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Quick Inside Slant: Week 10

Impressions of the 2012 NFL Season as perceived by a Creative Writing graduate student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend.


By: Dustin Fisher

Politics and sports don’t always go hand-in-hand but there are always a few players, who happen to be public figures, very vocal about certain referendums. Brendan Ayanbadejo is one of the latest examples as he was very vocal about how he felt gay marriage should be legalized even though many of his teammates were very against it.

This past week, a new white guy was defeated handily by the veteran black guy from Chicago. But enough about Mike Munchak.

Every four years, not only do the Giants upset the Patriots in the Superbowl, but the citizens of Ohio get to elect the leader of our country for the next four years. As I live in a very blue state, I am not fooling myself about the worth of my single vote for president. The electoral system, much like the way head-to-head contact is so arbitrarily called, has ruined my passion for democracy. Every vote doesn’t necessarily count as much as every other vote. And much like their football team, DC’s doesn’t matter at all. Those people are just taking a half day at work.

Jock the Vote

The presidential race was basically a knockout considering the rules of the bout, but that wasn’t the only fight in town. The topic most heavily contested was the gay marriage question on the ticket of four states, Maryland included. I bring up Maryland because earlier this year, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ravens linebacker and University of Baltimore student, spoke openly in favor of gay marriage. As did Chris Kluwe of the Vikings. But he’s just a punter. Sadly, as much as I should be joking, that probably matters to a lot of people. For gay rights to have a vocal spokesperson who is the champion of the NFL’s weightlifting competition is much more resonant in a society where legally being with the person you love is left up to the voting public.

The gay marriage laws passed in all four states in which they were proposed (Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington), which is likely an indication of things to come. Maybe not so coincidentally, two of those states happen to be the homes of the two aforementioned NFL players who had the guts to stand up for their beliefs in the most homophobic of settings. In Maryland, 48% of voters still voted against the equal rights law. So it’s possible that by being as outspoken and visible as Ayanbadejo was about the topic is what tipped the scale. After all, the vote only passed by 95,070 votes and Bank of America Stadium fits over 73,000 every Sunday. Congrats to both players for standing up for something you believe in and helping make to make law out of it. And congrats to the other 1,694 for helping legalize pot.

Dispatches from the Midway Point – AFC:

NE: Not sure what happened with the magic Patriot dust in that Arizona game, but as long as Brady and Belichick are still around, they are the team to beat in the AFC East. Prognosis: Perpetual Top Dog

MIA: They were literally (I think) the last team HBO asked to do Hard Knocks. They have a rookie coach, their veteran QB got hurt and they lost their best WR to old age and assault. They’re rolling their dice with a rookie QB whose claim to fame is the hotness of his wife. Yet, they’re an OT loss away from 5-3. Since I’ve given up on the Eagles, I’m rooting for these guys. Prognosis: Overacheiving

NYJ:So they didn’t only get Tebow to run the Wildcat. They only got him to threaten to run the Wildcat so teams would have to waste time preparing for it. And he seems like such a good guy. I wish he was better. Prognosis: No guarantees

BUF: Huh. Buffalo still has a professional football team. Good for them. Prognosis: Who knew?

HOU: Well, they couldn’t beat Peyton, but they did a heck of a job at outlasting him. Prognosis: AFC Championship game

IND:A coach with cancer, the heir to the throne, a team coming off the worst season in Colts history. You couldn’t write a better story. Oh, and Luck has The EXACT SAME NUMBER OF PASSING YARDS as Peyton right now. Not kidding. Prognosis: Irsay can sleep at night

TEN:I believed in you, Matt Hassellbeck. And you made a fool out of me. Prognosis: A productive career in broadcasting

JAC: At this point, Jacksonville is just a container for Maurice Jones Drew’s fantasy points. Prognosis: MJD will retire in 2014 as a member of the Los Angeles Smog

DEN:Who would have thought that trading out Tim Tebow for Peyton Manning would improve this team? Prognosis: Comeback Player, MVP, Playoff victory, Best QB Ever

SD: They’ve made their living on late season surges. Unfortunately, the rest of the division doesn’t suck this year. Prognosis: Bye, Norv

OAK: This team could beat the Superbowl champs or lose to the University of Kentucky football team on any given weekend. Prognosis: Do not best on this team

KC:Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Just ask the team that has to play eight of their games there. Prognosis: I’ll bet a lot of people would like to redo their preseason picks

BAL: They’re technically still in first place, but it looks like the magic of that no huddle on steroids is wearing off at the wrong time. Prognosis: They moonwalk into the playoffs anyway

PIT: Todd and Ben found a way to get along, Wallace decided to show up and somehow the fact that half their team is hurt doesn’t seem to matter. Must be nice. Prognosis: Another year, another playoff berth

CIN: Well, you didn’t really think they were going to make the playoffs again, did you? Prognosis: They’ll be close enough to talk about every year, but enjoy the fact that you made it there at least once

CLE: They suffer from the same fate as the Devil Rays and until the next realignment, they’re doomed to a sub-500 record. Prognosis: They draft another QB in the first round next year. Maybe even the year after

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Dustin Fisher is an amateur standup comedian, storyteller, freelance writer, and stay-at-home dad, all of which are just better ways of saying “unemployed.” He worked in the area of collegiate recreation for the previous 14 years at UMBC, Miami University and the University of Baltimore. There, he became somewhat of a folk legend on the flag football field and actually got paid to play fantasy football. Dustin is currently in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore seeking a Masters degree in Creative Writing. He has made contributions to various publications including The Good Men Project and the Baltimore Fishbowl. For more about Dustin, check out his stay-at-home dad website, Daddy Needs a Nap. Dustin lives with his wife and daughter in New Carrollton, MD in a house surrounded by too many trees to get the Dish Network.

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