The gout had me sidelined this weekend. Even though the swelling went down and the pain was slowly subsiding, I basically spent all day Saturday on the sofa, growing roots and watching television. It’s pretty frustrating having a bunch of stuff to do and not being able to get any of it done because youre ill and in pain. Add to that the fact that I have probably seen every movie now playing on all the pay and regular tv channels and the frustration takes on a whole new level.
By late Saturday afternoon I was basically climbing the walls. I must have gone through the whole channel guide thing twice and not found anything to watch. Then, just as Im ready to shut off the TV and limp over to grab a book and sit down to catch up on some reading, the Big Guy upstairs came through to lift my ennui.
As I flipped through the channels one last time, I happened to catch the word “Miami” on the NFL channel. I quickly flipped back and almost couldnt believe my eyes when I saw what was about to begin: NFL Replay: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, November, 1994.
Dan Marino vs. Boomer Eisiason, 1994. Jets and Dolphins tied for first place in the AFC East. The fake spike with 30 seconds left in the game game. The fake spike game!!!!
I watched the entire game, start to finish. And I watched it with the same zeal, the same enthusiasm, the same hope I watch each and every Dolphins game with, despite the fact that the game was played 14 years ago. I hooted and hollered when we made a good play and was just as frustrated as ever and cursed when we fumbled or were intercepted or missed a third down conversion, still knowing full well the outcome of the game.
But the Big Guy upstairs gave me more than just an old Dolphins game on tv to kill my boredom. Not only did he take me back in life 14 years when I found myself remembering the game and picturing what my life was like back then. But he gave me poetry and art. The beauty of perfection in the form of the indefensible pass. He gave me a game where Dan Marino was my team’s quarterback. A whole entire game and not just highlights.
Say what you will about old Dan the Man, but the guy dropping back in the pocket and effortlessly zipping out a bullet in between a bunch of defenders to be caught for a first down…wow. Just wow. That, my friends, is poetry in motion. I had forgotten just what a thing of beauty that really was. Marino to McDuffie. Marino to Fryar. Marino to Ingram. Works of art by a master, each and every pass.
So, yeah, I was sofa ridden with gout this weekend. In pain and on meds. But for a few hours on Saturday everything was all good. I was fourteen years younger and Dan Marino and my Dolphins were on TV. The art of the pass displayed there in the museum of television. The fact that I was sick didnt mater for those few hours. Didnt matter at all. I made the best of my predicament and enjoyed the good.
And as icing on the cake, I got to watch one of the Marino’s greatest comebacks and one of the most heralded plays in Dolphins history:
Fourth Quarter, Dolphins down by three with the ball at the Jets five, thirty seconds left and the clock ticking. Marino hurries his team back to the line, gestures that he’s going to spike the ball to stop the clock…both teams line up, Marino hikes the ball and the entire Jets defense just basically stands there as Dan the Man drops a quick pass to Mark Ingram in the endzone. Dolphins win, 28-24. Yeah baby.
Enjoy the good.
Enjoy the great.