Shutdown Corner - NFL

That photo essay of Philadelphia Eagles pain leads nicely into our next topic of conversation, as at least a couple of Eagles yesterday didn't seem to be taking the loss too hard. Here's Asante Samuel, looking happier for Kurt Warner than Kurt Warner is himself:

For a heartbroken warrior who came up just short in the quest to get back to a chance at the game's holy grail, Asante Samuel is one cheerful fellow.

And he wasn't the only one. FOX's camera's also caught Correll Buckhalter giving Edgerrin James a joyful airborne chest bump immediately after the game.

It raises one of those complicated sports morality questions. Is a losing team obligated to hang their heads in shame and be depressed for a week after a huge loss? Are they not even obligated to look distraught for, I don't know, 30 seconds or so?

Part of me says that there's no weakness in immediately discarding the pain from a loss, and that it might even be a sign of a strong constitution. Maybe these guys hold sports, in the grand scheme of things, in the proper perspective. Maybe, like everyone else, they can't help but be happy for the long downtrodden Arizona Cardinals.

I also believe that when a play is over, it's over, and that the most important play is the next one, so would it not be hypocritical of me to want guys like Samuel and Buckhalter to break down and dwell on what just happened?

But another part of me wants to grab them by the shoulders and say, "YOU LOST, MAN! Who are you, Ronald McDonald? Is that smile painted on? ACT LIKE YOU JUST LOST SOMETHING THAT MEANS SOMETHING TO YOU, MAN!"

It's a tricky question. Things just aren't how they used to be. Jack Tatum certainly did not give Franco Harris a chest bump after the immaculate reception. Given the choice between a chest bump and burying an axe into Franco's chest, I'm pretty sure Tatum would've taken the axe.

Not that that makes him right, of course, and I'd hesitate to use Jack Tatum as a moral compass. But things have certainly changed, in a weird and complicated way.

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