The SPORTS PHILOSOPHER says: ‘Mom may have been right all along.’

September 24, 2012
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     My late mother had a saying.

     It had to do with how she was always worried that the world was coming to an end.   It was some sort of Biblical mumbo jumbo.   Revelations, I think.   To wit, she was often wont to proclaim, “We’re all going to hell in a handbasket!”


     I still don’t quite know what a handbasket is, but her warning always scared the crap out of me….even though I figured it was all just a bunch of end-of-the-world bluster and that she didn’t know what the heck (or hell) she was talking about.

     But after surviving this last Sunday’s wild & wacky slate of NFL games, I think she might have been right.

     People, there may have been a wilder, crazier, more improbable kaleidoscope of NFL games and NFL upsets on a Sunday in the last half century, but truthfully I can’t remember when.   I mean it.

     My son Rob and I had a great view of the action.   We went on down to a Black Angus here in Monrovia, where as long as you keep eating and pounding down a few overpriced drinks they let you sit there for hours on end watching all the NFL games on their 15 or so huge TVs sprinkled throughout the establishment.   It’s sort of like being in Vegas!   You should try it.   It’s a hoot.

     Anyway, the main reason we went there was to see our beloved Bears, and the Bears did win 23-6 against the overmatched Rams, but they looked awful doing it.   That’s all I’m gonna say about that particular game, lest I get too depressed to continue typing.   Whew!   That was close.

     All the other games were far more interesting anyway.   And it really took me back, back to my younger days, going to Vegas, watching all the games at once on the big TVs in the various Vegas casino Sports Book parlors.

     The wildest game was surely the Detroit/Tennessee game.   Also the one with the most stupidity attached to it.   Stupidity, of course, being one of the true time-honored tenets of pro football.   It’s truly amazing, after all these years, how many really dumb things still happen in every pro football game.   In this one there were too many to list, but here are the most noteworthy: First of all, leading 41-27 (not exactly a defensive struggle, huh?) the Titans allowed the Lions to score not one but TWO touchdowns in the game’s final 18 seconds, which happens literally about once every quarter century.   They managed this difficult triumph of mediocrity by blowing an on-side kick recovery and then allowing a 50-yard “Hail Mary” touchdown pass to tie the score on the final play of regulation.   Instead of batting the pass to the ground, the Titan defender cleverly flicked it up in the air….sort of like he was playing volleyball.   But Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz did the Tennessee stupidity dance one better.   In overtime, down by three points 44-41 (that’s right, 85 points in one game), and on the Tennessee 7-yard-line, 4th and one, he tried to go for it rather than kick the tying field goal.   It was stunning!   Of course he wanted the touchdown.   But if you don’t make it the game is over.   If you kick the easy chip-shot field goal you get to keep playing.   There’s absolutely no way you can go for it in that situation on 4th down, knowing if you don’t make it the game is instantly over.   But they went for it anyway.

     They didn’t make it.

     After the game, Schwartz tried to claim he didn’t really want to go for it, that he was trying to call time out.   Oh.   His quarterback must have thought Jim’s urgent plea to “don’t snap the ball, call a time out!” sounded like he said “quick, do a quarterback sneak!”.   Honest mistake.

     Years ago, the Dolphins’ Tony Sparano used to be the dumbest head coach in football.   Now it’s Jim Schwartz.   He’s just done too many moronic things lately to be ignored.   Humor lovers, we need to all keep an eye on this guy….   

     The Titans’ shocking upset of the Lions was certainly not the only upset on Sunday.

     *The Raiders came from 14 points down to nail the heavily-favored Steelers at the wire.   How can this be?

     *The Chiefs came from 18 points down to beat the heavily-favored Saints (who are now 0-3 on the season) in overtime.   How is that possible?

     *The Bengals thrashed the favored Redskins in the ‘Skins own stadium.   What’s going on here?

     *The mighty Eagles lost to the lowly Cardinals by 21 points!   It that a misprint?

     And finally….

     *The worst passing team in the league, the Jaguars, beat the Colts on a desperation 80-yard pass to a guy named Cecil with 45 seconds to go.   No, I’m NOT making this up….who’d believe me?

     Anyway, my mother warned me that when crazy things start happening in the world the end is near.   But one thing has happened recently in this country that would have killed my mother even more surely than cancer actually did.   Something I don’t think anyone could envision even, say, ten years ago.

     Have you seen the new Carl’s Jr. commercial for the Memphis barbecue burger?

     This is what I’m talking about.   I’m not shocked by anything nowadays, but this came close.   In the commercial, these two very attractive young girls, wearing short cut-off jean-shorts and skimpy halter tops, are at this county fair cooking up some burgers and pulled pork sandwiches, and they start “accidentally” spilling sauce and meat all over each others’ perfect bodies.   Now I’m no prude.   But I have to say I felt really uncomfortable being in the same room with my 16-year-old son watching this!   And this wasn’t on cable, either.   It’s not like I’m letting him watch Showtime or Cinemax, or teaching him about soft-core porn.   These spots are being run regularly on regular network TV.   If that’s not a sign that the Apocalypse is upon us I don’t know what the hell is.  

     Rob said he ‘liked’ the commercial.   “It looks like a really good burger, Dad,” he said.   Brother.   He must think his dad is the dumbest dad west of Jim Schwartz.

     And if the sauce on skin wasn’t bad (as in good) enough, one of the girls (seriously, have you seen this?), well, let’s just say her shorts are too short.   As in literally the lower three inch segment of her magnificent ass is sticking out.   Totally out.   Seriously.   Totally visible to the naked eye.   (naked eye….couldn’t resist)

     Well there you have it.   The essence of today’s sermon.   If logic can totally divorce itself from pro sports, if they can now show naked female body parts on network TV, well, I have to admit it.

     Mom may have been right.    

meet….The Sports Philosopher!eastland-book-signing3

Brad Eastland is an author, an historian, film buff, an undiscovered literary savant, and a lover of looking at attractive and indecently clad women….as long as his kid is nowhere to be found.    Brad’s other recent columns for La Verne Online can be found in the Sports Section under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.   His columns on very old and very underappreciated movies can be found by clicking Arts & Entertainment, then clicking ’Upon Further Review’.   Brad has also written 4 fine novels* and over 20 short-stories.   

*To pick up a copy of his recently published novel of life at the racetrack (and of triumph  and utter despair) entitled WHERE GODS GAMBLE, a tale of American mythology, simply search for that title in both hardback and paperback on,, or   And then order it.   And then READ it.   And then tell everyone about it.   And then read it again.   And then post your praise on Facebook.   And then order a dozen more copies to use as Christmas presents.   Okay?   For all this he thanks you…..




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