Sunday, October 5, 2008

By the Bye

I've been a little occupied lately with work and life. Lame excuses, I realize. So I'm writing this entry while overseeing a senior study hall in the cafeteria, hoping that Brett Favre is using his study time more wisely than the students whose heads are sealed in sleep on the tables all around me.

Someday when I'm awfully low, I'll look back on these days and ask myself, "Was I not thinking enough about the impending game against the Bengals?" The answer - particularly after watching Cincinnati challenging Dallas - is I'm clearly not thinking hard enough. The Bengals really took possession of the game clock at different points, despite being eternally behind, and that should give us some pause. Still, Tony Romo had forever to throw the ball because his front line is composed of concrete abutments. And the Tigers gave up a crushing open-field touchdown to T.O. from which they never recovered. Maybe the Cowboys just really aren't as good as everyone says. We're wasting so much breath on "who's the best in the NFL?" now that Tom Brady is injured. It's a senseless obsession. Maybe if the newly updated Brett Favre model is in residence, we may yet break .500. Or not. God bless us all. Everyone.

But is there a God? If you're Chad Penningon, then yes. He beat the San Diego Chargers a week after beating New England. The fact that this God might not regard me very highly is kind of irrelevant. But then what do I have to gripe about in the cosmic scheme of things? I grew up in the cradle of the American Dream, maturing comfortably in the greatest of all economic booms. I have craved a Jets Super Bowl in my lifetime, but that's a paltry petition considering the healthy gifts my life has offered me.

The Almighty asks if I have any additional concerns:

Me: Um. Are the Jets going to, y'know, go to the Super Bowl...?
Almighty: (glowers noticeably)
Me: ...uh...any...time...y'know...?
Almighty: Super Bowl III.
Me: -soon?
Almighty: (shakes His Head) Super Bowl III.

So Chad Pennington gets what he wants, whereas I already have, apparently. Make it feel that way.


Finally, a dream last night. My brother and I had both been drafted by Chelsea FC in England and we were required to show up at Old Trafford to play Manchester United. This is ridiculous. Charlie plays soccer even now, but the last time I did in any organized fashion, I was eight and was told by the coach to just "follow the crowd up and down the field." In the dream, Charlie and I are of high school age - he is a small freshman and I am an anxious senior. We're supposed to be on the field momentarily, and I can't tell if he's in the locker room or still outside the stadium. I've got to find him. I'm supposed to keep track of him.

Suddenly, there's Arsene Wenger. Whew. He can help. He and I take the escalator down to the field level. It's a very long escalator ride.

I gather my courage. I'm new on the team, after all. Coach? I ask him, like a typical American, I'm worried that my little brother isn't inside yet. I just wanted to make sure before we get into the changing room that he's put on the roster. OK?

He looks at me without comprehension. I can't help you. I manage Arsenal. My boys aren't playing today.

Ah, shit, I think. Dammit. That's true. So where was Chelsea's manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari? It doesn't make any sense. Why was I put in the embarrassing position of asking Wenger for help when the last person he would want to help was a player from Chelsea? What's he doing here, anyway? Does Arsenal have the Bye in the land of dreams, like the Jets do in the here and now? Who screwed up in the slumbering world of FA scheduling? Better yet, who's screwing up in subconscious casting? The production crew needs reorganization. Somebody's getting a pink slip.

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