Archive for December 1st, 2009

Unabated to the QB, Week 12: From Invisible to In-Vince-Able

“Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage.”

—Albert Camus

It was the worst GameCast experience of my life and the perpetuation of what would become an annual Giants’ tradition. On November 26, 2006, Big Blue led the Titans 21-0 going into the fourth quarter. They were about to put an end to an ugly two-game losing streak, move to 7-4, and proceed to win the NFC East—or so I thought.

That’s when Vince Young went to work. The then-rookie led the Titans on one touchdown drive, and then another. Then the Giants had Tennessee in a 4th-and-10, and Mathias Kiwanuka had his arms around Young, and he let go, and Vince ran for the first down and eventually, threw for another touchdown. An Eli INT—by PacMan Jones, no less—and a Rob Bironas field goal completed the comeback.

Three years later, Vince Young led a similarly remarkable comeback, converting three fourth downs while driving the Titans 99 yards in the final moments for a 20-17 victory over the Cardinals. One would think that the postgame narrative would have been structured around Young’s abilities in the fourth quarter, perhaps with references to his Rose Bowl appearances and that comeback against the Giants. Instead, much of the talk was on how Vince Young is finally living up to the hype. Gregg Easterbrook said Young’s success proves Tim Tebow can start in the NFL at quarterback. On PTI, Peter King even compared Young to JaMarcus Russell.

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Introducing Aught Lang Syne

“What is your destiny except to be dead? It is unfortunate that your generation had to be the one. It is unfortunate that for the better part of your days you will walk the earth a spirit. But that was your destiny.”

“Ad Astra,” William Faulkner

I rang in the new millennium as a 13-year-old over a friend’s house because no one in my family wanted to stay home with me and I was too young to stay home by myself. My friend’s parents had a party that night, and I remember having to kiss a lot of people I didn’t know right after midnight and those same adults drunkenly acting out the play at the plate to Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” some minutes later.

There were two thoughts that went through my head at that moment. First, these adults weren’t acting like adults. Second, they really liked “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which I had only heard once before at a family wedding and had considered pretty melodramatic and entirely too long.

Ten years later when I think back upon that night, I understand the acute nostalgia my friend’s parents and their friends were undergoing at the time. Here was a group of individuals born in the 1940s and 1950s getting to live in the Year 2000—for them, more a concept than a year, always used as a symbol of some cold and distant future throughout their lives. And the only way they knew how to celebrate their endurance was with a song from the ’70s, and one that itself celebrated the bliss of youth.

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