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Why No. 7 Always Ran the Wrong Way Down the Gridiron

by Mark W. Jones


Mark was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 14,1956, and moved to Colorado in 1976, working in construction and in the restaurant industry, but has given it up to write. 

It was the olden days when Colorado hadn’t yet gotten into the 20th century and allowed it citizenry to buy beer on Sundays. I’d wake up with my mouth as parched as an arroyo and no beer in the refrigerator because my friends and I had drunk it all Saturday. It was the hangover and the rancorous attitude against the blue-nose Christo-Nazis temperance league and I knew it was cruel, but Sundays were reserved for going down to the local dive and tormenting fans of the local football team. There, John “Wrong Way” Elway filled the screen and the bar room was filled with screams of agony and frustration every time the opposing team drove Elway’s shoulder into the gridiron.

Rabid football partisanship is the instinct of the Flock and bears great resemblance to the chauvinism between countries. There is an equivalency between the zealotry of support for the political party of the Flock and the zealotry of support for the hometown quarterback. The Flock applies the Moronic Orthodoxy even unto sports: love or leave it. The team became the Douchebags and No. 7 was The Wad and it was thrilling rooting for the opposing team, whoever it was, until the Douchebag partisan carpet-bombed my ignorant head with vituperation and aspersions of my heathen ways and emphatically demonstrated his right judgment when The Wad made the third-down

It was an experiment in Flock-think. He was The Wad and the team was the Douchebags and this enraged the Elwad partisans into a violent frenzy of passive-aggressive attacks on my character and defense of their idol and a more than once an offer of a bloody nose. The empirical evidence made plain. Just as the so-called conservatives are thuggish and insular, so are the Elwad partisans mulish in their opinions of their star because both attitudes come from the viscera.

The relationship between the Douchebag fans and Elwad wasn’t special or magical, merely more mindless than most sports attachments. Respect wasn’t earned, it was conferred upon him like a corporal who thought he was a war-hero general. He was always petted and preened, from his Stanford days with his old man to his professional career. The Wad took this as a dispensation and this is how he played, as though he should be exempt from being tackled or roughed up, not because of rules protecting quarterbacks, but because he was Johnny the Wad. That’s why he ran thirty or forty yards backward to avoid the sack, because he believed he shouldn’t be subjected to the violence, and why it was thrilling to see The Wad, despite his forty-yard foot race, get face-planted at his own twenty.

Challenge the Douchebag fan/ zealot and the Cult of Elwad and he will claim that The Wad has a pocketful of career record heroics, most of which are Douchebag franchise records. What the Elwad Cultist fails to note, because he is a pathological liar who must shut out all contrary facts to maintain his idolatry is that, throughout his career Elwad was in the Powder-Puff Division of Mediocrity. It did football good and tightened up the division when Seattle was sent to the opposing league. Most years, only one other team could mount a weak challenge and in some years, not one team could overcome The Wad’s arm. Playing against the Chiefs, the Seahawks, the Raiders and the Chargers, the Douchebags bullied and buffaloed their way to victory that should not be counted as a victimless crime.

There were years, too, when the Douchebags were weak and could put up only a middling competition. It was outside-the-division losses which made their seasons look laughable, redeemed slightly by AFC titles. What the Moronic Cultist tries to confuse his challenger with is NFL season records as opposed to all-time NFL records. Of these, The Wad holds firsts in absolutely none, except for Times Sacked, (516), the loveliest statistic I’ve seen.

(Look up some football stats here if you are really interested.)

 But the debunking of myth with fact is irrelevant. The Elwad Cultist is oblivious to the disabusing of belief with statistics because it does not fit into his narrative of Elwad as apotheosis of football hero like Reagan was the apotheosis of conservative values and to some, of politics itself.

(Editor's note: apotheosis means deification, or highest point of development, or culmination, something like that.)

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