I am familiar with the existence and the use of hyperbole as a figure of speech. I am perfectly aware that when someone uses hyperbole, that statement is not intended to be taken literally; it is used as an example of what is being described. For example:
- I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse. Really?
- I told you a million times not to do that. No, you didn’t.
I mention this today because UNC head football coach, Larry Fedora, had to be using hyperbole when he said this at a press conference for ACC football coaches:
“I fear that the game will get pushed so far to one extreme that you won’t recognize the game 10 years from now. And I do believe, if it gets to that point, that our country goes down too.”
The context here is that Fedora was lamenting some of the recent rule changes that have come into football to address player safety issues. Even if you agree with Fedora that the rule changes have already or may someday go so far that the popularity of football is significantly diminished, you have to admit that it is a stretch to equate the diminution of football’s popularity with the demise of the nation.
That has to be hyperbole, right? If it isn’t, then Larry Fedora has an empty cranium under his fedora.
As NFL training camps open, it is time to start looking at the prospects for teams for the season that starts in about 8 weeks. Last year, the Eagles went from last in their division to first in their division – – and then won the Super Bowl to put a punctuation mark on that last-to-first movement. Looking at the 8 teams that finished last in their division last year, I asked myself which of them had a real shot at going from last to first in their division. As things stand now, I see three teams that just might do that:
- Broncos: The defense is still very good – albeit aging. Their QB situation last year was a mess to say the least. Case Keenum is not going to the Hall of Fame, but he showed last year that he can lead a team to the playoffs if that team has a very good defense.
- Giants: The Giants were riddled with injuries last year and could not run the ball very well at all. The injured players will be back – more importantly Odell Beckham, Jr. Saquon Barkley will give the Giants a running attack that defenses will have to plan for and the Giants did upgrade their offensive line via free agency and the draft.
- Texans: In terms of injuries to key players, the Texans had to lead the league last year. JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus went out for the season early on. DeShaun Watson was holding things together – sort of – for the Texans and then he was injured and needed surgery. The reason I think the Texans have the best shot at doing the last-to-first thing in 2018 is the fact that they get these 3 very good players back PLUS the fact that the AFC South is not nearly the toughest division in football.
I considered adding the Niners and the Bears to this list but did not even though I think both teams are on the upswing. The problem for these teams is that they are in divisions that will be difficult for them to win because each of those two divisions has two teams in the division who are going to be better than average. I don’t think they can leapfrog two very good teams to win the division.
My grandson was visiting last week; he and his parents live in Dublin, Ireland so it is always a treat to have him come and stay for a while. He asked me which team in MLB I would want to manage. After thinking about it for a moment I said it would be either the Rad Sox or the Astros. Now, before anyone thinks of labeling me as a front-runner, let me tell you what I told my grandson was the reason for my answer.
- Both teams are very good – in fact you can make a reasonable case that either one is the best team in MLB this year. However, there is an additional factor at work here; both teams are fun to watch. When I tune in to see a game on TV, I always enjoy watching either the Astros or the Red Sox play; they seem to enjoy the game in a way that makes me also enjoy watching their game.
- So, if I were the manager of either team, I would get to “watch” that team play 162 games and I could enjoy myself while doing my job.
As you might conclude from that reasoning, I am a firm believer in a Mark Twain adage. He said that the secret to a happy life is to do two simple things:
- Take the time to figure out what it is you truly love to do.
- Then, find some damned fool who will pay you to do that.
You know; I think he was onto something there…
Finally, since I mentioned Mark Twain above, let me close with another of his commentaries that I have always enjoyed:
“Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen.
I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………