Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Dayeinu

During the Passover seder, Jews make a point to ask the question, "Why is this night different from all other nights?" There are several answers, mostly referencing the ceremonial way dinner is being consumed in order to commemorate the Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. We eat weird stuff like parsley and horseradish in order to remember those slaves who wandered in unholy confusion for four decades before being allowed a glimpse of the promised land.

You may wonder why I bring that up. For the last seven months, you see, I have felt like a lost Hebrew, wandering confused through a vast wasteland of NBA basketball, Olympic nonsense, and midseason baseball. There was Kobe, and then there was nothing. There was Eli, there was Ricky, there was Nomar, there was Hamm. There was Phil and his new blazer and there was Tiger and his slump. There was NASCAR. Duncan and Iverson came in third. The Stanley Cup moved to Florida, as many Canadians do in the offseason. Truly, how could I find my way?

Alas, there was also manna from the heavens in the forms of Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds. And surely only the vengeful Hebrew God would rain down the eleventh plague on Prior and Wood while Carpenter, Williams, Morris, Marquis, and even Suppan all enjoy double-digit-win seasons and lead the league in quality starts.

But, as it was foretold, we have reached the edge of the promised land. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the NFL Regular Season, and milk and honey will flow. Bodies will collide violently, fumbles will bounce awkwardly, Peyton will throw passes and then turn and watch as the unintended receiver in red, white and blue sprints wildly in the other direction.

Oh, glorious NFL!

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, but not structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, and not given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, and not brought Deion Sanders back into the league to do his touchdown dance, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, brought Deion Sanders back into the league to do his touchdown dance, and not given us Michael Vick to capture our imaginations, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, brought Deion Sanders back into the league to do his touchdown dance, given us Michael Vick to capture our imaginations, and not caused Peyton Manning to make that face every time he throws an interception, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, brought Deion Sanders back into the league to do his touchdown dance, given us Michael Vick to capture our imaginations, caused Peyton Manning to make that face every time he throws an interception, and not ensured the Ravens' demise by forcing Jamal Lewis to sell cocaine in his spare time, it would have been enough.

If you had given us a regular season filled with terrific plays, structured a salary cap allowing for all fans in all markets to follow a competitive team, given the Titans Steve McNair to play through the pain, brought Deion Sanders back into the league to do his touchdown dance, given us Michael Vick to capture our imaginations, caused Peyton Manning to make that face every time he throws an interception, ensured the Ravens' demise by forcing Jamal Lewis to sell cocaine in his spare time, and not made every fan feel like his team has a chance the day before opening day, it would have been enough.

But because of your goodness, every fan can look at his roster, his schedule, and his jersey, and proclaim with hope:

Next year, we will all be victors! Next year, in Jacksonville!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so proud! Did you see Peyton's face last night?

8:02 AM  

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