Saturday, January 26, 2008

dallas cowboys: a straw to grasp

My poet friend lit another cigarette and looked at me in a thoughtful manner between wispy rings of smoke. He then moved his queen to a position that would prove to be the final move in one our several soul-searching hangover remedy games of chess. Check-mate. No hope left.
Putting the pieces away, I could not help but relate to the situation the Dallas Cowboys had put themselves in after that embarrassing loss a mere couple of weeks ago. All hope lost as the clock ticked down. 13 – 3 down the proverbial drain. They may as well have had the same record as the 1 - 15 Miami Dolphins.
The nice thing about football, one has to admit, is that at the end of a game, no matter who wins or loses, the earth will still rotate in the same direction as it orbits the same sun. Still, what could have been did not happen. As my poet friend often reminds me, should and is are two separate entities.
He did make an interesting comment regarding what should be the Cowboys’ frame of mind at the moment. “They should, as should their fans, root like mad for the New York Giants to win.
“I’m not one to embark upon clichés, but what happened happened and it’s all water under the bridge and it’s no good to cry over spilled milk and there’s no sense in flogging a dead horse. This may sound like grasping at straws, but there is a straw to wrap their fingers around here. If nothing else, a viable excuse. Think about it.”
I thought about it. He was right in his logic, as he can sometimes be. The Cowboy’s players, coaches and fans really should be pulling in the Giant’s favor.
The Patriots should win. All signs point that way, but again, should and is, etc.
Bill Belichick has put master QB Tom Brady in charge of a fire-breathing, defense-demolishing, dragon. A well oiled machine of a dragon at that.
Tom Coughlin has entrusted the reigns of his workhorse of a team to Eli Manning. Yes, Eli, not the other one who will be sitting and watching just like the rest of us. They do indeed have a mean front four on defense, but that group is backed up by a fairly banged-up secondary.
Then again, what if they manage to pull it off? Does anybody remember the press actually feeling sorry for Muhammad Ali for having to face the sledgehammer fists of George Foreman? Does anyone remember who won that fight? And let’s face it, if the football world collided with the music industry, the Patriots would be to Barry Manilow as the Giants would be to the Ramones. Who’s the tougher dog there? No Michael Vick pun intended there.
But I digress. Back to the Cowboys and why they should be hoping for Meadowland mayhem.
Wade Phillips, in particular, should be crossing his fingers on this one. He could hold a conference in which he apologizes for stating that the better team lost in that bitter tasting playoff game at – at Texas Stadium no less. The team with heart was the appropriate check-mate server.
What better straw to grasp than the sinking-on-the same-ship theory? Hey, it was not just the team from Dallas that was humbled. Every other team in the NFL can watch the ticker tape parade through the streets of New York just like us. Right?
Whatever happens will happen, but in three weeks it will all be water under the bridge and why cry over spilled milk? Go ahead and grasp at straws. The one perfect straw that might wreck an otherwise perfect season for New England could prove to be a beacon of sorts for better days to come in Big D.
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