All my sons, or: Bread, circuses, the Eagles and us

A Philadelphia Eagles morality play

4 minute read
Coach Reid (left) with gunslinger Vick: The family that prays together...
Coach Reid (left) with gunslinger Vick: The family that prays together...
"Praise be!"

The Sunday sermons have been answered. The SEPTA buses can continue blinking, "Go Eagles Go" for another week. The TV multitudes and cantina imbibers can nurse their bodies for another work week, fueled by visions and vocabulary of Super Bowl diets.

"Who are these pallid pretenders in Cowboy stars, New York blue and Redskin pink? We is the Iggles!
We is the greatest!
God is good!
Allah is great!
Yahweh prevails!"

Yes, but what marked the decline of the mightiest civilizations of history? Bread and circuses?

Move over, Rome. Get thee gone, Athens and Alexander. The world-class metropolis of the Phillies, Flyers, Iggles and slowly awakening 76ers is on the rise.

Is this merely a game, or is this a morality play unfolding before us? Is the Eagles' relentless, perhaps unstoppable march to glory a parable for the parents of the cannabis generation?

Meet the cast

The protagonist: The Coach, a huge bear of a man who has earned his stripes on the playing field, as an assistant Coach and as uber-Coach of large physical persons devoted to uprooting and eluding opposing large physical persons opposed to such actions.

As uber-leader, this large man selects, controls the on-field actions (and, in a large measure, the off-field lives) of almost half a hundred over-hormoned, agent- and ego-driven entities.

Success, for the Coach, is winning on the field of valor while avoiding detours in the everyday world of reality. Something like being a parent, huh?

Additional cast members: Two sons of the Coach and a one-time star of the pigskin profession who made the mistake, or simply succumbed to the hubris, of engaging in the debilitation of dogskins for profit…. who also made the greater mistake of being caught at it.

The time: The present. The one-time star has just repaid society by doing two years in the Carcel. He is now free, but a bit of a pariah to the squeaky-clean masters of the National Football League. Complicating matters, team after team shuns the efforts of one-time star to return to football employment.

Meanwhile, Coach is having his own problems with two young men who seem to believe puffing and injecting are the reasons for breathing. As many parents can attest what seems to work in some areas of life ain't working at home. The law had reason to take a hand in managing Coach's privileged young men.

Roll the cameras! Action!

Moment of inspiration

One-time star is an outcast in his former profession. The Coach continues to encounter problems with his boys and, perish forbid, problems with his major gunslinger's performances as well.

A moment of inspiration erupts. (I said this was morality play, didn't I?) The Coach and his owner decide to embark on a crusade of reclamation… and a bargain in potential talent.

Out goes the resident gunslinger. The heir apparent is mothballed. The law is laid down to the ex-con: Shape up or ride the bench or worse. In the bargain (and it turns out to be a hell of a bargain), the Coach's errant boys are exposed to the possibilities and rewards of a second chance. Was this in the Coach's mind all the time?

Puffed-up city

The first act is over. The football world has been turned upside down. Vick is victorious! The Coach and his owner are declared seers and saviors.

The washed and unwashed in the old staid Quaker City are puffed with pride, all is right with the world, forgiveness and charity prevail. It's Christmas time, isn't it?

It sets me to wondering: Will the Coach's two young puffers see the moral truths of a second chance of reclamation? Coming soon to a stage, screen or pulpit near you.♦

To read a response, click here.

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