What does the raid on Osama bin Laden have to do with the St. Louis Rams pass rush this year? At the meta level, nothing. Fighting international terrorism and winning football games just can't be compared. But there is a connection. Let me explain.
I've been fascinated by the piecemeal accounts of the actual raid itself. War porn. Chaos. Confusion. The fog of war. Those things mark a raid like that, but the truth is its incredibly well-planned, down to the minute detail.
Justified or not, that is sort of like how I envision the Rams pass rush with Chris Long, James Hall, Fred Robbins and rookie Robert Quinn in the mix. Bursting into the pocket...speed...confusion...the fog of war...but incredibly well-planned from a detailed playbook...all of it ending with the quarterback on the ground, ball in hand. Of course, there's no need to give poor Alex Smith a double tap (he's suffered enough), but he might wish someone would after the constant harassment he'll face through four quarters of football.
Ok, that's my half-assed attempt to link an overarching cultural phenomenon to sports writing. I should note that I usually really hate when sports writers try to do that. When most sports writers step out of the box they instantly go for schmaltzy. Kind of ironic that the mostly male chroniclers of athletics more into Nora Ephron as soon as they try to step out of their comfort zone.
We do have lots of service members who are part of our community, and veterans. So I will take a moment to give them their proper due. The young men and women of America have put in lots of hard time humping the sands, mountains and forests of the world looking for people like bin Laden and trying to right at least a few of the wrongs perpetuated on the world each day. My hat's off to them.
And why is it only country singers that the entertainment corporation use to salute the troops? If I were in uniform and had to sit and listen to Big and Rich pay tribute, I'd probably just as soon take my chances listening to shots fired in anger.