Monday, October 13, 2008

DOH-mer Of The Week- Safety Valve?

Remember when you were a kid, playing football in the street with your neighbors? Sometimes you played with a flag, at other times it was touch, and if you wanted to prove to your friends that you had balls, you played tackle ball right there on the asphalt. You either moved the ball with a “downs” system or you imitated the NFL, actually walking off the 10 yards needed. You had penalties. You had sideline boundaries, kick offs, punts, etc. But there’s one thing we never had in street ball, and that was a safety.

Recording a safety was nearly impossible, because the end zone was endless. We marked the beginning of the end zone, as to determine a score, but the back of the end zone went on for infinite yards or in this case “blocks”. Backed up against your own end zone was never problematic, because our quarterbacks could scamper freely to escape danger, before ever making their toss.

Someone should have informed Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky of the differences between playing in the street and playing in a billion dollar dome. One obvious difference is the paycheck, as you are rewarded for your skills and football knowledge. The other obvious difference, the end zone is limited in length.

On Sunday, against the Minnesota Vikings, Orlovsky’s mind returned to the streets, though his body played in the dome. With his Lions pinned against their own end zone, Orlovsky took the snap and tried to avoid the rushing Jared Allen by running to his right and up the block to little Johnny’s house, hoping to buy time for receivers to get open. And of course, as the video shows, Allen is erratically signaling to the refs that Johnny doesn’t live there anymore.

Orlovsky can’t be credited for the complete failure of the Lions, who are now 0-6, but he’s managed to create a video highlight to sum up the Lions’ misery. When you’re a back up quarterback, thrust into the starting role for a winless team, you don’t necessarily have to win games, but you surely need to win over the few fans remaining.

The cowardly Lions earned a badge of courage for firing the man behind the curtain, after proving for years he was no wizard at all. Dorothy still wears No. 11, clicking his heels and reciting, “I wish I was home”. And now they’ve benched the Tin Man, allowing the Scarecrow to run the huddle. This DOH-mer could easily be a team effort, but I can’t look pass the bonehead error of Orvlovsky, so he’ll take it alone…Well…and Toto too.

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