The Special Team

Long ago — after baseball but before MMA — there were the halcyon days of professional football (known in other countries as “do what now?”) This grand game, which rarely involves a foot or anything traditionally shaped like a ball, is played between two separate but equal units. The flashy, money-grubbing Offense and the flashy, money-grubbing Defense. But lurking in the shadows is nebulous third team, veiled in secrecy, neither flashy, nor money grubbing.  The compete on the fringe, a squad of unique talents, a coherent group with the wildly inappropriate name of “The Special Team.”

The Special Team, if you are not aware, is the group of players who exist solely to give the ball back to the other team. In a sense, they are professional quitters. If these guys are so special, why not play the whole game with just the special team? Surely the special team is up to the task. Although it occurs to me that maybe they did not mean special in a good way.  No, no, not Jackson. He’s on the “special” team.

The one exception is field goals.  This is the rare chance for special team glory.  Alas, even this is a bit insulting.  Quarterbacks are always on the run, trying to throw a football to a pinpoint spot on the field, with crazy-fast defensive backs draped all over the receiver, who may or may not have good hands.  The running back is always knifing through the gaps between 300-pound defensive linemen.  But the kicker?  Just go out there and see if you can manage to fit the ball through a 19-foot by 30-foot wide-open window.  I guess we’ll give you three points if you can do it.

Although it's still only three pages long. The expanded edition does feature the woefully overused new play: Fake-field-goal-to-see-if-they'll bite-before-we-chicken-out-call-time-out-and-just-punt play.


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