Friday, July 10, 2015

Frodo Baggins of the NFL.

With the Mets hanging in there shortly before the All-Star Break, for the first time in years I'm not looking past July to the start of the NFL's preseason in August. The Mets have a winning record---not much of one, but a winning record---despite scoring fewer runs than anyone but the White Sox. In a weak division, that puts them in second place and just 3 games out of first.

Actually, now I have another reason not to look forward to the start of preseason NFL.

Apparently Jason Pierre-Paul, Pro Bowl defensive end for Your New York Giants, managed to mangle his right hand by playing with fireworks on the Fourth of July, resulting in the amputation of his right index finger.

Oh, no big deal---a football player's hands aren't important!


After a couple of truly sub-par seasons (to say the least) it looked like comeback time for the franchise. But JPP is one of their star players, or was. Now what?

A lot of Giants fans are sore about this, feeling betrayed by stupidity. Kind of like Redskins fans felt on November 23, 1997 when QB Gus Frerotte celebrated a touchdown by banging his head on a wall, injuring himself out of the game. But at least that was in a game; this freelance stupidity seems less justifiable, somehow. Maybe it's more like when Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in 2008. But that could heal; he didn't lose any toes.

The general feeling is: You're a pro athlete; your job requires you to stay in shape; "in shape" means normal human shape with all the original parts. How could you be so stupid?

JPP, after the full Black Knight treatment

Like no Giants fan has ever done something stupid.

One time, decades ago on the Jersey shore, I wandered out on a jetty in an advanced state of intoxication. No one knew where I'd gone. My foot went straight between the rocks, and if my right hand hadn't slapped down on a flat surface I could have been injured pretty nicely. As it was, I must have sprained my hand, because it hurt for months. I've done much stupider things while drinking, but that was one of the times I came close to really getting messed up.

I don't know if alcohol or anything else was involved in the Pierre-Paul incident; I don't know if Pierre-Paul was the victim of a faulty firework. I do know this has got to be a terrible blow for him. I also know that his new nickname is probably going to be Frodo.

They say he'll be able to return, but who knows if he can, or how well he'll be able to perform. Are the Giants going to stink now? You like to think that your team has enough depth to survive the loss of a solid player, or even just the diminishing of his abilities, but the Giants have not demonstrated anything like that for years.

Well, at least the Mets are doing okay....

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