I love the signing of Joey Porter.
When I heard Joey Porter was an Arizona Cardinal I wanted to smear the eye-black under my eyes and streak it down my face. I wanted to dip the index and middle finger into the black honey-pot of goodness, scoop out the paint and streak it on my cheeks. I wanted to push the thick, viscous substance onto the skin and slowly, slowly drag it down – smearing it, streaking it, pulling it down ever so slowly. I wanted to play again.
When I heard Joey Porter had joined the Big Red I wanted to engage the essence of the game one more time. I wanted to step onto the field, smell the grass, taste the dirt, grind it between my teeth, dig my fingers into the ground, feed my rage and do it all in the loving confines of Mother Gridiron. I wanted to step between the warming arms of her beautiful white lines and release the guttural with the exact same passion the Celts summoned as they charged across an open field. I wanted to play again.
When I received a text that Joey Porter was on his way to Arizona I wanted to strap on the helmet one more time, pop the mouth-guard in and bury my facemask into somebody’s sternum. I wanted to take the spot above my eye-brows and drive it through my sworn enemy. I wanted to lower the buckles, rip the flesh from his ribs, hear his scream and know I had done my job, know I had not been bettered. I wanted to play again.
When I received the news that Joey Porter was the newest edition to the Arizona Cardinals I wanted to stare another man in the eyes, tell him exactly what he was and where he was standing. I wanted to tell my three-and-a-half-hour enemy he was one of the condemned and that he was standing at the gates of Hell. I would declare by all that was good and righteous, under the moon and sky and sun and stars, this day, he would meet his better.
I wanted to play again. Then I looked into the mirror.
As I was coming back to earth, smearing toothpaste on my toothbrush, it occurred to me. It doesn’t matter how it made me feel; what matters is how it makes the players feel.
I can’t play again…but they can.