With Four Seconds to Go

I tend to watch sporting events in which I have no strong feelings about who is playing. Monday I watched the Giants and Redskins play. I could appreciate the good and the bad on the field without becoming emotionally involved. When I watched the World Series this year, I was kinda pullin’ for the Giants but not enough to get bummed out when a play didn’t go their way. I can remain calm and enjoy the moment in these neutral situations. Not so when I watch and or listen to the Colts, Pacers, Indians, Bears, Bulldogs, Hoosier, or Boilermakers. Likewise when an east side school is playing, my blood pressure is sure to go over the top, sweat-beads will appear on my forehead, and my repertoire of swear words will start falling out of my mouth in low mutterings when I am watching and things are not going the way I think they should go. I know that it’s childish and immature for a sixty two year old grandfather to behave in such a way but I am afraid my attempts to alter my emotion response to these little crises has not been successful.
I have found that the best way to relieve the tension is to simply turn away from the offending athletic contest or turn the television (or radio) off altogether and swear to myself that I will not watch any more of this vile performance that fate has deliberately twisted to offend me personally. I usually have enough time to go to the bathroom to take care of some personal business and then to the kitchen in order to get a cold drink and or something to eat. By this time my curiosity has overcome my resolve and I turn on or flip back to that which started me on my journey to ease my pain in the first place. Sometimes the situation has been resolved, sometimes it has gotten worse, and on occasion it has gotten so bad that it has become like a train wreck  that is so disastrous that I simply cannot take my eyes off of it.
And so it was that I found myself, last Sunday observing the Colts struggle with the Detroit Lions. It just seemed that the Lions where having their way with the Colts both offensively and defensively. For every single solid play the Horseshoe would make, the Lions where making three. And our number 12 seemed to be having another one of those rookie learning process games. I tried to tell myself that things where going to happen, that Colts fans were fortunate the team was playing as well as it has and that we still could make the playoffs as a wildcard even with a loss to the Lions. Didn’t help much. I was still flipping off the channel and considering throwing the remote at the TV. I even turned the channel over to Turner Classic and watched some of Casino Royale. The game had progressed to the fourth quarter and then Andrew Luck threw his third interception of the game. I thought to myself that was pretty much the nail in the Colts’ coffin for this game.
I tuned to in TCM again and watched Woody Allen and Orson Welles for a couple of minutes and then flipped back to the Colts game. Sure enough, Detroit was now ahead 33-21. No sense in prolonging my agony so I switched back over to Peter Sellers as James Bond.
It is the nature of the beast, however, to pick at the scab. After watching more of CR, I found myself flipping back to the game without thinking about it. I was just in time to see LaVon Brazill take a Luck pass 42 yards to the end zone for a score with 2:39 minutes to go. There wasn’t enough time left for the Colts to pull out a win but I stayed with them anyway. The one chance the Big Blue had was to get the ball back quickly.  They got it back with 1:07 on the clock. Time seemed to stand still. The Colts had a first down on the 14. Three straight incomplete passes. So now it was fourth down with four seconds on the clock. Only a miracle could win it. The miracle came when instead of throwing to the end zone, he threw a three yard pass to Donny Avery on a crossing pattern and then accompanied Avery on an eleven yard run to the end zone with no time left on the clock. The extra point made it 35-33 the Colts. I was yelling “UNBELIEVABLE” repeatedly when the Boss came through the front door. It was truly the greatest come from behind, snatch the chestnuts out of the fire, grab victory from the jaws of defeat finish I had ever seen.
The look on Lion quarterback Matthew Stafford’s face was priceless. Indeed, the whole Lions team looked like they were in the middle of a bad dream. They had played well enough to win they just didn’t have the “LUCK” on their side last Sunday. snicewanger@yahoo.com