My buddy, Steve-O, is no great football fan, but he does love to socialize and is happy to do so on Sunday mornings while watching football with Yours Truly and others. And since he's gregarious and a kind of "go with the flow" type...and as susceptible to mob rule and passion as anyone...I've turned him into a Seahawk watcher over the last few years.
Actually, Steve was (at one point) more of a football fan than myself, insomuch as he went to a Division I school, while my alma mater had no football team at all. Being a former WSU Cougar, you'd think he'd get all excited when Fall rolls around, but as with many former Cougars, he spent most of his five or six years in Pullman skipping class and partying like a rock star and doesn't remember much more than a deep abiding hatred for the Huskies. Oh, yeah...and Ryan Leaf. Steve-O was the same class and, boy, has he got some stories about that guy.
Anyway, recently Steve (who really is not much of a football fan, college or otherwise) has become smitten with Tim Tebow and the whole mystique surrounding the polarizing quarterback. Me, I could give a rats ass about young Tim's politics (I was and am a Hasselbeck fan and he is just about as dyed-in-the-wool Republican as they come...barf). For myself, I'm following the whole Broncos-Tebow story because I keep waiting for Denver to go down in flames. Sorry, old habits die hard and as a lifelong (since '73) Seattleite, I will probably carry a special loathing for all things Orange for the rest of my days.
And yet, Tebow continues to win despite being...well, is inept too strong a word? I mean, there is a certain idea about the role of the quarterback in the National Football League, and Tebow ain't it. Sorry, running backs are supposed to run, receivers are supposed to catch, etc. Young Tim ain't living up to the billing of a starting QB by anyone's stretch of the imagination.
So, yeah, "inept." And yet he continues to win...3 of his last 4 games. I find myself hoping that he will lead the Broncos past the implosive Chargers and Chiefs as well as the cast-off Raiders and into the AFC playoffs. Not because I like Denver (as I said, I don't) and not because I like to root for an "underdog" (I don't like that either).
What I DO like is people who can "shake things up" and throw off the expectations and perceptions of others. Like when the Seahawks blow up the Giants or the Ravens when everyone expects 'em to tank (including me). It's not that Tebow's detractors are wrong...he IS a terrible quarterback relative to the caliber of NFL starting QBs (including Seattle's own terrible, terrible passers). The detractors are right, he's terrible...but he is turning the league on its ear when it comes to showing what one needs to win in the League. Maybe you don't need an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. Maybe you can win with a guy who completes two passes in a game...even though the starting two running backs are injured.
I wouldn't call it inspiring, exactly. But it makes me glad to know that some people can still, through their very actions and effort of being true to themselves, give all those set-in-stone presumptions a big middle finger.
For a guy who writes pen-and-paper RPGs in a world of increasingly complex video games, there's a lesson there.
Anyway, Steve-O called me twice today, which is very unusual. His first cal was to find a fried chicken place in Greenwood; his 2nd was to to tell me Thursday was Tim Tebow day. I had to remind him that I do NOT get the NFL cable package, so the game won't be on at my house AND ALSO remind him that Thursday is gaming night.
Of course, Cafe Mox does get the NFL cable package, so Tebow will be playing on their TV screens. Perhaps, that will be enough enticement to get Steve to come help me playtest the space opera game this week.