The last time the Rams and Bucs played in the playoffs was the NFC Championship in January of 2000, and I feel like I’ve lived ten hardscrabble lives since then. I was working at a bakery/cafe and unfortunately had to work that day, (yours truly was fired soon thereafter for calling in sick and was caught red-handed by one of his co-workers at a party later that night having a good time) but watched the second half at a little Irish tavern across the street where Christina Aguilera’s awful “What a Girl Wants” was playing on the juke–the number one hit at the time.
Ricky Proehl caught a TD pass from Mr. Hollywood with 4 minutes and change on the clock to squeak out an 11-6 win and metamorphosed into a Rams legend in the process. I remember feeling elated, but the bar was completely dead, (on a Sunday?) and there wasn’t a soul to celebrate with. In the end, I’m glad it played out the way it did, and I’m glad I was alone as I needed pause to process the culmination of elation, foregone heartbreak, time, and their relation to each other. Sports does weird shit to people, and apparently existential dread is one of them.
My cousin sent me a DM on the day of the modern game. He’s a Raiders fan, so of course, the message was cocky and demanding even though the “bad boys” in black haven’t done jack shit since Rich Gannon was throttled by his recently slandered ex-coach, Chucky Cheese in the SB. They have so much misguided pride–it’s actually kind of endearing once you get past the pathetic part.
Sunday’s game was a sphincter punch as well but just not in the same way the 2000 game was:
–Blowing a 27-3 lead by allowing 24 consecutive points caused by 3 (!) second-half turnovers and a missed field goal.
–A Tom Brady split lip
– Cam Akers with 2 HUGE fumbles, the second of which caused a mini-stroke and histrionic fits
–Cooper ” Mr. YAC” Kupp being otherworldly.
I woke up this morning only to listen to the talking heads make every excuse for Tom Brady that could possibly be incorporated into an argument, (never once mentioning that his entire career was bad optics for a sport often whispered to be fabricated) and it seems the gratuitous worship is getting ridiculous to the point that it borders on the homoerotic. C’mon guys, my only request is that we stick strictly to sports and logical analytics and leave your closeted sexuality for your unsatisfied wives and uninterested therapist to deal with. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic either. Now…onward to the NFC Championship against our arch-rivals and nemesis–The San Francisco Whiners–and we will take with us an open mind, an open heart, and a love for people who embrace their true sexuality without hindrance. Now didn’t we all learn a lesson here?
Congratulations on a fun and impressive win by the Rams over Champa Bay.
And here I thought the incessant TV closeups of a trickle of blood on Tom Brady’s pretty cherry-red lips were just a way of illustrating that football is a manly game played in manly ways for manly men ……
“Me man.”–as I suck down beers and eat nachos. Hahahaha. I guess all cliches aren’t all that bad Mark, and I need SOMETHING to satisfy my reptilian brain. I bet you’re right about the Brady thing…or perhaps they were satisfying his detractor’s blood-lust?
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