Yelling at the tube

For the second time this NFL season I cheered out loud in response to a Bucs performance. In a play right out of the Gators’ national championship game, Ike Hilliard broke free for a long catch-and-run touchdown to complete the Bucs improbable comeback… and the walls erected around my cynicism fell down.

It lasted about thirty minutes.

About ten minutes into the overtime period, the Bears completed what initially looked like a controversial play… a long pass putting them in field goal range (and that much closer to the Bucs losing a game in sudden-death overtime). Immediately after the play, Tampa Twin Ronde jumped up wildly gesturing that the ball hit the ground, thus voiding the play. The officials on the field didn’t agree. The one replay shown by Fox at least gave the impression that it deserved another look, from another (TV) angle. It appeared that the Bucs only hope was that the NFL’s instant replay rule would come to the rescue. However, the crafty Bears ran up to the line to run the next play, giving the replay officials less time to look at the play and call time out (by rule, a play can not be stopped for a replay review once the ball is snapped on the ensuing play). As the Bears ran up to the line I was yelling at my TV (again)… “JON, CALL THE TIME OUT!!! YOU’VE GOT ONE LEFT!!! WHAT ARE YOU SAVING IT FOR!!! PLEASE GOD… CALL THE TIME OUT!!! GIVE THE REFS MORE TIME!!! IT’S OUR ONLY HOPE!!!”

As you can well imagine, he didn’t hear me. He didn’t call time out. The replay officials didn’t stop the game for a review. The Bears scored, the game ended, and the Bucs lost… again. I have no idea whether the replay officials would have taken another look if Gruden called time out… but it has happened. I think it might have happened in a Bucs game earlier this year (initiated by the other coach, of course).

Oh well, it looks like we may be two games away from clinching (at least) the number three pick in the next entry draft. There’s always next year. Maybe they’ll draft more bait for the backfield…

Inappropriate metaphors

(Author’s note: this entry makes a little more sense knowing it was written two weeks ago.)

Your body is not a bank. In so far as you are not made up of mortar, timber or stone, this is pretty obvious. The bank as a metaphor for your body’s function doesn’t work well, on many levels. You see… with a bank you can’t continue to make withdrawals without the occasional deposit. The horrible reality of my body is that I can continue to make withdrawals long after a bank would have cut me off. The occasion of this observation is an example of bad judgment, whose consequences I reap at this very moment. Last night I offered my sleep on the altar of sacrifice to the football gods, in hopes that the fortunes of at least one of my favorite teams would improve (the mighty – if slightly overrated – Gators not withstanding; their accomplishments having faded with the awful performances witnessed yesterday).

Earlier in the day the home team (the Bucs) came to the stadium pick up their paychecks. They stuck around for a few hours, shedding a few pounds of pride, and making a few fans nostalgic for the days of Sam Wyche. Later that evening, my alternate team took the field in prime time, looking to spoil the perfect start of the team formerly from Baltimore. They spent the first half playing to the strengths of the Equus Shoes… stacking the line and playing single-coverage on their exceptional wide-outs on defense, and attacking the edges of their undersized (but fast) defensive line on offense. It was during this display of the Patriot’s coaching staff out-smarting themselves that I made the decision to make my sacrifice. Rather than go to bed (like a sane person), I stayed up to watch the whole thing.

The butcher’s bill for the evening (besides a couple of disappointing football scores) was three and a half hours of sleep.

Assuming my wife has any pity for me (she doesn’t), my kids could play quietly after dinner (I don’t have anything else to say about that), and the bank metaphor of physiology holds more water than your average fork; I could just go to bed around six this evening to balance the books. Even if I could… I just can’t. After working all day, coming home to chores, child bed-time prep, and dinner; going straight to bed feels like betrayal. I can’t just go to sleep with out doing something just for me.

No, I won’t be catching up on my sleep anytime soon. In fact, I may make matters worse tonight (I’ve been itching to play Halo 2 again).

My mind is cruel this way, when it comes to sleep. The truly troubling aspect of this ordeal is that I knew all of this going into last night, and I still stayed up late to watch the Patriots lose to the Equus Shoes. I knew I’d spend all week not catching up on my sleep, regretting it every single morning, and repeating the performance the following night.

Hello. My name is John and I’m an idiot.

A good football weekend.

I am a Bucs fan. I know it is fashionable to say, “I have been a fan for a long time”, but how many of the others had posters of Ron Holmes, Ron Hall, Donald Igwebweke, or James Wilder hanging on their bedroom wall? As a childhood transplant from Massachusetts, I’ve had a good year. The Patriots won last year and the Bucs this year. Next thing you know it, the Red Sox will win the World Series. O.K., I admit I’m getting a little carried away.