Like anyone else with a brain I get highly irritated when actors and musicians and athletes and some democrat presidents are held up as “heroes”.
Playing an instrument or singing, pretending to be someone else in a movie, playing a game or holding an political office is in no possible way criteria for heroism.
But… Detroit Lions rookie quarterback Matt Stafford showed me something a few days ago that is seldom seen in today’s society outside emergency personnel, cops, firefighters, and our military… sacrifice, guts and an absolute refusal to give up.
With eight seconds left, on Cleveland's 32, Stafford heaved the ball to the end zone. Interception, game over; Lions lose, 37-31.
But… a defensive pass interference call in the end zone placed the ball on the 1 with 0:00 on the clock… one last shot.
Back at the line of scrimmage Stafford was on the turf, writhing in pain, downed by a ferocious, but clean hit; he’d been “mic’d” for the game as the NFL does from time to time with players and coaches. He had separated the AC ( articular-clavicular joint) in his shoulder.
Stafford lay on the turf moaning in serious pain, his left arm clutched to his body. Backup Daunte Culpepper was already was on the field when the Browns called a timeout. But as soon as Stafford heard the timeout over the P.A. system, Stafford got up and said to the clutch of coaches and teammates , “I can thrown if you want me to.”
He didn’t wait for an answer; pushing his way though the sideline chaos, he ran to the huddle and again took charge of his team.
As sometime happens in life, the impossible becomes possible.
The teams lined up, Stafford took the snap, which must have hurt like hell; he dropped back and fired a pass to tight end Brandon Pettigrew to tie the game 37-all and a Lions’ PAT moments secured a 38-37 improbable win.
"He made a great play,” said Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, chuckling, “But probably his best play was to elude four team doctors on the sideline.
"You could tell by the look in his eye, nobody was going to stop him from getting on the field. He'd come way too far in that game to not finish it."
And just for contrast:
In a complete surprise move the Lions started Stafford yesterday in the 34-12 loss to Green Bay.
Back-up QB Culpepper didn’t take it well…. in fact he took it like a little girl in the throes of terminal panty twist.
Learning he wouldn’t start, he pouted on the bench like a little bitch instead of joining the team in warm-up drills. Martin Mayhew, Detroit GM, had a “man up” chat with the boy, and he went thought the motions of being a team player.
That’s big of him.
I wudda sent Li’l Daunte home, and started the trade process; I don’t want a any punks playing on my team… the Motor City has enough problems.
"It didn't feel good, but I didn't care," Stafford said afterward, his left shoulder wrapped tightly. "It was one play. I knew I didn't have to play too much. Just one snap and try to throw the touchdown."
This is a treat… have your male children/grand-children watch this and discuss it; the drama starts about 3:45:
And so what? you say.
Well, what I say is that we need to proclaim role models for our kids anywhere we find them.
But so does Culpepper.
Which one do you want your son to emulate?
I had a good Thanksgiving with the Sellmans… Senior and Junior.
Senior provided two brace of pheasant and Junior put the smoker to them. Voila, a tasty and far more traditional Thanksgiving—sorta Jeremiah Johnson--than most folks have.
Plus… pheasant sandwiches!
Mickie and Karen did all the rest, and I got to play with the dogs….
Sparky, below, Sammy, next, and, Mimi, below, right, were even more thankful than we were… not many canines have pheasant for Thanksgiving dinner.
Anyway, a good time was had by all… hope all you faithful readers had the same….