When the Ravens scored in the
thirdfourth quarter to take a touchdown lead, Tony Kornheiser pointed out that Shula had grabbed his back in excitement. Shula pretended like he wasn't rooting against anybody ... but we knew. -- Deadspin, Dec. 4, 2007.
It would certainly be nice to have once been part of some band of brothers that achieved something singular and unique. And it would be nice, if, once a year, all of us having gone our separate ways, we paused our lives at the same moment to celebrate and remember all that we accomplished.
If, however, that cause for commemoration was that someone else had failed, leaving the glory alone to us, I would have to wonder how people had lived with me all this time. What an ugly spectacle the 1972 Miami Dolphins now seem to be making of themselves, with the New England Patriots aiming at an undefeated season that would not just match the Dolphins' achievement, but surpass it by two wins at 19-0-0.
Yes, the Patriots have cheated. Yes, I too am tired of hearing each of them held up for adulation as if the men who don that uniform are somehow jewels the rest of the league, never mind us mere mortals, can never hope to equal. Yes, I have my own team's interests in mind, too.
But man, how narcissistic must you be to celebrate someone falling short of your own achievements? I wonder who else is this awful? Do you think Max Planck put his fist through his hat when Einstein won the Nobel Prize three years later? Do you think Sebastian Coe kicks his Corgi every time someone says the name "Hicham El Guerrouj"?
I mean, not to indulge in metaphor here, but the behavior of the 1972 Dolphins is something like if Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay busted out the Piper-Heidsieck every time the Nepalese Air Force had to helicopter a corpse off of Everest.