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Sprint Right Option

smiling and waving and looking so fine – Bowie

Took a walk Sunday night after couching it with the NFL wild card all afternoon.Who does this Tim Tebow kid think he is, thanking his Lord and Savior and giving all credit to his teammates? Doesn’t he know that folks like their religious references kept obscure, like in ’82 when Montana to Clark changed a franchise and Dwight rose to unnatural heights to make The Catch? Clark concluded that it was “God or something” that got him up there. The “or something” makes all the difference and is potentially the most palatable, denomination-crossing phrase since “who wants pizza?” Anyway, it was reasonably cold and beautifully clear and I wore my long winter coat from Italy in ’89 and had the whole Brooklyn Promenade to myself. The new World Trade building stood across the water, dimly illuminated with work lights, facade creeping upward and cranes atop still adding on. It’s on these occasions that I have a vague and hardly unique sensation of wanting to somehow possess this city, or a small piece at least – put it in my pocket or make my name modestly associated with its own. Then God or something snaps me out of it, a gentle voice from beyond the Chrysler Building admonishing “don’t be an asshole.”

I spotted Paul Giamatti a few weeks prior while jogging past the corner of Pierrepont and Clinton in Brooklyn Heights. He’s a neighbor of mine, though the cognizance is uni-directional. Owns a fairly modest spread, by quirky-looking leading man standards, on Hicks somewhere. I’d finished watching the John Adams miniseries the week before and was looking all middle-age cool in my thuggish knit cap with shades and iPod cranked. For a moment I pictured myself yelling “Yo Paul – John Adams is the shit!” and he acknowledging in sheepish appreciation as I ran past toward Court Street. I didn’t of course, not being that type, though these sand-drawn lines are by no means uncrossable. I’ve still got an admirable set of pipes on the rare occasion I decide to speak up in a crowd. Giamatti’s got an unusual speaking voice too and would make a fine modern-day Charlton Heston choice for The Tim Tebow Story, putting the game-winning calls in the boy’s head. “Brown-left-slot spring right option, snap on two. And go easy with my name in the post game.”

Faith has no provable evolutionary precedent. As my Scottish friend Denis once wrote “I’ve been reading the King James VI biography. He dies in the end.” So why would anyone begrudge a 24 year-old quarterback exercising his god-given right to take a prayerful knee in the end zone for reasons other than volunteering a safety? Tebow passed for 316 yards on Sunday; his favorite biblical verse being John 3:16. He wears the reference written in to his eye black on occasion, along with other passages. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. It’s a nice sentiment, but at the risk of exposing my blasphemous soul in print, wouldn’t that eternal life thing take some of the shine off of Montana to Clark, and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences? John 3:16 has enjoyed widespread and resurgent public recognition since Sunday’s game, which is fine with me and better placed than in major political party debates. As it says in Isaiah 39:8 “Good is the word of the Lord thou hast spoken.” And there ain’t nothing like a little eye black and Google to give it some legs.

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One Comment

  1. coleman wrote:

    Just watched that final drive again on youtube. they started at their own 11! damn.

    this running back (Elliot?) had some nice runs to keep things moving. and still after all these years, watching the catch i got goosebumps. White men CAN jump!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

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