Never Enough NFL – by David A. Lane

Never Enough NFL
By David A Lane

Rare are the instances in life where something is so enjoyable that upon its completion our thirst for it remains unquenched and our appetite for it insatiable. Some of them are ridiculously obvious- The most excellent food like lobster with garlic butter or steak cooked just right, driving a really fast car like a Chevy Corvette or a Porsche Boxster, and/or a ‘perfect’ relationship with a very sexy someone you just can’t enough of who fulfills your every desire but leaves you- while others are maybe not quite so obvious. Certainly for me and many others, NFL football belongs high up on the list as well especially during this portion of the season when the excitement is heightened by a teams’ whole season being on the line game in and game out.

It’s hard to deny the fact that playoff football’s hard hitting action brings fans a product whose level of intensity, strategy, and drama, is unmatched among all other major team sports. The ‘Win or Go Home’ slogan used by the NBA in its mostly best of seven game formats has nothing on the NFL’s system where if a team doesn’t win any one game it truly does go home. The only other major sport that shares this ‘one and done’ philosophy ironically and strangely enough is college hoops ‘March Madness’ 64 team tournament- perhaps the next greatest sporting event to the Super Bowl coincidentally- where the winner literally must win six straight games over the best teams in the country before earning the right to be national champion. Arguably, the format and the door it opens which give underdogs a chance to win it all are what contributes the madness.

Players that had been mostly in the shadows well hidden from the limelight during the regular season find a new stage with which they can forge a name for themselves and possibly a bigger contract as well. Timmy Smith who was a rookie tailback for the Washington Redskins definitely fits that bill coming out of virtual obscurity to set a Super Bowl record 204 yards rushing in 1986- a record that still stands and may for some time to come. One has to wonder if the New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree who made such a huge and game changing reception during the Super Bowl last year might be the next most recent example of a guy who stepped up at the right time and maximized from it through a sudden demand in ads and appearances that far surpassed his regular season salary.

As is in other sports, teams instead of players, develop a reputation for success or lack of it in the post-season. Like the Houston Rockets and Guard Tracy McGrady are known for futility in the playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys in their early years were as well losing big game after big game until finally putting that notion to rest in 1972 by defeating the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl. Another analogy would be Alex Rodriguez’ well documented lack of clutch hits in the post-season playing for the New York Yankees to the Philadelphia Eagles of late who have been in the playoffs seemingly every year- seven of the last nine years- but have gotten as far as the Super Bowl once and have a loss to show for it.

Playoff football certainly has led more than one coach to “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” with Robin Leach’s premier example here being Bill Parcells who has turned two Super Bowl victories (NY Giants 1986,1990) into millions of dollars- granted he has turned quite a few bad teams around in the process to earn it. Among the others who prospered from being assistant coaches with great organization’s like Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49’ers while winning Vince Lombardi Trophy’s were Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid, Jon Gruden, and Jeff Fisher, who have all obviously grabbed the proverbial ball and run with it. Success has bred success at least in this case as no other ‘coaching tree’ will ever has as much impact on the league as this one has.

Watching these teams fight on while individual players are turning up their games make each contest all the more enjoyable for viewers. Unfortunately like anything else that we can’t get enough of, they won’t last forever as the number of games left on the schedule soon will be able to be counted on one hand. By the way, enjoying anything these days tends to be short but sweet in nature because any good meal can be overcooked and ruined, a fast sports car will net so many tickets your driver’s license gets suspended, and then when you find out that ‘perfect relationship’ you regretted losing turns out being a crack whore you wouldn’t sick on your worst enemy, the NFL schedule remains consistently something we can look forward too watching and wagering on each and every season.

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