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We'll Always Have Football … We Hope

9:12 AM, Sep 30, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Seems the government is on the verge of shutting down.  And just as it was about to provide affordable health care for all.  How is that for bad timing?

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders 4

What exactly the "shutdown" means is not clear but a multitude of voices in Washington are busily explaining and, in the process, adding to the confusion.  So, inevitably, one looks for certainty and the old paths.


Well, in the NFL the stars are not exactly steady in their courses.  The Pittsburg Steelers played on the road, this past weekend.  They traveled to London to play the Minnesota Vikings.  If that disturbs the normal expectations of those who follow football, how about this?  The Steelers had not yet won a game when they began their voyage across the Atlantic.  They still had not when they returned.  Their mighty oak of a quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger said, simply:

"Right now, you could say we're the worst team in the league. That hurts."

The Steelers winless and the worst team in the NFL?  If the government were still open, it would declare this a disaster and send in FEMA.

But there is constancy in the land.  Peyton Manning threw for a bunch of touchdowns yesterday.  "Bunch" because the numbers have become sort of meaningless.  Like the number of miles to the nearest star or the size of the national debt, measured in dollars.  Manning is now being compared to people like Sid Luckman and Milt Plum and Don Meredith because they are the only quarterbacks in the history of the game who have done things he has not yet surpassed.  

And, in the college game, there is also order … of a sort.  But in this world of chaos one welcomes any sort of order at all.  On Saturday, the University of Alabama won a yawner to remain unbeaten and number one in the land. The University of Georgia won a thriller against Louisiana State, which still must play Alabama. But the stars may be lining up for a repeat of last year's Southeastern Conference championship game in which the "Dawgs" (that would be the Bulldogs of Georgia for those of you whose idea of fun is following budget debates) lost a nail biter to the Tide.

And in an extravagantly uncertain world, it is almost a dead cinch that the SEC champion will play for the national championship and win it.  

By then, things should be up and running again in Washington.

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