Lebanon Reporter

October 5, 2012

Football men are still human

By Eric Williams
Reporter columnist

— Life is strange.

You scratch off a 50-dollar winner and race out to collect only for your foot to discover Fido from next door has left another steaming surprise in your front yard. The insignificance of this turn of events is soon brought to light when your wallet is forced to come to terms with the fact the service engine soon light has just come on in your car.

Sundays are the closest thing we have to the days of the Roman Gladiator. Men larger than life, some for weighing over three bills and others for doing seemingly impossible things, all running into each other with enough force to break bones and jar the brain matter of the strongest men history has known.

They appear superhuman to the guy who lounges his Sundays away in the Lazy Boy lamenting the junior high coach who elected to hand the ball to Jimmy instead of him.

And while we perceive those in the NFL as leaders of charmed lives, the recent news of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s impending battle with Leukemia should serve as a clear indicator these men are in fact human beings not unlike you and I. There is no transcendental message here other than life is short and often has a way of surprising us when we least expect it.

This holds true whether you’re paid to knock the paint off Jay Cutler’s helmet or scrape the grease out of the fryer at McDonalds.

The battle Pagano and so many others are forced to wage should serve as inspiration for those struggling to face another day with their overbearing boss or obnoxious cube mate. Lost in the hectic nature of a 21st century life and holiday traffic is the fact that every day you put your feet on the floor with a clear mind and good health is worth far more than any winning lottery ticket.

Now is not the time to critique the forces of nature or probe for hidden meaning; that is best left to someone with a much more impressive resume and an eternity to work on it. Your time is better spent sharing a smile with the people in your life.

Cast aside the jaded predilections Coach Wannaputuonthebench fostered in you and stop to look at the moon or bask in the happiness your dog gets from peeing on a tree.

Of course the Colts have no choice but try and move on. And though the boys in blue will have had much to process in seven days, Green Bay is still going to try to put 100 points on the scoreboard Sunday no matter how shattered Indy’s spirit is. After all, given the events of two weeks ago, the Pack can’t afford to lose another game they should have won.

The Hollywood in all of us expects to see the Colts use Pagano’s situation as fuel for a ride to the front but the cold hard truth remains Indianapolis won’t win every game left on their schedule or play for a Super Bowl this year. Interim coach Bruce Arians made it clear the Colts need to keep their focus and can’t afford to be “over-hyped about trying to do something extra”; but he never said they can’t go out and play with the heart, guts and toughness Pagano will no doubt display during his biggest battle.

Stay “Chuckstrong” Coach.