I was reminiscing in a thread earlier this week about watching Eric Allen return an interception and then hand the ball to Randall Cunningham, who was watching the whole thing from the tunnel, on crutches and out for the season. In comments we started talking about what that moment meant. It's weird to say your writing is inspired by football, but mine certainly is. If ever I could get my intensity up to that Ray Lewis level, I think I could do a lot more.
But I look at football as art--it is the only reality television that actually interest me. Sometimes when I watch old plays, like this one below, I actually applaud like I've seen the last act of a great play. Deniro has nothing on Gayle Sayers, or Primetime. Back in 92, I watched the Cowboys play the 49ers in the championship game. It was the only moment when my team was actually better than I thought they were. I was pretty sure they'd lose to the 49ers, especially after Steve Young led his team to score late in the 4th.
And then I watched Troy Aikman drop back and hit Alvin Harper across the middle. Harper ran like 70 yards, and I swear I heard the back of the entire 49er organization break. For a kid who's second year as a Cowboys fan ended with "The Catch," this was religious. The Cowboys went on to win, and then become the team of the 90s.
We think about sports, too much, in terms of trash-talk. Your team wins, and you get to tell all your friends how much they suck. Yeah that's cool, but I never got into it for that. There's something deeper--I watch for that transcendental moment when your sure something can't happen, and then, goddamit, it does. It's an incredible feeling. Even when your on the other end.
The tragedy, and the glory, of the NFL is that it happens just about every week. Remember the River City Relay? So many of these moments aren't accessible, and are lost away in the NFL's vaults. Maybe one day they'll put it all online. I'd pay serious money for access.
UPDATE: Sorry it wasn't clear, this isn't Aikman to Harper. It's the last play in a Redskins v. Cowboys game from a decade ago.
One other thing, please save the shit-talk. The season's coming soon enough--and there's an open thread below. And there are football sites across the web. Visit them and have at it.
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