Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scorpio Season is Shake-Out Season

There’s nothing like November Football… I used to say that when I was a kid, some 25-30 years ago. This is the time when we separate the men from the boys… with a crowbar if you happen to be in San Francisco. The cream rises to the top. We thresh the wheat from the chaff on the football field. I used to say we learn who is what in November.

I no longer say this. November is no longer the object of praise in my football talk. There was only one problem with this theory on November: It never quite worked out on the calendar.

The shakeout always seemed to begin around the end of October. The shakeout is usually complete well before the end of November. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around each year, we usually have a lame-duck Lion team to skip over on Thursday. We also have a Dallas team that is (usually) headed for the playoffs.

As you well know, the season of a number of should-have-been contenders came to an end last week. Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Minnesota all died last Sunday. We were a full week away from the end of October as they lay prostrate on the field of battle dying.

In college football, ESPN openly advertised yesterday’s slate of games as “Separation Saturday”. Faint echoes of that mantra could be heard on the NFL Network this morning. It ain’t November until tomorrow. Mark my words, by the 21st of November, several teams will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the BCS picture will be pretty well set, and we will be talking about who might draft first in April. The last 9 days of November will be interesting, but the table will be set.

I have found the perfect name for shake-out season. Let’s call it Scorpio Season. Last Saturday, on October 23, our Sun entered the Constellation of Scorpio. [Of course it didn’t really move anywhere, but from the perspective of our tiny Earthly skies, our Sun is in Scorpio right now] All the babies born last Saturday are Scorpio babies. November 21 will be the last day of Scorpio. By the end of Scorpio, we will know who is what in football.

It is fitting that Scorpio season should be the time when we separate the men from the boys in football. Scorpio is a pretty intense sign. It’s a poisonous little critter with a mean sting. Scorpio people are described as gritty, intense, driven competitors. Although they have good powers of concentration, and good intellect, they tend to be very confrontational and emotional. Dick Vermeil, Phil Simms, Troy Aikman, Michael Strahan, Nick Saban, and the Rams’ own Sam Bradford are a few famous football figures who just happen to be Scorpios.

Interestingly, Scorpions happen to be regerative little insects. Scorpio people are said to have much greater than normal recuperative powers. There are legends about these guys making full recoveries from mortal wounds in battle. One thing is for sure: Sam Bradford doesn't seem to be showing any ill effects from that shoulder surgery he suffered last year. This surprised the hell out me.

In Astrology, Scorpio is a funny little sign. It is commonly thought to be the most intensely competitive signs, yet it is a female sign. It is also a water sign, which is strange as these critters call the desert home. This constellation is co-ruled by Mars and Pluto. Mars and Pluto metaphorically represent Aries the god of war, and Hades the god of Death. It is also the sign purported to have the highest absolute sex drive. This is not quite the same thing as sexy good looks or sultry heat, although many confuse it for these things. At the same time, Scorpios have a pronounced tendency towards life-long marriages and monogamy. They also have a penchant for revenge. The joke says that when Shakespeare wrote "Hell hath no furry like a woman scorned" he was describing Scorpio women. They are also supposed to be fascinated by mystery and solutions to mysteries. Astrologers joke that Sherlock Holmes was a Scorpio with his Mercury in Virgo.

Two things are certain this Scorpio season:

  1. It’s going to be red-war and death for a number of football teams besides the Cowboys, Chargers, 49ers, and Vikings.
  2. We’re going to go a long way towards solving the mystery of the 2010 season.