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Monday, September 22, 2008

Jets vs. Chargers - First Half

9:35 pm EST

I'm exhausted. My wife's away in Portugal on business this week, and, at the risk of sounding like I'm asking for people to make the appreciative sound of awwwwwwwww, I'm having difficulty sleeping at night without her. Yeah, yeah. Is it possible that this game will keep me from my appointed ride down the dark and narrow tunnel of sleep? We'll see. Right now, it's 24-14 Chargers. The way the Bolts move the ball, it'll probably be more before the end of the half. Favre has now thrown two interceptions.

I am planning on adding an addendum to the "Epic Ode to Chad Pennington" with a congratulatory note to the man in question, even though Ronnie Brown practically beat the New England Patriots single-handedly. But it's the thought that counts, and it's a bittersweet thought at that (for the Jets fan these are the most redolent). I cannot blink from the contrast between these two circumstances - Chad's and Brett's. But tonight it's not just Favre. Look at what's happened already tonight. Do you use the onsides kick against an offense that runs the table? I guess. It's a gutsy risk that rarely works. I see plenty of missed tackles, missed coverages. The Jets defensive line are holding on for dear life, like Gene Hackman's obnoxious character in The Poseidon Adventure (was that not the clumsiest cinematic analogy I could draw? I am tired). Despite a delightful return by Leon Washington, during which he may have actually split in half not once but twice, I still have a familiar sinking feeling.

The Chargers are threatening again. Each time San Diego puts LT to the line, the Jets move further and further back.

Ah, voila. San Diego up, 31-14.

Right now I'm teaching the kids Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard's play about two characters whose secondary importance in Hamlet merits them a fate that is paradoxically certain and yet unknown to them. No matter how they try to approach their situation, no matter how they try to ascertain their own significance in the universe, no matter how they try to make sense of it all, it always ends the same way. Hamlet's pals always end up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

But recall that like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, we all come into a world with a certain end, yet we remain uncertain of how the end will come. And how many of us are willing to grasp this concept without diving into numbing intoxication or falling to our knees in half-considered prayers of mercy to a higher power? Ah, but the fan of a chronically losing team has had plenty of experience envisioning a bad end before the end of a game, even without knowing the final score. Such are a Jets fans thoughts at the end of the the first half on the first night of autumn. The Jets fan cannot help but feeling like he is watching a play he has seen before. It's all good preparation for seeing one's life come to an end, if you ask me. The Jets fan can see it; he's learned to brace himself for the worst all these years, knowing that the end will come in a loss. I guess we are more prepared for the plummet into mortality than any damned fan of the Cowboys, or the AFC East Division Rival Of Whom We Do Not Speak. How surprised by the Final Act can we possibly be?

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