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Opening Arguments

John Madden's Disease

Does John Madden really say anything? I don't mean ever -- he always has interesting thoughts on football, as here, where he talks about what it was like to coach a lot of characters on the Oakland team:

 When a character would come in, he didn't lead the band; the band was being led by pretty solid guys. You had that. It was just a break in the monotony. Ted Hendricks was probably the biggest combination of a guy that was a character, great player, Hall of Famer. You don't want characters just because they're characters - 'Boy, I got a whole bunch of characters, none of them can play football, but they're funnier than hell.' I got Ted Hendricks, who was a great player, a Hall of Fame player, now he's a character. I liked that, too.

I mean when he's doing a football game. Before the Indianapolis-San Diego game last night, Al Michaels asked him what San Diego had to do to win. Well, Madden said, the first thing was that the quarterback had to have a good night. And he had to have support from his receivers and the line. But a good offense wouldn't be enough, because Indianapolis had so many weapons, so the defense had to have a really good game, too, and they especially needed to penetrate so they could get to Peyton Manning. And in the end, that might not be enough, either, so the special teams had to be sharp, too. He talked, I swear, for three minutes, and what he basically said was: For San Diego to win, the offense, defense and special teams have to play well. At least he didn't say, and they have to score the most points.

I think we all suffer from John Madden's Disease from time to time, especially when we're in territory so familiar to us. I've felt a twinge of it when doing my 20th blog post on illegal immigration or my hundredth editorial on fiscal restraint. What the hell did I just use 700 words to say? That if the federal government is serious about budget deficits, it has to spend less? Brilliant! But probably more than half of the talk we do in day-to-day life is like that, too. Blah, blah, blah the weather. Blah, blah, blah, my co-worker. Blah, blah, blah, this town sure has changed. Makes me occasionally want to blurt out something inappropriate or out of context just to see if people are paying attention enough to wish to have a real conversation.

Jimi Hendrix rocked, but Jim Morrison died at about the right age!


Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:14am

I don't know that it applies in Madden's case, but I think there is value in communicating with friends and family about mundane things even if you're not transmitting new information between yourselves. Just talking about the weather probably strengthens whatever bonds there are between us.

Leo Morris
Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:17am

Agreed. But I think we tend to get too much in the mundane habit and miss a lot of important things our friends and family might have to say. Did you know that green is the most soothing color?

Larry Morris
Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:35am

Uh, ... I don't think so. Ever since my short stint in the Army, green has not been soothing to me, ...

Leo Morris
Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:43am

Now, see, we've started a real conversation. If you could get at your deep-seated anxieties, you might see the appeal of hunter green or lime green or all the various shades of green in the forest. But if you want to stay stuck back in the Army, that's fine.

Cat owners rule!

Larry Morris
Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:57am

Deep-seated anxieties ? I, ... uh, want to say, well, ... it's like, ... uh, ... well, ok, I guess, ...

Bob G.
Mon, 11/24/2008 - 1:30pm

Green ...most soothing, eh?

Well, that explains my GARDEN...and my "camos", and even all that "foldin' money" that's coming back IN VOGUE...

Nothing more soothing that spending on something fivolous from time to time, eh?

Now, if only the cats would hold still long enough for me to amend THEIR hue with some temporary (green) hair color...
THAT would be REAL soothing...to me.