Let’s play catch throw

What’s better than that?  A stock photo of a father and son playing throw.  You were thinking ‘catch’, weren’t you?  Turns out your memories were wrong.  You were never playing catch, you were playing ‘throw’.  Besides, I am pretty sure the NFL or Gene Simmons own the word ‘catch’.

How do I know you weren’t playing ‘catch’?  Or… how do I know what the difference is?  Well… when your pops threw you the ball, you thought that part was over when the ball was in your hands, didn’t you?  In the old parlance, you thought that you had ‘caught’ it.  You magnificent naïve bastard.

Once you had the ball in your hand… once you ‘caught’ it… did you

  • Turn upfield?
  • Demonstrate possession?
  • Commit a further act of football?
  • Turn into an active runner?
  • Have the ball clearly long enough to become an active runner?

all you had was the ball in your hands.  That is a step, it is step 1 of 342 steps required to make a catch® in the NFL.   Since we truly don’t know what a catch is… what shall we call such a play in its infancy?  Like… what do we call a catch before the lawyers come in and adjudicated its catchiness?  To simplify, let’s call it a ‘grab’.  Someone threw you the ball, its in your hands… it’s a ‘grab’ (for this discussion only)

Now, let’s break it down… each one of the above.  Did you ‘turn upfield’?  What the hell does that mean?  It means after you took the ball, did you turn and begin running toward your endzone?

Did you Demonstrate possession?  Do you have any historic, dated, selfies of you and the ball?  Do you have receipts throwing at least three consecutive payments on said football?  Did you run up to the ref, bonk him in the nose gently with the football, and then run off?  Sure, the latter will get you kicked out of the game.  However… loophole… for them to accuse you of assault, they have to admit you possessed the ball.  Lastly, is your name in the stitching?

Did you commit a ‘further act of football‘?  I shit you not, that was the legal verbiage.

Then it wasn’t a catch, dummy.  There are just SOME of the rules of ‘what constitutes a catch’.  When you got home that night, did you put the football away?  That clearly demonstrates lack of control.

You disgust me.  Don’t even bother getting a flu shot this year, you couldn’t even catch a cold!   Now, let’s get out there and play some throw

NFL – two ways to fix my football team



*** update – timeouts.  WASTED constantly.  If anyone on my team calls a time out in the first quarter, they will be vanquished to special teams on the practice squad.  Any team who doesn’t have at least 2 timeouts saved up for the last 2 minutes deserves to lose.  I am still mad at Jake Plummer losing the Rose Bowl for ASU some 20 or 25 years ago because of no timeouts left.  Of course, I could be remembering that wrong.

Two ways I would fix my football team.  There are a couple things I notice in every NFL game I watch – terrible qb protection, and terrible tackling.

Terrible QB protection – with the exception of the Patriots, no team protects their QB.  They don’t even seem to bother.  I joke that Tom Brady could read a paperback in his pocket.  The analysts say shit like ‘Tom Brady doing the dink and dunk tight end passes… moves right down the field.’  That is because Brady gets time to do all his reads.  EVERY QB could and would do that if they had the time.  Most QBs get to do about 1 or 2 reads… then they run for their lives and hope comes gets open.  Except Aaron Rodgers.  He gets to do NO reads.  His protection has been so terrible for the last 10 years that as soon as he gets the ball; he has to run for his life.  Somehow, though, he has made it his own thing.

My point being, if I had an offense, everything they did would revolve about QB protection.  Not routes or runners.  My team might spend all 10 guys just to protect the QB.

Terrible tackling – Ok, that problem solved.  Here is the next big problem – no one is tackling.  There is a legit reason for it.  Teams don’t tackle in practice at all, ever.  There are two reasons for this- 1) they don’t want they players to get hurt in something dumb like practice, and 2) the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) put in place after the last (near) strike dictated that teams could only do 2 practices a week in full pads.  This is why tackling is terrible when you watch, because they literally don’t practice tackling.

Big surprise; I am fine with that.  Football is so incredibly dangerous for these players (CTE, GTS) that I get why they don’t tackle much.  It doesn’t make great tv, but it’s likely best.  What do we do with this, then?  Strip the fucking football!  Listen, you got your arms around the guy, you aren’t bringing him down because you are a pussy who never learned to tackle… so strip that ball.  Every time.  The coaches likely want and expect you to tackle anyone you can touch.  Just like receivers have a rule ‘if you can touch the ball, you can catch the ball’.  Well, your little powderpuff fatties don’t know how to tackle.  Teach them to strip the ball, every time.  Look at this guy, he gets it.  He isn’t even pretending to try and tackle… he is just going for that ball.

Brandon Marshall, Reshad Jones

Friday Fives – tiempo para futbol


The NFL season begins tonight.  Do you follow football? If so, when did you start to follow the game?

Yes I do.  I LOVE football, and in fall I kinda build my life around it.  As for how long, never remember not being involved or watching.  Watching my perennially hapless Bills blow it year after year.   Four superbowls in a row!  No one remembers that.  They remember us losing 4 superbowls in a row. Norwood! (shakes fist in the air).

Don’t worry if you don’t get that reference, Bill Buckner does.

I have written a good bit about the NFL in these pages, rarely was it nice.  I am conflicted.  I LOVE pro football, but I HATE the NFL as an organization.

Why do NFL teams get the title of ‘world champions’ when no other nationality competes?

Why is the heavy lifter ‘mister universe’?  those aliens have mad lifting skills, you speciest!

If Americans started calling soccer “football” like the rest of the world, what would be a good name to replace American football with?

Corporate Smashmouth®

In 10 words or less, explain American football to a foreigner. 

That wasn’t a catch.  Didn’t complete ‘further act of football’.  *** was that ten?  I am a musician, don’t come at me with math, bro.

 You can remove one rule from the NFL. What is it and what does it do to the game?

Instead, I am adding a rule.  I wrote about this years ago.  If a QB can throw a ball up in the air, and catch SAME ball… and get in the endzone… that is worth 14 points.  Think how much more entertaining ‘upside down’ games would be!  Instead of tuning out a game where team is down by 30 points… you would be ALL the more needing to stay and watch… knowing they would execute that play.  You are welcome, 4th quarter advertisers.





Friday Fives – Spring Fling


it’s Spring, what’s your thing?


spring cleaning – got a big cleaning coming up?  Any cleaning you do (only) seasonally?

not for the interior.  Outside, though, yes.  The wonderfulness of Winter in Colorado on a ranch is not doing a damn thing to the property all Winter.  Now, it’s time to spread a LOT of manure, check the fencing, put a new mailbox in, stuff like that.  you know, I hated doing yard work on my teeny tiny tenth of an acre in town.  It seemed stupid to mow and water and fertilize 20 feet by 30 feet.  now that I have 5 acres, though, I LOVE working outside.  The key is having decent wireless headphones.

reminds me of a game.  I game I invented.  The Wii yard work!

baseball – juiced up overpaid meatheads?  Or, America’s past time?

ha!  I made a funny.  I wrote these questions, as my editor is likely in the drunk tank again in Commerce City.  I think we are supposed to call baseball ‘America’s Pastime’.  I typed the question as ‘past time’.  Total fruedian slip ‘Sirian slip‘.  I am sure baseball was a great pastime, and now that time has passed.  I am not against baseball… but nor am I for it.  Don’t care.  Baseball is like Paris, or the NFC.  I am aware it exists, but indifferent about it.  HA – another example of google subtext.  I went to google a picture of the NFL’s NFC conference, and typed in AFC.  Even my formidable and incredible hands could not take the order seriously to look up anything about the NFC.

Council of Nicea – a unifying summit of godly goodness?  Or the greatest cover up of all time?  Defend your answers, and show your work

I am not a fan.  Do you know what it is?  Allow me to very briefly explain.  For a few hundred years, there was a LOT of versions of Christianity going around.  It was admittedly confusing.  In 325 ad, a bunch of important people got together and said “listen, we need to simplify and unify the message of Christianity.  Doug, for example, has been going down to down explaining that Christ’s message was for you to show him your boobs.  We need 1 message, and 1 bible.  We aren’t leaving this room until that is done.”

I get that part, and it makes sense.  Thanks a lot, Doug.  But, mostly it censored everything the pushy guys didn’t like.  Mary, for example, was not a marginal player or lowly prostitute following the gang at a distance.  She was a very significant figure.  It is believed she was likely at least an equal of the men, and a full apostle.  She had her own book.  A lot of people did, and they cut all that out.  Only much much later did we find some of these original censored and ‘satanic’ bibles.  The Dead Sea Scrolls was one such find.

the other thing I didn’t like about this it that the council was held in 325.  this means LONG LONG LONG after Jesus, and all his people, were dead.  So, no one could pipe up and say “actually, Donald, Jesus was fine with Doug doing that whole boobie thing.  It was the rest of us who had to put the kibosh on it.”

I have said this before, and I shall explain again.  I do believe there was a Jesus.  I do believe he was a great and charismatic leader of men.  I do not believe he had any magical powers, though.  I also do not believe he was the son of god anymore than you or I am.   Well… obviously not you.  Look at how you are dressed!  I believe Jesus was sadly and cruelly executed, and that is story ends there… up on that cross.

Regardless of your beliefs, we do know the Council of Nicea was real, and had real consequences.  Please read more about it, from people smarter and less biased than I.  Here is the wiki page.

jesus – god’s resurrected son who walked out of that crypt, or charismatic leader and mortal who sadly did die that day on the cross?

Didn’t we just cover this?  who writes this dreck?

Tony Romo- was he great?  Could he have been?  Would you keep him, if you knew you could protect him?

I don’t think he got the chance to be great.  I think he might have been great, but was either too fragile, or had shit for an offensive line to protect him.  If you say his name 3 times in the mirror, he breaks a collarbone.  Sure, he blew a couple really really big plays… but who did that more than Peyton Manning?  Being great isn’t easy, and it comes with an epic share of monumental fuck ups along the way.

thing is, football is just murder on the body.  I bet he is getting offered the EXACT same amount of money (around ten million is an educated guess) to do tv as he was to play football.  In fact, Shannon Sharpe left football when he was playing amazing top notch football.  It was a huge surprise when he retired and went to CBS.  When a reporter (probably the great Rick Reilly… miss that guy)*** asked him why he walked away, he said “they offered me the same money, and no one is trying to kill me every Sunday anymore.”

you can’t argue with that logic.  I’ll tell you what we can, do.  Take this opportunity to look at the amazing Jessica Simpson.  At the time, she was brilliantly dubbed ‘Yoko Romo’.   and maybe since we are on this topic, take a moment out to remind us all how horribly creepy her father was.  The man said ‘she’s got double d’s.  You can’t keep those puppies down!’.   Can you imagine your dad saying that about you?


ok, we started talking about Spring, and then a pretty thoughtful conversation about Jesus, and whether or not the council of Nicea was good old fashioned bullying.  How did we end up looking at hot and vapid pictures of Jessica Simpson?  My guess is you didn’t come here for Sunday School, did you?

*** Rick Reilly is not dead, he just retired about ten years ago.  Find one of his books of columns.  He was a sports guy, but with a brilliant wit.  Combine Dave Barry and Bill Simmons and you have Rick Reilly

The thing about the under inflated football, and why it is a big deal

*** updates at bottom – 1.26.15

You have heard about the Patriots and the deflated footballs, right?

I have been poking around, and can put it in perspective if you are interested.  First – everything the Patriots are saying is a goddamn lie.  We’ll get to that.  What happened was 11 of their 12 football was found to be seriously under-inflated.  How much were they deflated?  Well, I am not going to talk PSI, you have ESPN for that.  I watched a show yesterday where they deflated a football to the exact degree the Patriots’ balls were deflated.  Then, they had a proper inflated football.  Every single person they gave the footballs to, including a gal who said “I don’t know if I have ever touched a football” were able to correctly identify the flatter balls.

They are squishier.

What is the advantage?  It is much easier to throw and catch.  It’s really more a nerf at that time than a hard leather football***. My next thought was – well, if it is easier to catch and throw, wouldn’t that help both teams?  No, because each team uses their own footballs.  Specifically, the Patriots provide their own footballs their QB will be using.  Only their qb uses those balls.  In last weekend’s case, the Colts used their own footballs when it was their turn to play offense.  Like you, I assumed a neutral, official, NFL person held all the balls and divvied them out for teams to use.  Nope, that is only kicker balls.  The kicker balls are touched by NO ONE except the refs until just before they are used on the field.

How did the other team find out, then?  This is awesome.  The other team (the Colts) found out when they intercepted one of Brady’s passes.  Immediately, the guy who caught it brought it to the ref and explained the ball was flat. Someone, justice briefly happened, and ALL the Patriots balls got checked.  11 of the 12 game balls they had were flattened.  That isn’t co-incidence, or an accident.  Maybe 2 or 3 could be regarded as that. Here is where it gets marginally worse… the lies and cover up.  Tom Brady said he didn’t notice anything.  Really?  You throw footballs for a living.  Odds are you have thrown a football every single day of your life since you were about 15.  You didn’t notice any of them were flat?  You are a fucking liar. In Bellicheck’s (the head coach) denial, he said I’m not an expert in footballs. Oh my fucking god, are you serious?  That is your answer?  Guess what, YES YOU FUCKING ARE!!!  You are absolutely an expert in footballs.  You are the most successful football coach in the history of football.  More than anything else in life, you are an expert in footballs.  It is ALL you are, besides maybe being a cheating and lying asshole. Here are some much better looking people than myself to explain a bit more. Now, some housekeeping.  Aren’t there checks and balances in place?  Yes.  Each team does what they want to the balls they will use that game, and gives them to the head ref.  He checks them, sings off on them, and gives them back to the team.  This takes place 2 hours and 15 minutes before the game.  This is so the teams can scuff new balls, to make them grippier.  Did this happen with the Patriot’s balls?   We don’t know… yet. What is the penalty for this?  Apparently, a fine “as much as $25,000”.  What does that dollar figure mean to a team worth billions… especially one with the superbowl on the line?  There will be talk about taking a draft pic.  Boo fucking hoo.  I say either make them play the game over, or pull the Superbowl from them.  See, the Patriots have a history of cheating.  You can google it.  Did this help the Patriots win?  Probably not by much.  They won by 40 points.  They didn’t have to cheat.  How long have they been doing this?  We’ll never know.  At least, not until some of these guys retire and decide to come clean. Were it me caught?  I would say something like this

 “frankly, it sickens me, and it cheapens our win.  It was a very cold that day.  It’s possible that impacted the inflation.  However, you and I both know it wouldn’t affect it that much.  Of course we are looking into this with our equipment managers and such.  Trust me, this is a bigger concern to us than it is you.  It puts a LOT of things into perspective, and means we need to change how we do business.  I am the coach, and I take full responsibility.  I fully welcome any and all investigations and inquiries.  I fully accept any and all punishments this will result in.  I can promise you this, it changes absolutely everything about how we do business.  I want to apologize to fans, and ESPECIALLY to the wonderful Indianapolis Colts.  They are a great organization, and I can understand how they would be furious about this development.”

*** the ‘nerf’ analogy- I  wrote this before I found that video piece.  They used the same analogy.  Just wanted you to know I wrote that first.  About 6 hours before I found that video piece. ***  update 1.26.15 – a few important voices have chimed in, and they are calling bullshit on the Pats.  Like… who? Jim Jenkins and Molly Wallace most definitely call bullshit.  Who are they?  The people who make the goddamn footballs.  Some would call them ‘experts’.  In fact, even Belichekc would call them experts.  See, this story has tarnished Wilson, who busts their asses to keep the game legit.  Molly, who is in charge of this stuff, was asked “how could air come out of these footballs?”

Well, it’s couldn’t.

Ok, that seems pretty clear.  How about the other Wilson guy.  He doesn’t mince words.  “it isn’t possible”.  What do you think of the Patriots story?

It’s BS, man

Ok, good sound bite.  But… it was all cold that day, and we know that cold air contracts, and hot air expands.  So, with temperatures that fluctuate during the 90 minutes where the balls were inspected to code (and returned to the team) and the time of the game starting…. i mean… that could shrink the ball a bit, right?  No.  To use his words

Well it couldn’t

Just like politics, the scandal goes all the way to the top.  This guy feels the owners are just too cozy with the league… so there is no objective observation.  There is no checks and balances.  Who is this guy, who dates question the integrity of the NFL?

Oh… gee, only the motherflippin’ retired NFL commissioner.  Paul Tagliabu seems to feel things have gone downhill with Goodell taking over.

anyone else who is a so called ‘expert’ wanna weigh in?  Bill Nye.  Yeah, an expert in physic and science and stuff.

Oh, and lets just say temperature variation could have caused it.  Wouldn’t all the Colts balls be in the exact same shape (or lack of)… BAM.  That just happened.

NFL – boo fucking hoo

If you know me, you know I LOVE football. If you know me, I HATE the NFL corporation. Why? Well, today they gave me a perfectly good example as to why Roger Goodell is the devil.

It looks like the NFL is broke, and we ALL need to help out.  I mean, why else would all of the following befall these saints?

You may know that the NFL hid concussions and those repercussions for years, resulting in many ex-players dead. You may know they got sued for anti-trust in their marketing strategies. You may know they charged New Jersey residents $25,000 just for rights to buy season tickets in the new stadium. If you paid the $25,000, that didn’t actually buy you a single season ticket. You may know that the NFL won’t allow a local game to be broadcast unless the stadium is sold out beforehand.

You may know they got sued by cheerleaders for unfair labor practices. They lost that case, and it resulted in them (the NFL) having to pay minimum wage to the cheerleaders.  Plus, there was the strike two years ago.  The NFL is broke people, goddamnit why can’t you see that?  Why else would they treat consumers and players like this?

You may know that, though they made 8 BILLION last year, they do not pay a penny of taxes. They are listed, quite amusingly, as a 501C charity. Like your local dog shelter.  Then, this report from Forbes says the average NFL team is worth 1.3 BILLION.  Ok, I can’t wrap my head around a figure like that.  Lemme grab my trusty calculator and put in 1.3 BILLION times 32 teams.  It’s 32, right?  Ok, and the answer on my calculator says ‘holy fuck that is a lot of money, bro’ and then it just exploded like mission impossible mission giver thingy.

That isn’t why I write today. That stuff is all in the past. Today, I learned that the NFL wants bands to pay them to play the superbowl. Yes, the NFL wants to charge bands to play the superbowl. The NFL is soliciting Katy Perry and Coldplay to ‘pay to play’. The way the NFL sees it, they are giving you a boost in your career. You owe them. If it weren’t for the NFL, you wouldn’t have even heard of these bands. Oh wait, you already know who they are? They are already successful? Well, did they make 8 Billion last year? Exactly.

When reaching out to artists, league representatives asked some acts if they would exchange a headlining slot for a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour earnings, or make another type of financial contribution to the NFL. Sources told the Journal that the suggestion, perhaps unsurprisingly, “got a chilly reception from the candidates’ representatives.”

Yes, chilly sounds appropriate. The NFL made 8 BILLION last year, they will charge a million and a half during the game to run a commercial… and they are not paying a penny in taxes. Boo fucking hoo. This is like C Montgomery Burns asking you for a fiver.  They made 8 Billion, Goodell was paid 32 million last year, and they are being sued just to provide minimum wage?  They don’t pay a penny in taxes?  Oh yeah, it’s quite the opposite.  US taxpayers bought all their stadiums.

It is such a painful dichotomy to love football and hate the NFL so much. It’s similar to my relationship with Ticketbastard and live rock music. I am so upset with Ticketbastard charging 150% service fees that I don’t even go to national concerts anymore. Einstein said something to the effect of ‘evil succeeds when good men to do nothing’. So, I don’t give them money… either of them. Neither should you. That is, until they get together with Ticketbastard to block out the sun.

* full disclosure, I did just buy a Manning Broncos jersey last year, but it was pirated.  🙂  Can’t afford the $150 it costs to buy a proper licensed one.  Wanna make a difference?  Sign this!

Let’s talk about football > black outs and black eyes

* ed note:  this is a cross post from my ‘what I am reading’  page.  It began as a book review, but crossed into so much more I thought it should stand alone as it’s own thing.


Let’s talk about football for a bit, shall we?  I love football.  Love love love it!  I am also torn, however.  I am torn because the NFL is an evil organization, for many reasons.  They treat their players poorly.  Did you know NFL players have no health insurance after they retire?  Yet… Ford employees do.  The NFL makes 8 Billion dollars a year, and they are a ‘non-profit 501C’ charity.  This means they don’t pay a penny in taxes.  In fact, quite the opposite; every football stadium in the US is paid for with taxpayer dollars***. Charity, my ass!  They pay no taxes and they pay for no health care.  They are mean to the players and they are mean to the fans.  More specifics?  How about the black out rules?  If a team doesn’t sell out all the tickets in the stadium for a home game… the NFL forbids that game from being on TV in that market.

*** note – the Cowboys original stadium wasn’t.  Jerry Jones financed that himself, which is brilliant.  He gets to make his own rules, and pocket all the cash.  He didn’t have to rob the taxpayers of Dallas for his dream.  I respect that man a ton!

For example – San Diego Chargers rarely sell out their games.  So, that means you also don’t get to watch them at home on Sundays.  The NFL does this to force you to go see the game in person.  Yeah, that is a treat for sure – $40 parking, $100 seats (that is face value for the worst seats) $6 water, $8 beer. When the game is over, you have to navigate home with 60,000 fellow drivers… all of whom are also wasted.  No thanks, I’ll watch at home.

Another example?  Ok. Last month RG3 was not playing.  It was a pre-season game, and he was still dealing with an injury.  BEFORE the game, which was NOT regular season, he wore a shirt on the field made by a company other than Nike.  Nike, you see, has an illegal monopoly with the NFL.  All players HAVE to wear Nike clothes, and only Nike clothes.  I can call it a monopoly because the Supreme Court already did.  Well, for wearing a t shirt that wasn’t Nike, before a game, a pre-season game, a game he wasn’t playing in… he got a $10,000 fine.  Some fucking charity that is.

So, with that said, I still really love football.  An analogy would be my love of music and my feelings towards Ticketbastard.  One has nearly ruined the other, but it is what it is.  Football joyfully consumes a ton of my time.  I play in a couple different fantasy leagues, and all that jive.  I watch football games, I watch shows about football games.  I study about it, and I am more than happy to talk about it for hours with total strangers. More importantly,  I am fascinated by the life of a football player outside the game.  I wanna know about the minutia of being a football player.  Is it weird to go to McDonald’s because people stare at you?  Do you have trouble fitting in beds and cars and clothes because you are so ginormous?  What did it do to your relationships?  Stuff like that is what I like to know about, same with musicians.

Several books below, I talked about the really great Stefan Fatsis book called ‘a Few Seconds of Panic’.  I very highly recommend that book.  This book, so far, is a similar tale about the NFL told from the inside.  Here is what I have learned so far.  For the players – football isn’t about the smell of the grass on game day.  It’s not about taking the ball 70 yards for the game winning touchdown.  It’s not about signing the football for that little crippled boy who says you are his hero.  Yeah, I know it says that on the back of every dust jacket.

Playing in the NFL is about pain.  Constant pain every waking minute from the time you are about 18 on.  You think to yourself ‘cry me a river, these guys have the best doctors on earth taking care of them!’.  Well… yes and no.  They do have the best doctors and the best everything money can buy.  But no, they are not treating the players.  Why?  Because the players are afraid to tell anyone they are hurt.  if you are hurt, you get benched.  Your ‘toughness’ is questioned, and you get cut in the off-season.  So, you play hurt always and never tell anyone.  You also say “but Lono, these guys are getting millions to play a playground game, cry me a river!”.  Yeah, they are.  However, these guys are also retired and unemployable by age 30.  They are also broke and addicted to painkillers.  Every single one of them.  Well, except the 12 guys on television.  There is no pension or health care for players.

I don’t blame that all on the NFL.  I also blame the players union who doesn’t do dick for them, but takse their money.  Remember when Homer was briefly president of the employee’s union at the nuclear plant?  In negotiations with management, he traded their health care for a keg of beer.  The saddest part was the workers were stoked they got one over on management. I blame the young dumb poor 20 year kids who spend 5 million a year like they are going to be making that for the next 20 years.  The league actually does try and coach and warn these kids about money issues.  But, you can’t tell a 20-year-old kid shit.  He ain’t listening.  He especially ain’t listening’ if he is a newly minted millionaire and has been dirt poor all this life.  He especially ain’t listening’ if a bunch of super rich old white guys are telling him what to do… when in his eyes most of all his problems have been caused by super rich old white guys.

Per the Fatsis book, I learned the average NFL career is 2.5 years.  Of course, every player thinks they will be the exception.  Think of that.  You are done FOR LIFE by 30 years old. It comes against your will. It is the one thing you did well all your life, and the only thing you ever truly cared about… and it is taken away.  Imagine if you told me at 30 I could no longer cook, or screw, or play guitar, for the rest of my life.  I just really started getting good at that stuff at 30.  Imagine if my company came to my desk at 30 and fired me… and no one else would hire me.  Imagine if I came to work every day, and there were three guys in the office looking for MY job.  The only way any of those three guys gets to keep their job is if I screw up at work or hurt myself.  Can you imagine that pressure?  Let’s be even more specific.  I work in customer service, so I handled escalated and very visible customer complaints.  Last month I had one that I just blew.  Totally my fault, I spaced out calling the customer back.  Plus, I am 41.  Guess what, in sports, that would have been my ass.  I would unemployed, and unemployable.

I know this is all very negative, and doesn’t sound like a guy who loves football.  But, to love something you must understand and appreciate all of it’s aspects.  Like a marriage, you have to understand and live with its faults.  This is how I feel about football.  It is complex, and often horrible… but I live for it.

Lucky for me, this guy Nate Jackson, like Fatsis below, was a Denver Bronco.  So, I get the added bonus of not just learning about the NFL’s culture… I get a peek inside my beloved home team.  Here is a small example of what I am poorly trying to explain – I am about 20 pages in so far, and the author talks about ‘the Greek’ a ton.  He says ‘the Greek’ is the team trainer/doctor.  Now, if I wasn’t a Broncos fan, I would have no idea what or who he is talking about.  But, I do.  ‘the Greek’ is long time beloved team trainer Steve Antonopolous.  So, knowing the Broncos like I do helps.  Yeah, I know our team trainer by his name, AND his nickname.  Do you know that much about your football team?  Of course you don’t.

So, I am very excited this book.  I know it will be about the smell of the grass on a game day Sunday morning.  I know it’s gonna be about free drinks and pussy wherever he goes.  I know it’s gonna be about teamwork and camaraderie and running seams and patterns.  Mostly, though, I know it’s gonna be about pain.  Not just the physical pain… but that day when he was probably about 27 years old and the assistant coach called him and said he’d been cut.  The one thing you have been working towards every single day of your life since you were ten years old… you will never ever get to do again.  Worst of all, it is almost never on your own terms.

Go Broncos!