The Breakdown: Stuck in the snow
No matter how prepared you are, you can’t account for everything.
Having lived in cold-weather climates nearly my entire life, I’m certainly not a stranger to the snow. And I’m usually well-equipped for any amount of white stuff dumping down. I keep a shovel, a scraper, hats, gloves and even a hammer (to use as a make-shift ice pick) in my car during the winter, and anytime I’m expecting snow, I always put my windshield wipers up so they don’t get frozen to the glass.
So, cut to Tuesday morning, and like most people in this county, I basically woke up with a shovel in my hand, ready to attack the latest and greatest smothering we got Monday night.
My wife had to get to work within a half hour, and I had a dentist appointment at 8, so both our cars needed to be dug out and ready to go.
I got after it – scraped off the tops of both vehicles, shoveled all the loose snow away from the doors (so they’d actually be able to open) and backs of the tires (so they’d actually be able to move), picked away at some ice ruts (again, so the car would actually be able to move) and, finally, jumped inside to turn on the first car.
Keys in the ignition, turning and … click-click-click-click-eeeeeehhhhhhh.
The battery was dead. I mean Al Davis-level of dead, where it looks as though it should be working, there’s no reason for it not to be, but you just know that there’s nothing going on in there.
Anyway, after a barrage of expletives that seemed to startle the neighbor’s dog out of his usual two hours of barking in the morning, I missed my appointment (I know, tragic) and had to drive my wife to work.
And, the one thing to learn from all this (that nice little ditty of a cliche I threw at the top of this thing) should’ve actually already been learned over the weekend during the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Yeah, not the best transition right there, I know, my head’s still a little cloudy from standing in the snow so long. But it’s true, and the Pats-Jets game was certainly proof of that.
Coming into the game, New England was that former upper Midwesterner, who knew a thing or two about getting out of the snow, or at least a home playoff game. The Pats had their pre-set methods for dislodging a car (Bill Belichik’s game planning), their shovel to get out of tight spots (Tom Brady), their scraper to clear the windshield (the Pats’ bend-but-don’t-break defense) and even a misused hammer to chip away at the ice just in case (a pretty solid kicker in Stephen Graham).
They were set, at least until the car wouldn’t start, or the Jets threw a whirlwind of changing defensive coverages and schemes at them.
It left New England stranded, unable to get out and get running. Sure, they could’ve called for a jump (or over-hauled their game plan) but, by the time they would’ve gotten it going again, it would’ve been just a little too late.
OK, enough metaphors. There’s a moral to this story, and, no, it’s not that if you’re large enough and loud enough, you get whatever you want. (Sorry, Rex.)
Putting it simply, there’s no way to plan for everything in sports. And even if you seemingly have all points covered, something unexpected can take you down, most often being that little thing known as human error.
And, really, that’s what makes watching every playoff game in pretty much every sport (which I basically do) so exciting – anything could happen.
Sure, the Saints were the reigning champs and Seattle was the first-ever 7-9 team to make the playoffs (and an awful 7-9 at that), but the Seahawks won. Why? Who the heck knows? These things just happen in sports.
It’s how we got U.S.A 4, U.S.S.R. 3. It’s how the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to the Giants. It’s how the Rockies made the World Series in 2007. It’s how Gordon Bombay led District 5 to a state peewee title.
It’s just how sports work.
We can’t explain everything and we can predict even less. While it makes my job a pain at times, it makes being a fan great.
And watching an upset during the playoffs is a heck of a lot better than being upset when your car doesn’t start.
If you’re upset, it’s best to follow Bryce on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SummitSportsGuy. It’ll make it all better.
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