Friday, February 20, 2009

FWG: Read Between the Lines

Any casual football fan knows that there is a language associated with football. To some this is as foreign as speaking Mandarin, to others it is like their native tongue. I’m sure that many a girlfriend has been confused by a couch camping boyfriend talking about “up and outs” and “Hail Marys” or maybe even a “hook and ladder.” Even beyond play calling there are “3 and outs”, “ 3rd and longs” or “2nd and short.” And maybe more confusing still could be phrases like “we beat ourselves,” “We were trying to do too much” and “he made the wrong reads.” Probably the most difficult is the last, which are most often said during the post game press-conference. Well I am here to be your North Star, your “guiding light.” So without further ado, I give you:

The FWG’s guide to reading between the lines.

“We beat ourselves tonight”
-An incredibly polite way of saying, the other team sucked. That other team had no business beating us, and yet they did. Coaches/players saying “Holy shit. How did that happen? Might be time to update the resume.”

“The Turk is coming…”
-An utterance around NFL training camps and college football academic centers. The “Turk” is a mythological creature which descends on training camps to tell players their dream is up, they have been cut. Coach wants to see you, brining your clip board. Game over. In college, this is the academic advisor who tells you that “…you’ve failed to pass 12 hours” or “you’re up for dismissal…” In either case, back your bags.

“He was trying to do to much”
Lets face it. Some people are cut out to be the hero (Ryan Leaf, my heart goes out to you). In critical situations, with the pressure mounting some guys can just cut it, they can put the game on their shoulders and will their teams to victory. Others…well…can’t. They try and they fail, they force plays that don’t work. In other words, they are “trying to do to much.”

“This game is the most important game, because it’s the one we’re playing right now”
Let me solve this mystery right now. Some games ARE easier than other. And some ARE more important than others. And while you shouldn’t look ahead some games you just have circled. Want an example of this? Ask any Army Alumnus which is more important? Beating Akron or beating Navy? While some might say that's strictly for the fans, some of this definitely transfers to the players.

"No Comment"
Oh I have comments alright, believe me I do. But I've been told by a) people who pay me b) people I pay or c) my mom not to say anything. There are a lot of issues pro athletes have opinions on (ie. Vick) but you risk inheriting a media shit storm if you say any thing that disrupts the status-quo. On one hand, you've avoided a hassle, but on the other you come across as an meat head (gotta love perpetuating that stereotype)

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