Anybody who knows me knows I have the cutest sweetest smartest dog ever, but only those who read this column know just how knowledgeable the jaunty pup is regarding sports! So here below, for your entertainment, is a brief exchange which passed between us the other day whilst I gulped my morning coffee….which of course is best served with extra half-and-half, Coffee-Mate powder for extra structure (I call it “ballast”), and a generous dollop of brown sugar. And then reheated in the microwave because by this time it’s gotten too cold….
THE SPORTS PHILOSOPHER: Well my boy, another NFL season is upon us. Are you excited???
MONTE: No! (try to picture a cute little black dog sobbing uncontrollably…)
TSP: What’s the matter, bright eyes?
MONTE: The Giants are twenty games behind the Dodgers! I’m a little depressed.
TSP: Me too. But cheer up. A little NFL banter will take your mind off of your baseball woes.
MONTE: Okay. I’ll try. (sniffle.)
TSP: Well, Peyton Manning sure got the season off to a great start, didn’t he? Seven touchdown passes in one game? Against the defending Super Bowl champs? Amazing.
MONTE: So does that guy ever get any hot chicks stuck with a huge pasty-white forehead like that?
TSP: He’s married.
MONTE: You didn’t answer the question.
TSP: Focus, my boy, stay focused. There will be plenty of the usual off-the-field scandals this year, without some dog starting vicious rumors.
TSP: So back to business— who looked good to you in Week One?
MONTE: You mean besides the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders?
TSP: Yes. If you don’t mind.
MONTE: Well, the Eagles’ new up-tempo offense sure looked good. You humans just don’t have the endurance to keep up with that “no-huddle” stuff.
TSP: Yeah, the Redskins’ defense looked pretty gassed trying to keep up. You’re right as usual, ‘dog.
MONTE: Even their puppy-killer quarterback was impressive.
TSP: You still haven’t forgiven Michael Vick? After all these years?
TSP: Okay. Let’s move on.
MONTE: Our Bears did pretty good too. Came from behind for a change.
TSP: They sure did.
MONTE: What did Papa Bear have to say about the Bears’ sterling performance?
TSP: You mean your Uncle Jeff, right?
TSP: Not much. He didn’t even watch the game. He took a nap. He’s turning into sort of a curmudgeon….
MONTE: Too bad he missed it. Jay Cutler was so great in the clutch!
TSP: He sure was. Maybe Cutler will finally realize his potential as a big-time quarterback this year.
MONTE: Cutler….I like the way his name sort of sounds like cutlet. Yummy….
TSP: Stop dropping hints. You know you don’t get fed this early in the day.
MONTE: What about the other Manning brother?
MONTE: Is there a third one?
TSP: Well, yeah, but he’s an accountant….
MONTE: Eli, then. The one with a full head of hair and a normal-sized head.
TSP: What about him?
MONTE: Well, I saw where he threw an interception three seconds into the game against Dallas….isn’t that some sort of an all-time futility record?
TSP: Probably. But they don’t keep track of stupid records like that.
MONTE: Why the hell not?
TSP: Down, boy….
MONTE: I mean I looked at the clock and it said 14:57 left to go in the first quarter. Why wouldn’t they keep track of something cool like that? It’s funny!
TSP: Not funny to Eli.
MONTE: But hey, dumb as that was, the dumbest play of the week was in the Jets game.
TSP: You mean when the Tampa guy pushed the Jets guy down when he was already out of bounds?
TSP: And the penalty moved the ball into field goal range?
TSP: And they kicked the game-winning 48-yard field goal with a couple seconds to go whereas they would never have been close enough to kick it at all if that guy on Tampa wasn’t one of the dumbest athletes currently employed on this planet???
TSP: I agree. It must be hard to be a Tampa Bay Bucs fan right about now….
MONTE: Just why are you people so damn dumb, anyway?
TSP: Beats the hell outa me, Snoop. We’re a flawed species. Centuries of reckless in-breeding, perhaps.
MONTE: I mean I remember you explained this to me once….that every team should have a guy on the sidelines who….what was it you called it….a guy who makes sure nothing stupid, uh….someone who is paid to make sure stupid stuff never, uh….
TSP: —You mean a Stupidity Coordinator?
MONTE: That’s it! A Stupidity Coordinator! How come Tampa doesn’t employ a Stupidity Coordinator?
TSP: It’s a mystery.
MONTE: And while I’m on the subject of stupidity, how come you only feed me once a day?
TSP: How come you lick yourself in public?
MONTE: Easy. Because I can.
TSP: You know what my biggest NFL pet peeve is? The kickoff. When they moved the line of scrimmage from the 30 yard line to the 35 it virtually eliminated the kick return from the sport. 95% of the time the kickoff goes out of the end zone for a touchback. It’s the biggest waste of time since they invented Reality TV.
MONTE: So then why did they institute such a stupid rule? To prevent injuries?
TSP: Yep. But it’s football. Eliminating the kick return cuz it’s a little dangerous is the equivalent of them passing a law in boxing against throwing a left hook or a right cross.
MONTE: You always explain things so well.
TSP: It’s cuz I spend all day long sitting around thinking up ways to help my fellow man.
MONTE: Is that what you’re doing when you pace back and forth all day? Just thinking?
TSP: Sure. It’s what philosophers do.
MONTE: But back to the kickoff return thing, why can’t Roger Goodell figure all that out for himself?
TSP: Because the commissioner needs a Stupidity Coordinator too. Like I say, we’re a flawed species.
MONTE: I’ll say….
TSP: Okay, after one week, gimme your surprise Super Bowl contender. Your dark horse.
MONTE: Well I don’t know if they’ll contend for the Super Bowl, but adding Reggie Bush sure makes Detroit a better team. They already had a good QB in Matt Stafford, a great receiver in Calvin Johnson, and a crackerjack defensive line. Now they have a running back that can run almost as fast as I can….although I am almost 13 years old, and a little creaky in the joints. To be fair.
TSP: You’re right in theory. But I still don’t trust Detroit not to do dumb stuff when it really matters.
MONTE: What about you, deep thinker? Any shining pearls of wisdom to be extracted from Week One?
TSP: Not really. My brilliance doesn’t really kick in till week three or four.
MONTE: You’re too modest. The way you explained to me the polar opposite structures of a draw play versus a play-action pass during the Chargers game was a thing of beauty.
TSP: Why thank you, my boy.
MONTE: Did you at least enjoy the week-one action?
TSP: Of course. And that’s the point. The NFL brings the joy every week. I just wish I could figure out a way to bring that same enjoyment to your Uncle Jeff. Football is only enjoyable to him when the Bears win.
MONTE: How about gambling? Maybe you could teach him the rudiments of betting the spreads.
TSP: No, Jeff’s not a betting man. I’d have a better chance of getting you to not bark through the fence at the neighbor dogs for no good reason.
MONTE: Not much chance of that, dude. Besides, sometimes there IS a good reason—have you seen how cute that Golden Retriever is next door?
TSP: Yeah, she’s a looker. Too young for you, though.
MONTE: Y’know that’s not really a problem with my species.
TSP: Well in conclusion, it looks like the Seattle/San Fran game is the big one in Week Two. The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the NFC title. Any thoughts?
MONTE: Not really….oh, unless you count the weird thing about San Francisco’s quarterback….
TSP: You mean Colin Kaepernick?
MONTE: Yeah, Kaepernick. He sure looks a lot like Bin Laden.
MONTE: In fact, I think he IS Bin Laden.
TSP: Monte, you kill me.
MONTE: Release the assassination photos, Mister President!
TSP: Convene the Grand Jury! It’s a conspiracy!
MONTE: Anyway, thanks for including me in your column this week, master.
TSP: You’re welcome.
MONTE: You are my lord, my liege, and my god.
TSP: Bless you, my child.
MONTE: Seriously, you’re a really high-quality human type being.
TSP: Uh-oh….here it comes—
MONTE: I have just one last question for you….
TSP: What’s that.
MONTE: Is it lunchtime yet?
meet….The Sports Philosopher!
Brad Eastland is an author, an historian, a film buff, an undiscovered literary savant, and a big fan of the Chicago Bears….win OR lose. 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.
*Brad has a new book out. It’s called “L.A. JOURNAL”, a collection of short-stories about Los Angeles. To pick up a copy simply search for that title in both hardback and paperback on amazon.com, iUniverse.com, or bn.com. 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 read it again. Okay? For all this and all your support he thanks you from the bottom of his tired and cynical old heart…..
The author’s official website is www.authorstourusa.com/Brad-Eastland.html