"In the trash-can fire near the woodpile out back, the #7 Atlanta Falcons jersey that's burning had better be your one with the red-n'-white racing stripes on the sleeves with the name VICK on the back -- and NOT the all-black #7 Falcons version with GRAZIANI on the back."
Also on the "protected" list of Falcons jerseys hanging in the closet: The orange #44 BEAN and the black #60 NOBIS.
Funny how, on the all-time Atlanta Falcons roster in our minds, Tony Graziani is the left-handed throwin', #7 wearin' , Falcons QB whose spirit will never die (even if he is more noted for Arena League heroism).
That's the inescapable conclusion which we reached recently, a few minutes past midnight following a MNF'er that some of us didn't bother to watch.
Before the season, a MNF'er featuring the Falcons n' the Saints from the Georgia Dome would've meant a delightful Vick vs. Bush mad-skillz showcase -- alas, the game was reduced to a lotta buzz about Michael's incarceration and Reggie's incapacitation.
If this was the old-school NFL, Bush could've worn his college number (5) in the pros -- and maybe, just maybe, would've surpassed Harmon Wages (or Paul Hornung) as the most-famous of NFL running backs to wear #5.
Sadly, running backs aren't allowed to wear #5 any more ... and linebackers can't wear #60 (and Falcons QB Chris Redman can't wear the number he wore at Louisville or w/ the Ravens -- #7 -- because, well, umm ... the Falcons retired #7 ... or something ...).
With such sad memories as a backdrop, certain parts of this nation lamented Vick's recently-announced, 22-month prison sentence by doin' what we often do -- by blowin' off the NFL, clicking over to that G4 Network and soaking up all of the Ninja Warrior action from Mount Midoriyama.
You can talk all ya want about the athleticism of a Bush or a Vick, but those individuals wouldn't survive Stage 1 of the grueling course (the smart money says that Bush would go splashy-splash on the Jump Hang while Vick would quit on the Warped Wall ... ans how exactly Shingo Yamamoto, the gas-station manager, navigates each stage while wearing his khakis and his polo shirt and cap is almost beyond comprehension ... it's insane ... Shingo performs almost-unimaginable athletic feats not while wearing a #7 VICK jersey, but while wearing a shirt and cap with Mobil/Speedpass logos on them ... it's frickin' nuts ... ).
Oh, and for the record, Stage 3's Curtain Cling and the Cliff Hanger are impossible, for chrissakes. But, somebody like Toshihiro Takeda says, "Bring it on" -- which is what makes "Ninja Warrior" superior to "The MetRx World's Strongest Man" competition on the The World's Strongest Man Channel which broadcasts MNF.
Most of us burned our Magnus ver Magnussen jerseys a long time ago because MvM is the product of 'roids (shhhhhhh!) and rage.
He'd last 1.8 seconds on the Pipe Slider.
Hopefully, the NFL will one day rise to the level of Ninja Warrior wherein the viewer can mute the TV audio and merely read the captions across the bottom of the screen.
"Oh, what was that? Brees almost fell. Can he make it?"
Nobody's sure if the TV lounge in "the joint" gets G4, but, if G4 isn't part of the penitentiary cable package, then Mike will need someone on "the outside" to TiVo almost two years worth of Ninja Warrior action to get the QB caught up.
Then again, by the time Vick is released from the cooler, Nagano ("the fisherman") will've TWICE completed the Spider Climb and Rope Climb required to reach the top of the tower at Mount Midoriyama's final grueling stage.
And American kids will be wearing their NAGANO jerseys to junior high (even though Nagano competes while wearing no shirt at all) ...