinking that the Dolphins would throw a deep pass – loaded their lineup with defensive backs – and even called upon tight end Rob Gronkowski to aid in their efforts. As it turned out, Gronkowski, ordinarily an offensive player, wound up being the last line of defense on the play.
These plays dependent on laterals very rarely work – when they do, it’s a total thing of beauty.
May I share with you an unconventional strategy when people get you upset?
I know our President has stated in his book that the way to deal with such a situation is to seek out revenge and that you’re a loser if you don’t get it. I’ve always been of the belief that doing that just accelerates the downfall of whatever situation you are in. You know, an eye for an eye leaving everybody blind, that sort of thing.
I always feel that what you do in that situation is to be more observant. Don’t talk, don’t react, stay calm. Let the other energies make the mistakes in those situations – the less you do, the less likely the errors will be yours.
These are the times in your life (or so I think) that observation and the capacity to observe is more key than talking or acting out. If you don’t make a bunch of vows, like “I’m gonna to do (such and such)…” then you lose the element of surprise. Keep those “gonna” thoughts to yourself – don’t advertise them. Let them get caught off guard when your plan comes to fruition if it does – it makes no sense to advertise.
I should have been a “life coach” or something, I guess.
When HBO began televising fights 45 years ago, I don’t think anyone could have envisioned that the last prizefight they would televise in the year 2018 would be between two women. Let the record reflect that Cecilia Braekhus (sorry, I don’t know how to put the “a” and “e” together like the Germans do) won that last match.
It’s always a bit sad to see these eras end – though they always seem to do in the world of televised sports. Truth compels me to say that as the medical problems these fighters face have become more knowledgeable to the public (due to the exposure that football players are suffering the same fate), boxing’s interest significantly waned. The pay-per-view model prizefighting has applied for decades now should also be looked at as a significant contributing factor.
Professional wrestling, namely the WWE, found another way to extricate money from their fans per month in the creating of their own on-demand video network where fans could look at their vast archives waiting for the next pay-per-view card. Boxing has no such model and is now showing significant signs of decay.
The HBO fights didn’t air every weekend night, but when they did, especially in the ’80s and ’90s – it was must-see television. I have two favorite fights, both of them transpiring in early 1990 on back-to-back broadcasts a month and a half apart. One of the fights I’ve mentioned before: the Meldrick Taylor and Julio Cesar Chavez fight in Las Vegas on March 17th of that year.
The other fight was the broadcast before it: Buster Douglas’s miracle win over the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson. I was in shock seeing Tyson’s spectacular demise, probably one of the solitary sporting events I’ve ever seen on TV where I kept wondering, “Is this real? Is this actually happening?!?”
I’m sure boxing will continue on – but younger fans seem more interested in MMA and it’s rougher edge than the sweet science. Maybe something happens in the future to change that, but for those who promote the sport – HBO getting out of the fight game should be a serious wake-up call.
It was one of those days in my life I recognize like it was yesterday – how is that for a frequently-used phrase? But in my story, it’s true. The date in question was January 31, 1991.
Three nights before, on January 28, 1991 – my father had died after a brief fight with cancer a few months shy of turning 63. I was 19, and I wasn’t quite ready for one of my parents to leave the scene forever – but then again, who is? I remember a lot of tears – a scene etched in my brain from that time I can still remember of my mother weeping picking out a casket for her husband, and melancholy organ music droning on. Ever see the scene in Diamonds Are Forever where Sean Connery escapes being cremated alive and the eeriness of that music?
Kind of like what happened yesterday at the “Poppy” Bush where George W. Bush eulogizes his father, I play that role this January 31st day for my dad. The speech is composed, and those who see it love it. It’s a couple of hours before the funeral begins, so I want to unwind. I play a little NES game called Baseball Stars.
On that morning, something happens during this one game that I still remember to this day. Most of us play computer and video games like a drug addict needing a fix. I tend to believe that we don’t spend a long time reliving the results of these games – we just need the distraction. You either “win” these games or you never do.
I play the game, and the team I control is getting out after out after out in the field. I get a couple of runs eventually – but as the game goes on, the outs pile up. No hitter on the computer’s side is getting on base. The next thing I know, it’s the 9th inning, and my pitcher has a perfect game going. Three outs later, it’s a done deal.
It’s something I never accomplished before, or afterward, playing that particular video game. But it wound up happening the day my father was buried. Spooky stuff.