Thursday, September 27, 2012

He Caught The Ball

I was telling Jess tonight that this Seahawks win over Green Bay has too many similarities with conversations about politics and religion. It feels like people have made the decision about what they believe, and there is no budging now, evidence be damned.

My reaction on Monday night: It definitely looks like we got away with something. I'd like to believe that the officials saw something the rest of us didn't, but it sure doesn't look that way.

Tuesday: There is at last a chance, a thin thread of possibility, that they got the call right. But even if they did, what's the point, nobody else in the country would believe it.

Tonight: They got the call right, damnit. And I don't care if you think that makes me an idiot--look at the evidence, if you're not willing to consider they might have gotten it right then YOU'RE the close-minded one.

Exhibit A:

The view we got on MNF was from the South, if you will, but this is from the North. In the other view you see Jennings clearly receive the ball, and it looks like Tate just sort of shoves his right arm up there, which would seem, in no way, to imply that he has simultaneous possession. And as I watched the replay over and over again I wished and wished I could see what his left arm was doing. And there you have it. We know his right arm was on the ball--but now we see his LEFT arm, also on the ball. Do you understand. Two hands on the ball, two feet on the ground--Jennings still up in the air.

Exhibit B:

There is no doubt that Jennings elevated above Tate and received the ball first. BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT A LEGAL CATCH IS IN THE NFL. A catch is only a catch if you receive the ball and control it all the way to the ground. That means that, until Jennings is on the ground with full control of the football, Tate has the opportunity and duty to do everything he can to get the ball. So before Jennings can get his feet on the ground, Tate has already gotten both of his hands on the ball, and they are engaged in a struggle.

That is simultaneous possession--and the rule states that simultaneous possession goes to the receiver.

With all of the right angles, considered as a whole, it seems pretty solid to me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Evasion Tactics

I wrote the following and then said, "Man, where did that come from?" And then I answered my own question. These last several months our friends and family, and our very selves, have been ravaged by divorce and heartbreak, addictions and failures and mishaps and pain:

What is it about life that makes us want to numb ourselves? The human condition is defined by our weakness to addiction. Addictions bring us comfort, a safe place, release. We all have them, and to the degree that we are wrapped in them is to the degree that we are hurt by them. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, power—those are the easy ones. Television, talk radio, video games, hobbies, talking, silence, politics, religion. All good things in and of themselves—all destructive when they become addictions.

Life frightens us. At the very heart and rock bottom of existence is a fact we cannot accept—we have no control over it. We are beholden to the elemental forces of the world. We may take our shots, and we may succeed for a time, but we accomplish as ones whistling through the cemetery at midnight. Our IQ and drive to succeed are no match for cancer, for a drunk driver, a stray bullet.

Our control gambits and schemes (like making a living, forging relationships we believe we can rely on) are unstable; we know this somewhere, but we are constantly engaged in pushing this knowledge to the bottom of our mental heap. The endless, unstoppable drip of disorder on the back of our necks drives us sideways to our addictions. They bring us pleasure, and we think that’s why we like them. But more so than providing pleasure, they are blocking us from the pain: the pain of knowing, knowing without the possibility of exception, that death comes for us all, and makes a mockery of what we tried to do with our 28,470 days—that is if the ghosts and monsters of naked, unrelenting reality did not get to us before our three score and ten.