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Old 01-31-2014, 08:09 AM   #1
Keira's Lip Balm
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Default I had some down-time at work last night...

...during which I thought about why I'm not altogether that nervous about the fact the Denver Broncos are playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. I still love typing that. MmmMmMmm.

Here's what I came up with (don't read if you don't enjoy full-frontal male nudity).










Just kidding about the male nudity part. Barely.





One reason I love football is its simultaneous quantifiability, complexity and, by extension, unpredictability. To wit, we enjoy knowing how many yards or touchdowns a given player might gain on any given Sunday, that is easily quantified and collated by the stats gnomes, but the complexity of the game means deeper digging into the context of those yards or touchdowns if we're to gain any insight into what actually transpired on the field.

We're all familiar with the ingenious metrics ginned up by the analysts over the years, metrics meant to distill football's complexity and arm us with predictive power for future contests, but all the prediction machines and psychic manatees in the world still fail to rob us of our anticipation come Sunday.

In my mind, football is without question the most complex game on the planet. The tension between the physical, the psychological and the technical is unmatched in sports. The game we love still eludes exhaustive human knowledge, and it all comes to a head for 60 minutes one day per week (or two weeks ), when one path is chosen from numerous logical possibilities. Football's complexity gives it more possible logical outcomes than other sports, and the compression of time that precipitates an outcome takes the breath away. The singular nature of any one football game basically qualifies it as miraculous.

The protagonists cast in the middle of this maelstrom are men whose names we know. Names such as Big Deck Decker, Bay Bay and Ma'a Tanuvasa. Their actions on the field seem beyond their persons. As if animated by a wight, they sometimes strike me as marionettes whose very actions are symbolic of something very deep, but unseen, and unknown even to themselves. Julius Thomas caught a 21-yard pass one night in January. But is that really what happened?

Empirically, of course, the answer is 'Yes, dumbass.' We can quantify his action; we can make it a data point. But, if you'll pardon the pun, that misses the point.

Like a sculptor might categorize and use his raw materials based on artistic license instead of science, while still believing both perspectives to be true, I think the 2013 Denver Broncos embody a perspective as grand (yet intangible) as the heady stats we know them for, and I think that's why they're going to win the Super Bowl.

Returning to the marionettes: When I watch football, I realize the speed and pressure of the game (even leaving aside Denver's hurry-up offense) essentially renders most participants unconscious actors. As puppets. Knowshon Moreno runs on instinct, but it is an instinct forged from a previously conscious decision, and that decision was furthermore borne from an intricate mix of personality and life experience. None of this is revealed in a stat line.

What life experience induces a man to surrender his will, his very consciousness, to a mad puppeteer who will deplete his body and his time? Football is extremely taxing. The days were spent, months or years in advance, in grueling physical and mental preparation for maybe one play, one second in one play, no one could guarantee was coming. Yet the choice was made, to a man, to move forward--to surrender body, mind and spirit--and I'd wager suffering is the element that informs that choice more than anything else.

In this unscientific moral dimension I speak of, a dimension impervious to statistical analysis, honor, trust and suffering take the stage. These Denver Broncos are well-acquainted with this realm. You hear it when the team talks about what they've overcome in the last 12 months, starting with Baltimore: The execs' DUIs, Faxgate, Von's suspension and legal troubles, Champ's nagging injury, Wolfe's mysterious ailment, Rahim's near-death experience, Clady's injury, Fox's near-death experience, Von's brutal injury and lost season, Harris's brutal injury, or that time they forgot Trindon's booster seat at Chili's.

I haven't even mentioned the sufferer-in-chief dragging this team along, the man who can't answer a question without a pained expression on his face, PFM. Questions about his legacy, his playoff failings, and his journey from Indy to Denver are well-documented, and I don't doubt he has some deep sorrow about some of what transpired. The thing is, though, I feel like Manning has always had a hidden aspect of his life that haunts him, and that it's what made him so successful.

If suffering broaches the topic of surrendering your will for future glory (think of the monks), part of the transaction I think involves a better understanding of the will that is no longer yours. You can stand on the shore and watch your will be cast along by deep waters. I think Peyton made this decision to let go at an insanely young age, and it's probably why he paradoxically looks like he's in such control out there. He somehow sensed the noumenon, and knew his chance at greatness rested on the decision to devote his entire being to it. I can't speak assuredly of what sorrow provoked this. I'd venture it had something to do with Archie, who had a exceedingly disappointing relationship with his father, and who Peyton has tried to make proud his whole life. The funny thing is, the more he accomplished for his dad to alleviate his burden, the more the magnifying glass was turned upon him, and the greater his suffering became (at questions about his accomplishments or lack thereof at Tennessee, in Indy, his health, etc).

Now, after the greatest single season ever compiled by a quarterback, here he is in the Super Bowl with his second team. This would forever close the book on those dark doubts he himself might even carry inside, and no one understands that fact better than the man who knows more about football than the entire Seattle defense put together. He's gained the trust, the respect and love of his teammates and our fan base. He knows the end is nigh. The man who sacrificed as a teenager is well-equipped to lead the men who sacrifice for him now. They made the conscious decision to buy into his system, to be an unconscious cog in the wheel of this historic freight-train from hell, running straight up the ass of the competition.

With all due respect to the Seahawks, they have a helluva defense and a potential great one in Russell Wilson, but there's no way they win this game. It's not a question of athletic ability or scheme, in which case the two teams are probably in a dead heat. There's a whole other dimension at play here, one where braggadocio, 12th Man thievery and corny names for your defensive backfield are as empty as the Chargers' trophy cabinet. This Sunday, Manning dips his pen and writes the last chapter (I hope they call it "Omaha!"). We, the fans, the loyal readers, who know the rest of the story, just have to enjoy it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:14 AM   #2
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WALL OF TEXT


Just kidding KLB - thanks for posting, you were certainly in deep thought!

Go Broncos!
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by crush17 View Post
WALL OF TEXT


Just kidding KLB - thanks for posting, you were certainly in deep thought!

Go Broncos!
Thanks, mang. I definitely got carried away, but the sense that the Broncos are gonna win this whole damn thing is inescapable, and I tried to get to the bottom of it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Keira's Lip Balm View Post
...during which I thought about why I'm not altogether that nervous about the fact the Denver Broncos are playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday. I still love typing that. MmmMmMmm.

Here's what I came up with (don't read if you don't enjoy full-frontal male nudity).










Just kidding about the male nudity part. Barely.





One reason I love football is its simultaneous quantifiability, complexity and, by extension, unpredictability. To wit, we enjoy knowing how many yards or touchdowns a given player might gain on any given Sunday, that is easily quantified and collated by the stats gnomes, but the complexity of the game means deeper digging into the context of those yards or touchdowns if we're to gain any insight into what actually transpired on the field.

We're all familiar with the ingenious metrics ginned up by the analysts over the years, metrics meant to distill football's complexity and arm us with predictive power for future contests, but all the prediction machines and psychic manatees in the world still fail to rob us of our anticipation come Sunday.

In my mind, football is without question the most complex game on the planet. The tension between the physical, the psychological and the technical is unmatched in sports. The game we love still eludes exhaustive human knowledge, and it all comes to a head for 60 minutes one day per week (or two weeks ), when one path is chosen from numerous logical possibilities. Football's complexity gives it more possible logical outcomes than other sports, and the compression of time that precipitates an outcome takes the breath away. The singular nature of any one football game basically qualifies it as miraculous.

The protagonists cast in the middle of this maelstrom are men whose names we know. Names such as Big Deck Decker, Bay Bay and Ma'a Tanuvasa. Their actions on the field seem beyond their persons. As if animated by a wight, they sometimes strike me as marionettes whose very actions are symbolic of something very deep, but unseen, and unknown even to themselves. Julius Thomas caught a 21-yard pass one night in January. But is that really what happened?

Empirically, of course, the answer is 'Yes, dumbass.' We can quantify his action; we can make it a data point. But, if you'll pardon the pun, that misses the point.

Like a sculptor might categorize and use his raw materials based on artistic license instead of science, while still believing both perspectives to be true, I think the 2013 Denver Broncos embody a perspective as grand (yet intangible) as the heady stats we know them for, and I think that's why they're going to win the Super Bowl.

Returning to the marionettes: When I watch football, I realize the speed and pressure of the game (even leaving aside Denver's hurry-up offense) essentially renders most participants unconscious actors. As puppets. Knowshon Moreno runs on instinct, but it is an instinct forged from a previously conscious decision, and that decision was furthermore borne from an intricate mix of personality and life experience. None of this is revealed in a stat line.

What life experience induces a man to surrender his will, his very consciousness, to a mad puppeteer who will deplete his body and his time? Football is extremely taxing. The days were spent, months or years in advance, in grueling physical and mental preparation for maybe one play, one second in one play, no one could guarantee was coming. Yet the choice was made, to a man, to move forward--to surrender body, mind and spirit--and I'd wager suffering is the element that informs that choice more than anything else.

In this unscientific moral dimension I speak of, a dimension impervious to statistical analysis, honor, trust and suffering take the stage. These Denver Broncos are well-acquainted with this realm. You hear it when the team talks about what they've overcome in the last 12 months, starting with Baltimore: The execs' DUIs, Faxgate, Von's suspension and legal troubles, Champ's nagging injury, Wolfe's mysterious ailment, Rahim's near-death experience, Clady's injury, Fox's near-death experience, Von's brutal injury and lost season, Harris's brutal injury, or that time they forgot Trindon's booster seat at Chili's.

I haven't even mentioned the sufferer-in-chief dragging this team along, the man who can't answer a question without a pained expression on his face, PFM. Questions about his legacy, his playoff failings, and his journey from Indy to Denver are well-documented, and I don't doubt he has some deep sorrow about some of what transpired. The thing is, though, I feel like Manning has always had a hidden aspect of his life that haunts him, and that it's what made him so successful.

If suffering broaches the topic of surrendering your will for future glory (think of the monks), part of the transaction I think involves a better understanding of the will that is no longer yours. You can stand on the shore and watch your will be cast along by deep waters. I think Peyton made this decision to let go at an insanely young age, and it's probably why he paradoxically looks like he's in such control out there. He somehow sensed the noumenon, and knew his chance at greatness rested on the decision to devote his entire being to it. I can't speak assuredly of what sorrow provoked this. I'd venture it had something to do with Archie, who had a exceedingly disappointing relationship with his father, and who Peyton has tried to make proud his whole life. The funny thing is, the more he accomplished for his dad to alleviate his burden, the more the magnifying glass was turned upon him, and the greater his suffering became (at questions about his accomplishments or lack thereof at Tennessee, in Indy, his health, etc).

Now, after the greatest single season ever compiled by a quarterback, here he is in the Super Bowl with his second team. This would forever close the book on those dark doubts he himself might even carry inside, and no one understands that fact better than the man who knows more about football than the entire Seattle defense put together. He's gained the trust, the respect and love of his teammates and our fan base. He knows the end is nigh. The man who sacrificed as a teenager is well-equipped to lead the men who sacrifice for him now. They made the conscious decision to buy into his system, to be an unconscious cog in the wheel of this historic freight-train from hell, running straight up the ass of the competition.

With all due respect to the Seahawks, they have a helluva defense and a potential great one in Russell Wilson, but there's no way they win this game. It's not a question of athletic ability or scheme, in which case the two teams are probably in a dead heat. There's a whole other dimension at play here, one where braggadocio, 12th Man thievery and corny names for your defensive backfield are as empty as the Chargers' trophy cabinet. This Sunday, Manning dips his pen and writes the last chapter (I hope they call it "Omaha!"). We, the fans, the loyal readers, who know the rest of the story, just have to enjoy it.
Well done...I normally just look at porn
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:42 AM   #5
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is there a tl;dr version?

i'm on a smartphone
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:13 AM   #6
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painful read.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:14 AM   #7
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I am picturing you in a parking garage collection booth on the graveyard. Bored senseless, you decide to take another look at that "stamp" your buddy gave you at club the other night. The results? This epic look into the mind of a fan.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:24 AM   #8
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KLB: from the heart, a man who loves his team, this team. As do I, as do we all. Agreed, we win this game, it's our destiny. Time to ride, baby, time to ride.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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Enjoyed (only because I too had some down time).
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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brah, that was really long.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:31 AM   #11
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I am picturing you in a parking garage collection booth on the graveyard. Bored senseless, you decide to take another look at that "stamp" your buddy gave you at club the other night. The results? This epic look into the mind of a fan.
+1

This reads like an acid trip blog.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:33 AM   #12
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Yeah but she can write well. I guess the Texas education system can get lucky once in a while and produce an educated individual. Assuming of course she went to school in Texas.....
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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+1

This reads like an acid trip blog.
And what's wrong with that?
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:54 AM   #14
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People that say things like "there's no way this team will beat that team" are crazy, especially in the NFL. Any team can beat any other team on any given day. This game in particular, could go either way. I understand you have your homer classes super glued to your head but a little pragmatism goes along way.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:10 PM   #15
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People that say things like "there's no way this team will beat that team" are crazy, especially in the NFL. Any team can beat any other team on any given day. This game in particular, could go either way. I understand you have your homer classes super glued to your head but a little pragmatism goes along way.
Yeah, yeah, any given Sunday, blah...blah...blah. We are three days away from watching the Broncos in their first Super Bowl in 15 years. Screw you and your pragmatism. I have a hell-of-lot more respect for us 'homers' who actually invest some emotional energy into the outcome (especially the unhealthy variety) verses the 'above the fray' folks who claim objectivity and then say "I told you so," when the team loses, or, worse yet, partakes in the jubilee when they win.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:45 PM   #16
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Kind of a strange read, but the final paragraph nailed it (mostly--their scheme is not a good match for us actually).
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:46 PM   #17
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or that time they forgot Trindon's booster seat at Chili's.


BAZINGA!!!

That was a great read...
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:48 PM   #18
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People that say things like "there's no way this team will beat that team" are crazy, especially in the NFL. Any team can beat any other team on any given day. This game in particular, could go either way. I understand you have your homer classes super glued to your head but a little pragmatism goes along way.
The X's and O's say we win and win handily. Plus there's all the intangible stuff as others have pointed out. The Broncos are going to win this game. Count on it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:49 PM   #19
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+1

This reads like an acid trip blog.
Yep..... WWMP..... (what would Mock post)
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:38 PM   #20
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painful read.
Always a risk a man's attempt comes out grating when he's outta his depth. In my defense, I dare say the great truths of these Broncos elude any commoner's faculty.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:55 PM   #21
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Yeah but she can write well. I guess the Texas education system can get lucky once in a while and produce an educated individual. Assuming of course she went to school in Texas.....
I'm a product of the Colorado public school system, so credit where credit is due. I'm sure my English teachers would find plenty wrong with my shtick, but fortunately the Mane is very forgiving.

Plano ISD is actually pretty awesome! Or so I hear from all the chicks I keep around for company.











Just kidding.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:07 PM   #22
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People that say things like "there's no way this team will beat that team" are crazy, especially in the NFL. Any team can beat any other team on any given day. This game in particular, could go either way. I understand you have your homer classes super glued to your head but a little pragmatism goes along way.
Sure, Seattle can win, if the consensus is an order of magnitude off in its estimation of each team's talent level. I presuppose a roughly equal distribution of talent between the two teams, and my meandering argument tries to make the case that Denver will assuredly win given that scenario. If Denver loses, they simply weren't as talented as the Seahawks, though I think they would have to outmatch the Broncos by a very wide margin talent-wise given this team's psychological advantage.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:20 PM   #23
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the problem here is that while everyone loves to write stories about what wins and loses mean or don't mean, what they actually mean is nothing. and by this, I mean that the game on the field doesn't actually have anything to do with the narratives fans and media (and even teams) often become obsessed with. that's the appeal, even. in a world where we all spin stories to make ourselves look like the heroes or, more frequently, everyone else look like the villains, the results on the field of play are what they are. if the broncos lose, they lose, and there is no way to spin that, no way to write a more appropriate ending. so sure, manning wants to win. of course he wants to win. but that doesn't mean much after the ball is snapped and the game begins.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:44 PM   #24
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the problem here is that while everyone loves to write stories about what wins and loses mean or don't mean, what they actually mean is nothing. and by this, I mean that the game on the field doesn't actually have anything to do with the narratives fans and media (and even teams) often become obsessed with. that's the appeal, even. in a world where we all spin stories to make ourselves look like the heroes or, more frequently, everyone else look like the villains, the results on the field of play are what they are. if the broncos lose, they lose, and there is no way to spin that, no way to write a more appropriate ending. so sure, manning wants to win. of course he wants to win. but that doesn't mean much after the ball is snapped and the game begins.
I guess the point I'm angling for is how, once the ball is snapped, most of what happens happens unconsciously. Even at the snail's pace of my HS playing days, I was never all that aware of what I was doing. All you have at your disposal is your preparation and natural ability, with the former meaning more and more at the highest levels. To me it's an interesting question as to what impels someone to make that conscious decision to prepare for something that will come close to destroying him. I suggested suffering, though the mechanism of why and how suffering makes men better seems to be an involved question.

I believe someone like Peyton has suffered for years, for reasons unknown to me, but that it necessitates a hunger to play for what we'll see on Sunday. That hunger devours the hours, days, weeks and months dedicated to preparing his unconscious self for the moment at hand, when it's all he and his teammates have to rely on.
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