I realise that what I'm about to write may well enable the more obsvervant amongst you to paint me as inconsistent, but it's something that I'm afraid I'll just have to muddle through. It might not be obvious straight away but you'll get the picture about half way through. I'll flag the moment when it arrives :).
I happened to be watching some of the post-game video on the official Ram site today as I recuperate from a head cold and I was struck by something that Brett Romberg was heard to say. After having fielded what was one of the more usual run of the mill questions from a reporter who sounded only mildly interested, Romberg mentioned the need for harmony. Yes, Harmony.
He was talking of course about the carefully choreographed tap dance of violence that skips it's way across the football field some 120 times a game. That time when the immovable force meets the unstoppable object. Offensive and defensive lines negotiating in force for the right to achieve their objectives within the larger picture of point scoring.
As someone who started his love affair with the game as a left guard before regressing to the honourary offensive line position of tight end, Romberg's comment struck a particular chord. The need for teamwork, preparation, commitment and harmony at a position that undergoes some of the larger stresses prevalent in this game of ours cannot be stressed enough. Romberg was underlining the performance of a unit that has the apprearance these days of being a scratch group. With three-fifths of our line being hastily assembled from reserves and draftees, it's an absolute credit to them, Boudreau, Olsen and Linehan that they were able to perfrom as they did against a defensive unit that had conceded a mere 10 points a game for the month of November.
There is one position within that group however that assumes more importance than almost any other. Centre. Every offensive line has to have a player at the position who has the intelligence, bravery and ability to call a blocking scheme, snap the ball and stop the nose tackle within a dramatically short period of time. Folks, I think we may have found him....................
Richie Incognito may not be everyones slice of Dundee cake, but he's okay by me.The need of the unit to perform as one would tend to decry singling any one individual out, but if we can't avoid the liberal use of metaphor (And I think we've established that I can't) then this man could well be the most vital cog in a machine that will help Jackson vault 1'000 yards more convincingly than he did last year.
Yes he's brash (Flag), yes he's subject to unfortunately timed penalties and yes he has an unfortunate history of anger management but he's revealing himself to be a passionate advocate for the team, a player who may well come to symbolise what this team may become in years hence.
His personal foul when defending Jackson is a foul that I can forgive. (Flag)
He doesn't backdown, he doesn't give in, he has a nasty streak that's very welcome on a football field, he seems to making a decent fist of the calls and his teamates would seem to have a great deal of confidence in him. He can be the fulcrum of a very young line and is a signal of what we might well achieve given some good decisions over the next couple of years.
So here's to Cogs and the much larger wheels that they turn. Long may it continue.