Thursday, February 05, 2015

Light And Shade Challenge: "Before She's Gone"

[ Writing resumes on This Blog with a response to the Light and Shade">Challenge.

"It's quite easy, really," she says. We had gone out onto the porch. The night sky was clear, a few stars indistinct behind the glow of the city. I feel like those stars, fading in and out of view.

"I'll be back in 3 months," she says again. It has been a refrain, every time my face closes down in front of her, she reminds me of how little time it really is. August until November. I can't look at her, so I stare up at the sky.

"It's not that long," she says, and I think about how far it is between the planets, and I will myself not to cry. Distances are relative. Time and space dilate at high speeds. I hear the boards of the porch creak as she walks up behind me. She's leaving because she has to go, because its best for her, because it's what she needs to do. Her hands find my waist, and snake across my middle. I cover her hands with my own.

Behind us, the TV is still on, and I hear someone washing a dish in the kitchen. I look at the sky and feel the pain of missing her with every breath she exhales against my back. I miss her, even now, before she's gone.

A Brief Descent Into Sportsball

Why would I, a lifelong New England Patriots fan, take to my digital soapbox to defend Pete Carroll, a man who coached my hometown team so less than eptly that Grantland's Bill Simmons called him "Fredo"? (I think Carroll is a decent man, as far as I can tell. He does appear to be a bit of a fraud, but I think anyone whose job it is to convince grown men to shorten their lives has to have a bit of the huckster.)

By now, nearly every sentient being has registered the fact that Carroll decided (or acceded to a decision) to throw a pass on the 1 yard line, second down, trailing by four points with 26 seconds to go, which was intercepted to cost him a second straight Super Bowl championship. Luminaries inside and outside the sports world united to castigate the decision, but I don't think, given more thought, that this is a fair verdict.

If you think about the whole picture, Carroll's team needs to gain one yard, and he has three chances to do so. He cannot run three times (the clock continues to run on run plays) because they won't be able to unpile, reform and snap the ball again before time expires. If he runs on second down, he has to call a time out, and then, if unsuccessful, he has to throw on third down because he risks running out of time. Thus, arguably, Carroll had to throw on second down.

Now, whether he should have called that particular pass play is another story.