Friday, November 7, 2014

football gloves

“That’s one sticky glove”

    Are you in any way impressed that it’s now possible to watch games of three different sports played on the same day? Four, if you count soccer. -- I don’t.

 No, I’m talking about baseball, football and basketball. Those are the Big Three sports in the U.S.  Anything else is ill-conceived nonsense concocted in Europe or Australia. 

I only watch one of the Big Three sporting events. For all I care they could stop airing basketball and baseball games. So much easier to locate games when there’s only one sport listed on the Cable

A basketball game is like watching an acrobatic team perform the same routine for three hours. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good, they’re great, they’re fantastic athletes. But, nothing means anything until there are only two minutes left on the clock. The only way to spice up that sport is to have the length of each game vary and remove the clock from the arena.

Baseball? I really enjoyed playing baseball, but I never cared to watch it. Talk about drag. At least soccer players are always in motion. And, what’s with baseball uniforms? Is that not ridiculous? The players wear whatever belt they had on when they entered the locker room. There are no common team belts.

And some guys pull up their pant legs and some don’t. It’s the most unflattering uniform in the field of sports. Possible exception, any game played by any sports team out of Vatican City. 

Football, on the other hand, is the most perfect sport devised by man. Right now I have seven unwatched games recorded on TiVo. Four college and three NFL. I probably won’t watch all of ‘em, ‘cause that number will double by the time this article gets out. Before TiVo, DVR or whatever, I missed so many games. For a while I even started watching soccer.

Today’s game of football would be unrecognizable to those who played back at the turn of the 20th century. Back then, there were no helmets. Players suffered from something called “wrestler ears” and “gangster nose.”  No helmets and  very few rules. Players could lock arms and charge through opponent’s defenses. In 1905, there were 18 players who lost their lives playing football. There weren’t even any professional teams. Three of the players of the ’05 season played in college, while the other 15 deaths occurred at high schools.

After the disastrous results of the 1905 season, President Theodore Roosevelt assured the nation that changes would be made to the sport. Seems one of his sons played for Harvard. Thanks to TR, the rules of the game were altered a bit.

There were very few passes thrown way back when, because penalties were assessed if no one caught the ball. And, the quarterback could only throw the ball to the middle of the field. 

Over the years the game has evolved into what we have today. And what we have are the greatest players who ever played the game. Something has happened to the human body over the years. We’re a bigger people. That’s because of all-you-can-eat buffets.

So, because of buffets, I’m bigger and slower. I’m slower ‘cause no one has invented a drug that will make me enjoy exercise. Obviously football players have some kind of joy juice that makes them enjoy strenuous activity. They’re bigger, faster, more agile and love to exercise. That’s the formula for a jihad stopper.

It hurts me to say this, but I don’t think Johnny Unitas would start on any team in today’s NFL The guy was one of my heroes, but I must be realistic. Today, quarterbacks have near supernatural abilities, defensive backs are double jointed, and linemen are incredible hulks. Fast hulks.

Those are important reasons for the evolution of football, but none is the MOST important. The real reason that football is better than it’s ever been is because of -- the gloves. Defensive backs and receivers now wear gloves that were apparently made in a lab at Warehouse 51 in Nevada.

Today, when a player merely touches a ball, it sticks to his finger. You can knock the daylights out of him, and he won’t drop it. Fumbles that do occur happen because the running back is not wearing gloves, or he’s carrying the ball under his armpit. Watch the instant replay.

That’s why the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs came up with the idea of bumping fists instead of high-fiving. If two gloved players touched hands, it would take a spatula to separate them. I think it was Kansas City.

Regardless of who devised the first fist bump, it’s safe to say that there has never been a better time for football. The greatest game, the greatest players, and the stickiest gloves. It’s the perfect storm of sports. In the words of Buzz Lightyear. – “To infinity, and beyond!”


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