Our own “Field of Dreams!”

imagesNX88H1V3Every now and then in life, I tend to have these moments of “super clarity” (and I’ll bet you have too!) where you almost feel as though a real life movie is playing out right in front of your eyes and not only can you not do anything to stop it, you don’t want to!

Such was the case last Sunday when I watched the Denver Broncos recover from almost certain disaster to take over and beat the San Diego Chargers and win first place in the AFC West division of the football playoffs.

To begin with, you have to go back a few years to set the thing up. Our movie opens with a very talented quarterback who has known his share of ups and downs and been beset by injuries and four very delicate neck surgeries pondering his life and football future and wondering frankly if he’s still got enough gas in the tank to have any future in this very violent game or is it time to go home, become the family man and father he’s supposed to be, help raise the kids and live out the American dream?

Make no mistake, our hero has played this game at the highest level, with a super bowl ring on his finger and plenty of money in the bank (I hope). He’s certainly not wondering if he can afford lunch tomorrow, he has many more important things on his mind like is there any possible future in professional football for him and if so, how’s he going to get there?

Enter character number two. He’s another very talented ex-quarterback with two super bowl rings on his fingers and the scars to back it up!  His face is also weathered and he’s walking on very arthritic, wobbly knees. The thing is, he’s also an executive with the Denver Broncos and he’s here to sound out character number one just to feel around to see if number one sees any kind of future for himself in the NFL? Just maybe with the Broncos?

So it begins. I don’t know if you have any of the characters visualized yet, but I’m leaning towards Jeff Bridges for my number one and not too sure yet about number two. Bridges has that weather beaten cowboy look about him that kind of reminds you at first glance, of someone who’s been to the rodeo a time or two and the results haven’t always been great!

And so the kabuki dance begins. Not much of a dance really, because our twoimages[2] participants are old football warriors each with his own share of trophies on the shelf and enough love and respect for each other to fill a boxcar! The negotiations aren’t that long or complicated (nothing a hundred million or so can’t handle) and so it begins.

The first days of his tryouts in Broncoland are ringed with reporters of every size and shape, good and bad, pro and con. It’s almost the same sick fascination as some have with a tight rope walker crossing the grand canyon or Evil Knievel at the Snake River with just as many secretly hoping he won’t succeed as hoping he will!

Needless to say our hero is successful with thousands of Broncoland  fans talking about Super Bowls with our hero looking as though he might have a direct connection to the man upstairs and hero number two looking as though he might actually be the man upstairs and Colorado couldn’t be happier!

Now, we approach the crux of our movie. Our hero is still the commander of his team (and his destiny) but in some ways, old age is coming to visit a little more often. It hasn’t taken up permanent residency with our hero yet, but it’s letting it’s presence be known in subtle ways and some not so subtle. Local sports writers are making their concerns known more and more often and the guys the media sends in to do the Bronco games can fill up a whole afternoon with nothing but hot air and speculation about the end of our hero’s career. Finally the pain gets the better of our hero and he temporarily surrenders to the second in command and heads for the rehab room for a few weeks to cure an ailing foot and give the old body a chance to heal a little.

The media guys are ecstatic. Of course they knew this was coming all along and they talk endlessly about our young quarterback who is young, healthy, 6’7″and hails from Montana where men are men and sheep are nervous! They also talk endlessly about themselves and anything else they can think of to fill up the day and how the Chargers just might have enough left to turn it around on the mighty Broncs.

Which is the way our “Field of Dreams” movie looks as the Chargers slowly proceed to take our young quarterback apart until the 3rd quarter when the coach asks our hero if he’s got enough left to step in and go one more time! The rest, as they say is history.

The rest of that game I’m sure you already know. The final conclusion to our “Field of Dreams” movie won’t be known until next weekend when the hated Pittsburg Steelers come to town to spread their personal brand of joy throughout Mile High Stadium.

Help me watch it everybody. Then hopefully, stick around and help me write a wonderful ending to my “Field of Dreams” movie. OK?

Have a great week everybody.


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walkinsnowOf all the places I’ve ever lived or traveled to, nothing equals Colorado when it comes to instant weather changes. Earlier this week we were in shorts and sneakers, today it’s parkas and boots, and by the weekend, we’ll probably be back in shorts again! It is however, Mother Nature’s way of hinting to us that changes are in the air and it might be time to start making a few adjustments. Indeed, no matter how much you might want our beautiful summers to stay with us forever, changes are on the way.

As you drive down the street the leaves on some of the trees are beginning to change color, the sun is setting a little earlier and rising a little later, the NFL has kicked into gear and the breezes coming off the mountains have just a little nip to them. Yes Sir, Yes Ma’am, changes are on the way!

Along with the new NFL season comes all the normal good and bad. The good being the dreams of reaching that athletic pinnacle, the Super Bowl, and the bad being more accusations of physical abuse by players to family members which usually gets the same “shock and dismay” treatment by the media and the NFL in the fervent hope that this will also die away in a day or two (or in the media’s case, that it will last at least a day or two) and we can go back to filling those stadiums with fans, and the boss’s bank accounts with money!

The latest chapter in all this of course, is Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens who knocked his wife out cold in an elevator at a casino which was all recorded by a casino camera and is now being clumsily sidestepped by Commissioner Roger Goodell of the NFL, a man with a responsible position and a fat, multi million dollar salary. (Nice work if you can get it). Next in line is Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is accused of punishing his child with a switch “just like his Daddy punished him!” A year or two before that, was the episode with the quarterback from the Pittsburgh Steelers and no doubt there were others too numerous to mention. It just seems like every season has to start with some kind of physical abuse controversy and poor old Roger has to dole out a game or two suspension and do his little kabuki dance with the media to protect the NFL, their precious sponsors and his fat salary!

dinnerI’m not in the punishment business but I might have a solution to this problem.

Before football season even starts, why don’t we take any of these guys who think they’re bad and send them up to Alaska where they can go a couple of rounds with the “Fightin’ Palins of Wasilla!” I’d be willing to place a small wager that if Ray Rice had stepped into that casino elevator with Sarah Palin rather than his defenseless wife, the outcome might be a little different! When those elevator doors reopened, he might look a lot more like Fried Rice than Ray Rice! ISIS be damned! We’ve got Sarah!

I did another silly thing this week. I bought another guitar! I need another guitar like I need another hole in my head but this is such a fine instrument I couldn’t pass it up. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a musician friend of mine who passed away. His name was Rich McDaniel, he was the leader/conductor of a big band I used to play in, and I loved him dearly. This morning, somewhere ‘way in the predawn while the city was asleep, I was playing something on my brand new guitar and it felt so good with such wonderful tone and response that I decided to name it McRich! McRich is going to work with me first thing Monday morning at the VA hospital and it now sits in my living room in the coveted spot right beside my recliner so that I can pick it up and play a little something any time the urge strikes. Thanks McRich!

Please send me your comments and critiques. I’ll be sure to read them all and use them if I can!

Thanks again, and have a great week everybody.