If you see the Buddha in the road… a modern football parable

*** I wrote this ten years ago, or longer.  Seems pertinent again.


If you see the Elway Manning in the road, kill him

There is an old saying in Buddhism: If you see the Buddha in road, kill him.

Here in Denver, even since John Elway left… every QB is compared to him heavily. It is getting incessant and deafening. It reminds me of the boy who had to utter in every after school movie: I’m not Timmy, Dad. Timmy is dead. My name is Sam and I like to dance. When will you accept me, dad?

After just watching the worst performance of a pro-football team I can ever remember… I know what is coming. For the next week, every yahoo sportswriter in Denver will be calling for Jake’s head. Every sentient being will want him fired and say I told you so. Problem with that is, had we won, every single yahoo sportswriter would say “he’s our boy! Told you so! Golden child, that Plummer… he just didn’t have a proper offense in Phoenix, that’s all.

The next thing they are going to do is call for coach Shannahan’s job. They are going to explain to you that Shanny hasn’t won a playoff game without Elway. This is true, but we have also had a winning season every season he has been here. Problem is, we just choke in the playoffs (big time).

The meaning of the phrase ‘if you see the Buddha in the road, kill him’ is this: Buddhism is inside you, and not about a deity. Buddhism is about living by a set of self governing rules that dictate you do no harm to others. It is called the ‘Eightfold path’. The Buddha declared while he was alive that he was NOT a supreme being or immortal. The point is that if you see the Buddha in the road, you are not practicing Buddhism. Buddhism is about yourself and what’s inside. Buddhism is about your choices and actions. So, if you see the Buddha in the road… kill him. Kill him because he represents your desires and manifestations of outward grace and spirituality.

This is about attachment, and ego.

What every single QB we have had has needed and wanted to say to the media: I am not John Elway Peyton Manning,  dad. I wasn’t and never will be. He is gone forever, and I need you to accept that.  I just want to dance!  When will you accept that?


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