OK, to be honest, I am a movie/TV nerd, and everything I know about football comes from watching Friday Night Lights. If you actually threw a football at me I’d be more likely to duck than catch it.
But I ran into this story over the weekend and would really love to hear what you folks at MB think about it. I walked away feeling so much for this guy, who is quarterback Derek Anderson for the Arizona Cardinals.
This is what happened, as far as I can tell. The Cardinals were getting hammered, it was the fourth quarter, they were down by 18 points — and their quarterback did a Terrible Thing. The camera zoomed in on him, he was talking with one of the guys on the team, his buddy said something — and Anderson laughed. He LAUGHED.
The reaction of fans, sportscasters, and the rest of the world was to form a lynch mob. You were losing, man — how dare you laugh? Like a mantra, over and over it was repeated: “There is nothing funny about getting your butt kicked.”
Later he was grilled about it on TV and he had a meltdown, which apparently has become one of the big viral videos of 2010, “forever chronicled on YouTube with the rest of the memorable post-game meltdowns in NFL history.”
It’s one of the most touching things I’ve seen, how this man employs in 60 seconds every strategy ever invented for escaping from this searing demand of Judgment and Criticism.
And it just made me wonder what it must be like, to have every second of your professional life on closeup, every moment of your life being offered for commentary and scrutiny, up for approval or condemnation. “Who can stand?”
And about the nature of humor and of Loss (which apparently is never NEVER funny).
Love to hear what you all think. (Read this for more on the story.)