First, I’d like to apologize for this being a little late. Yesterday afternoon, my town was slammed by yet another nasty storm. This one had a particularly deadly tornado attached to it. Then, this morning, we lost power, possibly related to the storm, and we just got it back not all that long ago.
Now, while the storm was bad, it didn’t take power or cable out for a good bit yesterday, and I got to at least experience a bit of joy after the bad.
I am, of course, referring to the NFC Championship game where my beloved Atlanta Falcons stomped the Green Bay Packers.
For us, it was a banner day, but I was particularly struck by the sheer manhood displayed by Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
Manhood, you ask? Sure. Allow me to explain.
First, remember that there are four virtues a man should display. Strength, Courage, Honor, and Competence. Julio showed all four.
Julio broke tackles en route to a 9 catch, 180 yards, and two touchdown performance. Further, he had a moment or two when it’s amazing he held onto the ball. All of that requires strength.
No, Julio Jones won’t be setting powerlifting records or winning Olympic gold in weightlifting, but he’s a big, strong receiver and it worked.
Anyone who watches football knows Julio is competent at his trade. The man is one of the top receivers in the league and has been for several years. Arguably, he’s the best, and that’s not just because he’s on my team. More than one of the sports talking heads has said as much, and they rarely praise the Atlanta team on much of anything most years.
If you’re like me, you get really sick of people talking about “heroics” in sports. However, there are times that take a certain amount of bravery.
In Sunday’s game, Julio goes over the middle and up in the air to pick up the first down, knowing he’s going to get hit and possibly hit hard, especially since he’s airborne.
If courage requires one to understand and realistically expect negative ramifications for the act, but to do it anyway because it needs to be done, Julio’s catch certain qualifies.
That’s not to put it on par with some of the acts of heroism we see in war, or performed by first responders, or anything of the sort. It’s not. However, it’s what he does and he knew he was going to take a licking and did it anyway. It deserves our respect for that alone.
After the game, there were several interviews were reporters were asking how he did what he did. What did Jones do? He credited his teammates. The man had a painful injury, took no painkillers, racked up one of the greatest performances in playoff history, and he credits his teammates?
In Julio’s moral code, you do that. You recognize it’s not all about you, and you credit the whole team because they were a part of that win and that performance.
While it’s not enough to truly assess Julio’s honor, it does give one a glimpse that he’s an honorable man.
Honestly, I was watching the game because I love watching football and I really wanted to talk about my team making it to the Superbowl. Julio just gave me a fantastic reason to do so here on this site.
Obviously, not everyone is going to agree with this and I’m OK with that. However, if this gives someone an inkling on what the heck I’m talking about on a regular basis, then awesome.