Heroism in Boston

Heroism in Boston

When I was a kid, Jack Tatum played FS/HH (free safety / headhunter) for the Oakland Raiders. In his book, They Call Me Assassin, he explained exactly what it is like to ... ?, well, take out a #2 pencil and a clean sheet of paper, kiddies. Tatum explained what it feels like to:
1) Run 100 yards in 10.0 seconds while wearing the muscled overlayer of a Mr. America contestant 2) Win a Super Bowl 3) Intentionally cripple and maim other human beings

4) Choose not to intercept a forward pass, in favor of hitting a receiver hard enough to make him scream 5) Be hit so hard by an offensive lineman that you literally bounce on the turf twice before stopping 6) Be labeled the poster boy of the NFL's "criminal element" by the commissioner of the NFL 7) All of the above 8 ) None of the above
Tatum explained that intimidation was the biggest single factor actually going on down on the field of a pro football field: "when you continually punish a wide receiver for catching the ball, eventually his will to win will be warped." Well, sure, Jack. When Darryl Stingley paid for having the gall to compete, by being made a quadraplegic the rest of his life, he rather lost interest in the scoreboard. No kiddin', Sherlock. Tatum also named three or four players -- three or four in the whole league -- whom he could not intimidate. Larry Csonka, one or two receivers, and that was it. He cheerfully admitted, in print, that if a receiver was consistently willing to take the hits, to continue going across the middle of the field and catch the ball for a first down and then be leveled for it, "then he will be effective." Tatum cheerfully acknowledged that the Raiders could not stop a receiver who didn't care whether he got hit after he caught the ball. Ever since I read Tatum's book, I've never failed to notice how often the WR's and TB's "slip" when defenders approach in the open field. Like, always. ..................... Easier said than done. Have you ever been running 20-25 mph and, not looking forward, run into a 6-inch tree branch? Neither have I. LOL. But Wesley Welker has.

How many times do you think you could run full speed, close your eyes, and have somebody knock you down with a 4x4? Do you think you could do it five times? Ten? Twenty? Only a couple of human beings at any given time are playing in the NFL and taking those hits. Welker, of course, is one of them. ........................ I never understood why NFL defensive players stood over fallen receivers and gloated. Worse, they talk after the game like they've proven their manhood. One time, Mike Singletary took a cheap shot on a QB who slid to the ground just an instant too late: Singletary got him flush helmet-to-helmet, as hard as he could, and knocked him out of the game. Afterward, Singletary shook his head in mock contrition: "I wouldn't wish a hit like that on anybody," he said, barely containing his pride. No. For a 250-pound man to climb into the UFC ring against one weighing 275, that is being a warrior. For a 250-pound man to wait until a 200-pound man isn't looking, to wait until he has to focus on something else (a football) coming in through the air, and then for the 250-pound man to blindside him as viciously as possible, that's not being a warrior. It's being a bully. It requires absolutely zero courage. Bullies savor the situation in which they can punch somebody else with zero fear of being punched back. Men like Randy Couture will fight when the conditions are equal. Men like Wesley Welker will fight when the conditions are grossly unequal -- against them. Jevon Kearse is, I'm sure, a tough guy. But he's no Wesley Welker. B'lee DAT. ................... Boston's got a cool football team up there. The coolest player on it is a little white guy who is a lot tougher than anybody on the other side of the ball is. Cheers, jemanji ....................... images: http://www.conventionofassassins.org/blog/assassin.jpg http://epistolaryblog.typepad.com/epistolary_blog/images/2008/02/01/wes.jpg