The SPORTS PHILOSOPHER says: “Be your own Stupidity Coordinator”

October 10, 2011
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     In the NFL, as in life, it all comes down to limiting stupidity.

     Or perhaps managing stupidity is a better way to put it.   Because NFL teams just don’t seem to be able to limit stupidity completely.

     I’ve written about this before.   Here’s a column addressing the stupidity issue from last September:

     Did you like that column?   I guess you can tell I’m fairly passionate about this issue.   I have long believed that EVERY college and professional football team could profit from having a “Stupidity Coordinator” prowling the sidelines, and that he could conceivably have a greater impact on his team’s chances for success than its Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator combined.   I’m not kidding.   I mean I always try in my columns to make things funny for entertainment purposes, but seriously, this time I am literally not kidding.   Hire a guy to go up and down the sidelines constantly telling all his players what stupid things not to do.   They obviously need constant reminders along those lines.   And then during the week, have the ‘SC’ (yes, that’s short for Stupidity Coordinator) hold two team meetings every day in practice, going over potential stupidity-triggering situations.   Pay him approximately $500,000 a year.   Which will attract the most brilliant NFL minds in the country.   The first NFL owner who does this will soon be hailed as a genius, a genius along the lines of Einstein, Newton, Plato, and the guy who invented the straw that bends in the middle.


Meet Juqua Parker….now, try not to be too much like him.









     There were at least two games this last week in the NFL that if I were the losing team’s Stupidity Coordinator, they might very well have won.

Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are struggling.   If ever there was a “dream team” in desperate need of a win it was the Eagles.   So let me ask you, if this was a game the supposedly great and Super Bowl bound Eagles absolutely had to win, had to win (which they didn’t, of course), do you think perhaps they might have had a better chance of not making 5 turnovers and not being flagged for 5 dumb penalties if they had a crackerjack SC (like maybe the Sports Philosopher) roaming the sidelines???   I should think so.   Do you think a top-class SC would have let them run a time-consuming long pass play at the end of the 1st half with only 8 seconds on the clock and no time-outs left—causing the clock to expire—rather than kick the easy field goal???   I think not.   And if this overall shoddy and undisciplined approach to football wasn’t enough to make you question the general IQ-level of the Human Race, there was a play at the end of the game that might have made you sure your suspicions were correct, as to just how low that number probably is.   The Eagles had been down 28 to 7 but came clawing back, furiously rallying to close the gap to seven points with the 4th quarter winding down, and the Bills were facing a 4th-and-one near mid field.   They lined up like they were going to go for it.   Of course they weren’t going to go for it, they weren’t going to risk not making it and giving the Eagles and Michael Vick the ball at mid field, they were merely going through the motions of trying to draw the Eagles off-sides, which would mean an automatic 1st down and the game would be over, and which therefore almost never works.   Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stood there behind center like an idiot for about seven seconds barking out phony signals, hoping against any reasonable hope that someone on the Eagles would be so incredibly stupid as to try to anticipate the snap count (for a center snap that was never forthcoming of course) and thus commit the off-sides penalty.   But I knew they weren’t going to snap the ball.   All of America knew they weren’t going to snap the ball.  

     I even asked my dog Monte, who was dozing next to me, “Hey Monte, do you think there’s any chance that either the Bills will snap the ball or that someone on the Eagles is dumb enough to jump off-sides from the phony snap count???   A shrewd football tactician in his own right, Monte rolled over, closed his eyes, and refused to even answer such a ridiculous question….

     But lo and behold, there was someone on the Eagles who was dumb enough to think the Bills were serious about going for it and so decided to jump off-sides.   Defensive end Juqua Parker.   Juqua.   I bet he’s the only guy in NFL history named Juqua.   And to think I was going to name my own kid Juqua….

     Anyway, the 5-yard penalty gave the Bills a 1st down and they simply knelt down twice and the game was over.   If ever a team needed a Stupidity Coordinator, it was the Eagles on this day.

San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos: The Chargers were killing the Broncos, 26-10, and so, finally, the hometown Broncos fans got their wish.   Denver put in former college sensation and the nation’s proudest admitted virgin, Tim Tebow, at quarterback.   Denver fans had been screaming for Tebow all year to no avail.   His effect on the game was immediate.   He started running around, making plays, running from scrimmage, diving for 1st downs, he ran for a touchdown, then passed for a touchdown, they made one 2-point conversion and missed another (on a dumb high-risk fade pattern in the back of the end zone that no self-respecting Stupidity Coordinator would have stood for), and they were about to get the ball back from San Diego with about two minutes to go, down by only two points.

     That’s when mental disaster struck.   Some guy on San Diego pushed a Bronco after a play was over, and naturally (the NFL being a league where most players are easily dumb enough to get goaded into retaliating in such an instance because they believe their pride is at stake), the Bronco retaliated with a head-butt to the head, an automatic personal foul penalty, 15 yards, San Diego kept the ball and got a fresh set of downs, and then exhausted enough of the clock that by the time Tebow got the ball back all reasonable chance of victory was gone….and he still almost pulled it off with a couple of desperation “Hail Mary” passes; one which worked, and the second which did not.   But if Denver employed a first-rate Stupidity Coordinator today, I bet that guy would not have retaliated and the home crowd might have been treated to a comeback for the ages.   Instead they lost.

     Truth is, we all need Stupidity Coordinators in our lives.   I remember once I made the mistake of showing a girlfriend of mine correspondence between me and a former girlfriend, just because she asked to see it.   I figured since the operative word was former, and since I had not seen Ms. Former in many many years, and since the present girlfriend asked to see it, and since the contents of the correspondence were bland and unthreatening in any way, that it would be fine.   Big mistake.   Jealousy, rancor, yelling (by her) and depression and disillusionment (by me) ensued.   If I had a Stupidity Coordinator, he would doubtless have told me that when sharing your past lives with a significant other, less is always better.

     And take recently.   I was in a minor car crash.   No one was hurt, but my car was crunched up pretty bad.   It was the other guy’s fault, but f I had simply allowed him to execute his illegal turn in the middle of the street and waited for him to leave the area and my world forever, even though I had the right-of-way, he would never have had the opportunity to back into me and inconvenience me to such a foul and depressing degree.   I needed my own personal SC to keep me out of trouble.   But I was forced to make that decision alone, and I failed.

     If Robert E. Lee had a Stupidity Coordinator, he would never have attacked the fortified Union center at Gettysburg….

     If Hitler had a Stupidity Coordinator, he would never have waited to attack Russia until late July….

     If Bush senior had a Stupidity Coordinator, he never would have let Saddam remain in power….

     If Bush junior had a Stupidity Coordinator, he would never have used WMDs that didn’t exist as an excuse to remove Saddam from power….

     Y’see my point?

     I guess the best advice I can give you is to try to become your own Stupidity Coordinator.   Work at it every day.   If you do, and succeed, perhaps you can spend the rest of your life avoiding the feelings of naked disillusionment, inferiority, depression, and utter helplessness that every member of the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos is feeling right now.







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