Monday, October 3, 2011

This Might Be What Christmas Is Like

Being that I spent this week celebrating Rosh Hashanah, on Friday night I will be observing Yom Kippur, and that today is the 13th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah, or as I am calling it either my Bar Mitzvahversary or my Bar Mitzvah's Bar Mitzvah, those of you who don't already know me can probably figure out that I am, in fact, not Christian. In reality, I am very, very Jewish -- or at least neurotic -- and as such, I have never celebrated Christmas nor understood the joy that is opening up presents on December 25th.

That said, I have a hard time believing it could feel any better than the random combination of events I saw today on gridirons across America. Those events involved three teams in three cities with remarkable outcomes. For the first one we go to Philadelphia, where the Eagles, playing in front of their home crowd in what was, arguably, a must-win situation for the "Dream Team". Philly responded how you might have expected, by jumping out to a 20-point lead against the lightly-regarded 49ers. And then they did what the Eagles historically have done fairly well and proceeded to give up 21-second-half points to San Francisco, handing them a 24-23 loss and sending Philadelphia to a 1-3 record that leaves them in the NFC East basement.

This was the first great thing to happen to me on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at the same time the Eagles were doing their best New York Mets impression, Dallas had jumped out to stiff 27-3 lead against the undefeated Detroit Lions. I know what you're thinking. "The words 'undefeated Detroit Lions' make no sense to me in that particular order.'" It's ok. That's the natural reaction. But sure enough they are, in fact, undefeated. Regardless, the Cowboys, with a 24-point lead in the second half seemed to have all the cards in their hands, but then they realized that when quarterback Tony Romo didn't have the cards in his hands it was because he was too busy putting the football in the hands of Detroit defenders. Romo threw three picks in the second half, two of which were returned for touchdowns and one of those run back by linebacker Bobby Carpenter who was a groomsman at Romo's wedding. Suddenly there was a game in Dallas, and at that point, Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson decided to show up and lead the Lions to an eventual 34-30 victory.

As a lifelong Giants fan, it's easy to imagine the relish with which I viewed both of those collapses, but then with the clock striking 4:05 ET, it was time for my team to put on their own display in Glendale, Arizona. University of Phoenix Stadium is a special building for the G-Men in that it's a place they've never lost and have one particularly noteworthy victory, but despite stretches in which the Giants dominated the Cardinals, with time running down in the fourth quarter, it appeared New York was going to go home with a sour taste in its mouth. But then, Big Blue and Eli Manning did something that they have an underrated knack for doing and rallied to score two touchdowns in the final four minutes to erase a 10-point deficit and turn it into a four-point lead. Of course, as I noted to one person, when the Giants scored the eventual winning touchdown with 2:39 remaining I couldn't help but think, "too much time is still on the clock". Fortunately for me and all the Giants fans out there, the defense held strong -- and we may have caught a lucky break or two, also -- and New York held on for a big 31-27 win in the desert that leaves it tied for first place with... the Washington Redskins? Sure, whatever.

So let's recount what happened today, shall we?

The two teams I dislike more than any other in football, maybe in all of professional sports, both blew leads of at least 20 points -- at home no less -- and in the meantime, my favorite team made a rally from 10 points down on the road to grab a tie for first place.

So back to this talk about Christmas. I don't know what Christmas is like really, but it can't feel much better than this, a day of football so good that it almost made me forget Northwestern blew an 18-point lead against rival Illinois yesterday. Almost. But even given that, the Sunday I experienced cannot be soured, particularly because it bookends a highly successful weekend that I termed "football-palooza" and event celebrated with several, but most prominently one Maggie Hilliard, who was eagerly treated to copious beer and an enormously impressive win by her Wisconsin Badgers. And did I even mention that there was non-football-centric excellence to make the day even better?

The other bookend? Well, that came Friday night, or more accurately Saturday morning, when, as I have previously mentioned multiple times, Geelong took the opening bounce against Collingwood in the 2011 AFL Grand Final. None of you really care about this quite like I do, but if you know me, you know it happened, and considering that I surprisingly bumped into a crowd of rowdy Collingwood fans before the game on the subway Friday night, you know that I'm not the only person who cared. And as such, you're probably wondering, "Dave, tell me, did Geelong win the Grand Final?"

Uh, yeah, they fucking did.

In the end the game seemed a bit of a blowout, but as the highlights of the full game indicate, it was actually a pretty tense nailbiter for the first three quarters. But then the Cats, as great teams do, imposed their will on the Magpies and brought home their third championship in five years.

So yeah. It's been a pretty good weekend, and, I suppose, a nice prelude to my Bar Mitzvah's Bar Mitzvah. If you wish to participate in my Bar Mitzvah's acceptance into manhood in the eyes of the almighty, checks can be written out to David Kalan. If you aren't willing to play that part, you can sign this petition and we might all be better off.

Either way, try to enjoy this past weekend of football as much as I did. Then again, really, I'm not sure that's possible.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome article man. I felt the same way after all the fortunate events to happen to Giants fans. It was greater for me seeing the Jets get killed on SNF, since I naturally can't stand them. They're so arrogant.