The Epic Saga of The Armchair Quarterback

Since my football team, the Chicago Bears, are not playing today and since their QB is currently injured I thought I would reprise an older post I had on my old blog. It was in defense of the Bears QB who had been called soft by a portion of the  sports ‘reporting’ community.  Enjoy.

The battlefield lay prone below the sky and the intense rays of the sun.  The  300 warriors were coalescing their forces for possibly their final battle of the season.  The fight had already lasted half the afternoon and fatigue and injuries had taken their toll on the combatants. They could no longer protect their General, Jayus Cutlerous. He was a stoic leader with the heart of battle hardened warrior. But he too was battered from a  full season of conflicts supported by green troops who often times failed to protect him as well as they should.

The 299 gathered around their leader to listen to the news that could be their death nell. He had taken a pounding and sustained  injuries that would prevent him from continuing to lead them in battle. “Well thats it then” stated the battlefield tactician Loveticus Smithopolous. No longer can you lead us into battle. You can barely stand.”

“That is not true let me give it one more shot” asked Jayus as he stood once more only to collapse once again.

“No it is obvious you would do more harm to yourself and the team if you were to continue” stated Loveticus.

“Perhaps, but what of the gladiator code?” pleaded a dejected Jayus. “What of Bretticus Farver, uh, Favreous, I can never get the name right but you know of who I speak of and his deeds of glory that have spread across the land . What of  Maurice Jones of Drewious  and Dionious Sanderpopolis  and their recent comments.”

“Jayus , let me address these one at a time. As for Bretticus Farver, uh well you know who.  He always did more harm than good on the battlefield.”

“You mean when he was injured?” interjected Jayus.

“Um, yea that is what I meant. And this Maurice Jones of Drewious you speak of. Is he a great warrior and spoke of often across the land?”

“Well,” said Jayus. ” He is a warrior. He fights for the Jaguars in the south.”

Loveticus snickered and replied “Oh, that explains it.  They have never gotten to the  the final battle. Well when he makes it into ValHalla then let me know, until then he should be silent.  As for Sanderpopolis he was a warrior and had great speed which he used mostly to avoid being hit.”

“I see what you mean Loveticus. But can I ignore the statements of Clayus Mateus who is on his way to the final battle.”

“Please,” laughed Loveticus. “From Mateus they are more utterances than statements. I am surprised he can string more than a few syllables together. Yes, he is on his way to the final battle and seems to be talked of across the land but the public is fickle and swayed by his long golden locks. Which, by the way , I happen to know their weight in ounces is greater than his IQ.”

“ No Jayus. Do not listen to these has beens , flavors of the month and the soon to be forgotten. I council you to instead turn to those warriors whose deeds have stood the test of time, took them to Valhalla or the final battle  and in some cases had a trophy named after them. Turn to such hallowed combatants  as Joseph Theismanous and Dickus Butkisious.  True men of war who won the ultimate battle or achieved the honor of entering Valhalla  and in the case of Butkisious looked back on playing hurt and decided he had more than enough  brain cells to know better.”

“Thank you Loveticus I will reflect on you words of wisdom” replied a grateful Jayus.

“So were done here?”

“Yes,” replied Steve  the re-enactor playing Loveticus. “But take what Loveticus, er I, said seriously.  This battle stuff  is just a  good way to get some exercise and fresh air while were young.  You don’t want to get to the point where at the ripe old age of 45 you have to have someone push you to a mirror only to have to them explain to you that the man in the mirror is you.  Go home and get some ice on that knee”

“Food for thought” said Jayus, known to the other re-enactors as Frank.

“Its just as well we finished early. “Its my turn to pick up the little one from T-Ball practice. It looks as though my minivan is blocked in. Who are those guys in those trucks  anyway?”

“Well, for the sake of the re-enactment were calling them scribes but they are really sports reporters.”

“Did they have scribes back in the day of the 300” asked Frank.

“ Well were not exactly sure but we figure where ever there are sweaty men grappling there are other men with no       knowledge and plenty of opinions to give advice. Some times they are hard to tell apart from the spectators.”

Tales From Vegas

I am on my way to the airport and my stereo system , not finding the artist I commanded it to play,  chooses on it’s own.

Fresh beats hit the speakers and the sounds of  a dance number titled  “Breakfast in Vegas” by Praga Khan are reverberating around the panels of my Fiesta. That’s right , it’s a party on the road. I am a few hamsters shy of having a car commercial on my hands.

Since I am on my way to Vegas I find this whole scenario interesting but not worth much thought. Vegas as a force can put gravity to shame.  The origins of Vegas is a well known story but it is hard to believe that a group of writers were not involved. The collection of characters that inhabit this city should insure that no writer  ever passing through suffer from writers block.

From the neon signs that have been abandoned by their host buildings to the upside down check cashing sign and the house that Bugsy built there are tales clamoring to be told. Every corner turned and every hotel safe opened reveals a bit about the night or the decade before.

Checking into my room I inspect the functionality of the hotel safe. My laptop is old but it contains hundreds of stories and the thousands of hours spent crafting them. Once assured of it’s security I place my computer into it but discover an empty packet for some kind of endurance product named Rhino something or other. Wow,this person took their gambling serious, I thought.  I flipped over the other side of the packet and read the fine print.  A revelation popped into my head, oh that’s what they took seriously. I guess it was in the safe for extreme emergencies and I guess he had one.

Having locked up my dreams* for the night, I headed down to the street to join the characters that would inhabit my world for the next few days. I am in the downtown section of Vegas where things tend to be grittier. It has more of a state fair atmosphere than the strip. Less than a block from the hotel I discover a little bar that has a section exposed to the street complete with barstools outside so you can enjoy your drink and people watch at the same time.  I make a note of it and decide to check out what is happening further downtown. I am meeting up with one of my oldest friends tonight and by oldest I mean he has been a good friend for a long time. He also just happens to be older than me.** His flight puts him in Vegas a few hours from now so I have some time to burn.

I head down to one of the stage areas where free concerts are always going on. Tonight it’s Elvis. I am now officially in Vegas. Truth be told, I could have done better but there was not a keg of beer and a karaoke machine in site. After a while I move past Elvis and make my way down the block to the next stage complete with band. I didn’t catch their name but they seem to be a hair band tribute. Which hair band? Apparently all of them. After listening to their version of Bon Jovi’s version of  the Thin Lizzie song “The Boys Are Back In Town”, I decide that this is my cue to go back to my newfound bar because surely the boys are back in town

Getting back to the bar I  sit down at the outside section . It’s the kind of a place where they may not know your name but are friendly enough to make one up for you.

I pick up a drink menu. It announces  the name of this place as “The Park”. Strange, not a tree or blade of grass in sight, I thought. Glancing around I notice the only business sign attached to the building, a small unassuming neon job with an arrow pointing to the bar and the words “Park”.  That seals the deal. With the sign and the excellent beers on the menu I decide this place is now my favorite bar in Vegas***. I have officially found my orbit in the gravitational field of Vegas.  I obey the sign and stay for a while. I text my friend my location and settle in with a fine brew.

I people watch and continue to consume brews and time passes quickly. You know how it is when you are minding someone else’s business. I soon hear the familiar greeting of my friend and I welcome him to my new favorite bar. Seeing the “Park” sign he approves of my choice. We toast the visit and both agree that this will be a good time, tales will be told and new ones generated. Writers block should not be an issue for a while.

*Hey it’s a metaphor, I am trying to be literary here.

**Yes, its a smart ass shout out to my friend James.

*** When I am in a new town I feel that I have not officially visited unless I have found a favorite bar. It usually does not take long even in a large city. It gives me a home base for the current and perhaps subsequent visits.