Saturday, February 4, 2006

Detroit, Day... 17?
In the span of 24 hours Detroit has gone from having clearly too few people within its limits to having absolutely too many. It's actually getting tough to move around. I'm sort of concerned that when everyone heads towards Ford Field for the game (remarkably, there is an actual game at the end of all this), we're all going to get stuck along Woodward like when then the Three Stooges all tried to go through a door at the same time. I'm quite serious about this.


Yesterday, some of the past Super Bowl MVPs were on hand for commissioner Paul Tagliabue's state of the league address. In introducing them he applauded what they have "meant to our game and to America in terms of its values..." Included in this group: Ray Lewis and Joe Namath.


I'm not sure I've been to a single press conference that hasn't involved at least some mention of God and/or his collected works. And I've now been to approximately 796 press conferences.

I have to think, with the possible exception of Nascar, professional football has to be considered the most faith-based of all the North American professional sports. And I've been thinking hard to find a reason for this.

The best I can offer: You almost have to possess a belief in some higher purpose and meaning to play a game that a) demands such a high level of trust among teammates and b) simply destroys the body.

A study came out this week noting the high mortality rate among relatively young football players, but even the players who survive to see a seventh or eighth decade seem to do so with badly broken bodies. In terms of the latter, I'm not sure you could find another North American profession that inflicts such damage on the human body - never mind that the average career is less than four years. Coal mining maybe? Professional daredevil?

I imagine Evil Knievel and your friendly neighbourhood coal miner would probably tell you the same thing - if you're going to spend life in not inconsiderable discomfort, you've got to believe that there is a higher purpose beyond this crap.

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