As much as I love pro-football (American-style), and as much as this particular game came down to an incredible finish, there are some things bigger than the sport, there are some things that make you wonder if all the hits and licks are worth it.
At any rate, these two columns capture both the incredible high of the miracle finish in Sunday's Denver-Buffalo game, and the tragic low in the same game.
(by Stephen Fatsis, NPR commentator and author of the book on kickers, A Few Seconds of Panic, based on his own experience as a training camp kicker)
I wasn't at the game in Orchard Park, but I did watch it live via a heaven-sent (well, China-sent), illegal transmission on my computer. Afterward, like a teenage Bill Belichick studying tape of Navy games or a Kennedy-assassination wackjob deconstructing the Zapruder film, I paused and played and paused and played the NFL.com highlights of the final seconds about 30 times. If you thought the play was incredible in real time, it's even more remarkable broken down.
Tom Jackson, former Broncos linebacker and now a broadcaster, hosts an irreverent Monday-night segment on ESPN indelicately titled "Jacked Up!" that celebrates the league's five fiercest hits of the week, as his buddies in the studio ooh and ah with delight, and network executives can feel good about themselves because nothing worse than a man's pride gets hurt in the videotaped highlights.
But does it knock some sense into any of us when Everett cannot get up?
We get all jacked up about slobber-knocking tackles that serve as the NFL's rocking soundtrack. And maybe it's safer if we don't examine our delight in the pounding rhythms of the game too closely.
For his participation in the gruesome bloodletting of dogs forced to snarl and bite in the name of twisted entertainment, Atlanta's Michael Vick is vilified, while the disgraced Falcons quarterback awaits to hear how long he will spend in jail.