“Lunatics” are those who say that the full moon drives them mad. Hospitals don’t report any increase in the number of visits to the Emergency Room on or around the full moon, so we can rule out the kind of out-of-control crazyness that would lead to a visit to the E.R. There is, however, an increase in emergency room visits at the animal hospital around the full moon. So if you agree that our brain works pretty much like theirs does, it’s safe to say the moon does something to your psyche. Maybe the the fact that you can see around you makes you alert, and casting a shadow in the moonlight is pretty amazing. But everything is different enough to where you have to be on guard a little more too. Or maybe it’s just the kind of people who like howling at the moon get such kick out of it they’re on point and full of adrenaline all night. They don’t end up visiting the E.R. because you don’t need to visit the E.R. if you’ve got it under control.
On Sunday the number 41 seemed to come up again and again, as if everybody adorned in the number was affected with some strange lunatic power. It was like they were destined to be involved in pivotal moments, making a difference through being either adroit or awful. You think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. “Sum 41’s” were mundane (get it?). Tampa and Philadelphia safeties Corey Lynch and Jarrad Page combined for 15 tackles but nothing exciting. But it gets better: observe as Broncos #41 Cassius Vaughn returns an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. Need more proof? Look on as Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe (82; 41 doubled) beats Colts safety #41 Antoine Bethea for–gasp!–a 41 yard touchdown.
But the biggest and most ambitious play of the day was of course by number 41, Roman Harper, of the New Orleans Saints. Take a look at this play:
Cam Newton throws from the pocket as Jonathan Vilma dives over his blocker trying to get there in time, 5’9″ Steve Smith (89)leaps less like a mortal human and more like a mighty flea or something, to grab the ball out of the sky over Saints CB Jabari Greer (33). After coming back down, Smith just has to jog it the final 20 yards to the end zone for his six points. A truly spectacular play. I don’t think there’s a defender in the NFL that could have done anything about it. So Harper comes over afterwards and takes the cheapest of cheap shots on Smith, sneaking up behind him right there in the end zone! After the game he actually tries to justify his cheap hit, childishly claiming that Smith was disrespectful somehow–as if that matters as he totally burned the Saints for a touchdown. “You’re going to have to pay for it as you get past the goal line.” Whatever that means, baby. The NFL fined Harper $15,000. I don’t think it was enough. Considering Roger Goodell’s pseudosexual love of punishment, I was thinking something more like $41,000.
And if you’re wondering, there is a 41 on the Panthers too–his name is Captain Munnerlyn. Just having that name every day is notable event in itself!