NFL15 Cherry Picks W13: “Importance of Folly”

3 Dec

Go With Mojo

Sport fan that I am you’d think on turkey day I’d be glued to the tube (we’re not on the plasma-screen, yet) devouring the Cats-Cowboys contest before it got gamy (33-14), which was before Romo suffered a re-break of his clavicle. Poor guy. But like “Chet” said (Monte Walsh ‘70), “no one gets to be a Cowboy forever.” Ain’t it the truth.

Instead, I was tuned to TCM where they were running a family festival of flicks.

.......Taylor.1956.Giant.611k.thmThe players: 1940s #1 box-office draw Mickey Rooney (“Mi”) as ex-jockey wayfarer turned trainer, adorable Liz Taylor as wisp of a girl (“Velvet Brown”) who rides “the Pie,” blossoming beauty Angela Lansbury (“Edwina”) and veteran character actors Reginald Owen, Arthur Treacher (race patron), Arthur Shields and Anne Revere and Donald Crisp as the sage & certain “Brown” parents. Oh yeah, and least I forget, little Jackie Jenkins (“Donald”), the bug collector.

A movie with more wit & wisdom you will never find. If you’ve of a warming heart and sporting blood, this one’s for you.

Clarence Brown (director), Pandro Berman (producer) and Helen Deutsch (writer) packed this 2-hr beauty with enough practical proverbs, humor and heart-tugging tension to hold the interest of everyone but especially those who have ever lovingly engaged a “folly” in the dream to become a champion.

Not one to spoil an ending, suffice to say that Velvet and her “Sussex” stallion-in-spirit, the “Pie,” short for “murderous pirate,” an off-the-cuff remark made by its frustrated prior owner, give viewers what is arguably the greatest race in all of moviedom, chariot (Ben-Hur (‘59)) and car cruises (Bullitt (‘68)) included.

.......Revere.1947.wc.thm.Gentlemen'sVelvet personified the best of sport: An unflinching dedication, respect for the time & effort needed to achieve a champion’s end and most important of all, a full vesting of emotions, including an unabashed admission of the need for “glory” that only “folly” fulfills, this last trait inherited from “Mrs. Brown” who was herself imbued with spirit to compete, having swum “the Channel” in her youth.

If you don’t think emotion, heart, is central to sport, you don’t belong, not on the field, anyway. Probably wouldn’t do to have you in with the Suits & Skirts, either.

Lombardi said it, when you enter the world of sport you “bring your emotions with you.” Include in there having a good “cry” sometimes, too (Time 3/70).

Others don’t see it that way.

To them, the spectacle of sport is viewed through eye of an actuarial, calculating gains and risks as an insurance agent drafts a policy. Emotion? Only as necessary.

Enter Chuck Pagano, the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach. The Chuckster is in a bit of a sticky-wicket.

......Pagano.wc.8.20.09.K.Allison.thmHis starry young QB Andy Luck (35-20 (’12); 3-3 PS) struggled (2-5) this topsy-turvy 2015 and is set to return from a kidney hurt sometime soon, likely displacing veteran Matt Hasselbeck (205-156 (’99)), even as the former Super signal-caller (40: SEA (L v PIT)) has steadied the listing ship that was Indy earlier in the campaign by leading Colts in four victories and back into the mix.

If those numbers weren’t enough to get you behind Matt Hasselbeck, read on:

1) Nothing alters Luck’s status as Colts’ future, not even were Hasselbeck to lead Indy to SB50. Matt’s playing superbly but at 40 is playing out his string;

2) Andrew can be inserted anytime, if Matt loses the magic or suffers injury; and

3) Don’t mess with mojo. ‘If it works (and current guy got the machine running) don’t fix it.’ This had been a prevailing maxim and seems so in Denver where the Brock v Peyton debate rages. But then today’s drive to youthenize can work a double-std: Matt will likely be benched, Brock will play on.

Becher’s Brook

Soon into National Velvet the viewer learns of a hazard of hedges & trench in the handicap steeplechase known as “Becher’s Brook.” It can make mice of men and break beast of body & mind. As such, Mickey does his best to prepare his charge and her ride for the tough test that lies ahead. Both prove up to the task.

And it’s at this holiday stage in NFL’s course that every contender team should be asking themselves, ‘What Becher’s Brook lay ahead in our own pathway to glory?’ What major obstacle must each team overcome to get their ticket punched for that trip to Santa Clara (SB50) come February?

Fine lines: Every contender aught gage & wage the men-in-the-trenches. All good things come to those who control the line of scrimmage.

Split-the-Uprights: Grand National (1839) pre-dates US ‘ball (1869 (Wikipedia)), but the kicking-game’s been key from get-go, preceding forward pass by 30 years. Many a game comes down to a FG and practice makes perfect

Green Bay: Fill Jordy Nelson void. Not since 1930s could a 7-4 GB squad be underdog vs 4-7 Lions team. Worm turned? More like, Back to the Future..Shock.

Chicago: Sporting gods are having a ball in 2015, inviting Halas to join the fun (GB), yet wouldn’t take the founder’s call vs Denver (failed 2-pt’er (17-15)). Bears, like Vikes, need to score more points (21 (#24)) and hope Forte has another gear

......Viktor.11.7.10.wc.thm.MN-NG.2Minnesota: Seattle is a Certified Mettle Match but Green Bay (@ 1.3) is the Vikings’ litmus test

Indianapolis: Luck-on-return v. Hotter-than-pistol Hasselbeck

Denver: Brock v Peyton: Mustangs were 7-2 under Manning. The 2 Ls, nail-bitter (@ IND) and hobble City (KC). 7-2 this sorry NFL season is near champion

Seattle: Don’t scoreboard-watch (AZ), just keep doing what you’re doing

Arizona: Keep protecting Carson (17sk), blocking for David ‘Stiff Arm’ Johnson who’ll need to step up and try to get kicker Catanzaro more tries from 50+ (0-1).

Tampa Bay: Giving up too many points (25.4 (#25))

Atlanta: Getting next win (@ TB) could turn tide, Ryan avoiding INTs (12), return of healthy Freeman and the kicker spot settled are all brooks to breach

.....Stafford.wc.8.20.15.K.Allison.thmb.Detroit: Must send Green Bay packing (12.6), again, and the mojo will mushroom. More run-game would help.

Carolina: Tune out the naysayers, believe it’s earned (11-0) and Camster-the-Hamster needs to cut down on the rabbit

NFC East: Giants, Redskins and Eagles all must work to find consistency…somewhere, somewhere, sometime.

Kansas City: Like Lions, besting their long time rival (@ OAK) is a booster, QB Smith keeps playing his game and like many clubs, get more from the RBs

Oakland: Tough slate, and like TB, defense needs to catch-up to the offense

Houston: QB carousel (Hoyer+) and need more run (5td), but if Texans win 2 of next 3, chances for playoff slot are good

Cincinnati: Don’t look to the playoffs, spell Dalton’s arm with more run-game and try to get Nugent (K) some 50+ tries (0-0).

.....Roethlisberger.9.9.12.J.Beall.thmb.wcPittsburgh: Big Ben’s health overrides all which makes DeAngleo Williams contribution a key component

New York Jets: Another rival match-up (@ NYG) that sets the tone for the stretch run in a season where playoff spots are there for the taking

Buffalo: Like the Falcons, a win this Sunday could improve the outlook greatly for the remaining slate is not the toughest

New England: Protect Brady (25sk), catch his passes and hope to see NYG

The Human League

As November turns to December the whine-fest continues. Burp.

....ref.NFL.Cheffers.wc.2013.royalbroil.WI.thmThe bash of NFL officials goes on as the bullies get drunk on sour grapes & self-love. And sadly, NFL knee-jerks scramble to appease (“Report: Officiating Crew“ / SI.com / 12.1.15).

NFL referees, like baseball umpires, are the go-to whipping boys (now a few girls to feel the pain) for faux-fan scribes & sportscasters who groove on the gripe and fans who drink it in till their bellies fill, neither knowing when to say ‘when.’

Between the cry-babies, Chicken Littles and cluckheads who fear for profits, none of ‘em will cork-it until the human element is removed entirely from our tumultuous merriments and turned into video games where software kids decide the fates, who wins, who loses. Then they’ll gripe some more. Ugh.

..cherries.Hispalois.Spain.wc.cc.thmb

Cherry Picks Week 13

Pack (7-4) @ Lions (4-7); 12.3 CBS 8:25: GB wins
Jets (6-5) @ NYG (5-6); 12.6 CBS 1:00: Giants win
Cards (9-2) @ Rams (4-7); Fox 1:00: Arizona wins
Atlanta (6-5) @ Bucs (5-6); Fox 1:00: Falcons win
SEA (6-5) @ MIN (8-3); Fox 1:00 (GTW): Hawks win
49ers (3-8) @ Chicago (5-6); Fox 1:00: Bears win
Texans (6-5) @ Bills (5-6); CBS 1:00: Houston wins
Bengals (9-2) @ CVD (2-9); CBS 1:00: Cincy wins
Chiefs (6-5) @ Raiders (5-6); CBS 4:05; Kansas City wins
Denver (9-2) @ Chargers (3-8); CBS 4:05: San Diego wins
Eagles (4-7) @ New England (10-1); Fox 4:25: Patriots win
Carolina (11-0) @ New Orleans (4-7); Fox 4:25: Saints win
Colts (6-5) @ Pitt (6-5); NBC 8:30 (GTW2): Steelers win
Dallas (3-8) @ Redskins (5-6); 12.7 Disney 8:30: DC wins

Record: 62 – 63

...NFL-symbol.wikiproject.6kbSteven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credit: National-Velvet, MGM, wc.cca, 1945, NBoRM; E.Taylor, 1956, Giant, wc; A.Revere, 1947, Gentlemens-Agreement, wc; C.Pagano, 8.20.09, K.Allison, wc; National-Velvet, MGM, wc.cca, 1945, NBoRM; Viktor, 11.7.10, wc, MN-NG; M.Stafford, 8.20.15, K.Allison, wc; B.Roethlisberger, 9.9.12, J.Beall, wc; NFL-referee, Cheffers, 2013, WI, royal broil, wc; Cherries, Hispalois, Spain, 7.2.12, wc; NFL-symbol, wikiproject
Posted: 12.3.15 @ 6:03pm EST; Copyright © 2015

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