November 16, 2006

Oh Andre, Ware Art Thou?

An unexpected email made its way into the OCC Inbox this week. Check out the following message, sent in by Houston-based reader Jimmyrad:

Wednesday night is coed football league night. It's a lot of fun, pretty competitive, and our team is pretty solid.

About 3 minutes into the game, one of our guys realizes, "Hey, their QB is Andre Ware." Sure enough, the opposing QB in our coed football league last night was 1989 Heisman Trophy winner and NFL bust Andre Ware.

I was playing right side safety. Andre didn't really come my way very often. The wind was howling like a baboon after a tiger eats its baby, and most of his passes were sailing. There were a couple I really thought I had a shot at, only to watch them sail over my head, as well as the wide receiver.

To be totally honest, though, a guy beat me deep on the very first play of the game which kind of stung.

Overall, Andre kind of had a tendency to throw it low and had absolute BB spirals that were pretty tough to pick off. He made many throws into traffic that had no business being thrown, but were anyway, and were perfect.

He only rushed a couple times, and while he got about 15 yards both times, he looked a little out of shape for that.

I've got to say, though, it was really odd to see a coed football QB take the most professional three-step drop ever and use flawless footwork on a rollout. Such solid mechanics. So strange.

The game was close, but we lost by eight when Andre Ware picked off a slant pass in the end zone as we were trying to tie the game up at the end of the game.

There are a few great things about this email, aside from the obvious fact that it involves Andre Ware playing in a coed football game on a Wednesday night in Houston:

1) The quote “Andre didn’t really come my way very often” implies that Andre Ware was far too scared to challenge our fearless correspondent.

2) “The wind was howling like a baboon” is pure poetry.

3) It gives us an excuse to talk about Andre Ware’s majestic flat top (a hairstyle I'm told he has unfortunately chosen to abandon).

And lastly, it leaves us picturing a 38-year-old Andre Ware doing his three-step drop, going through his reads, and firing absolute rocket passes as hard as he can into people’s chests as though this recreational football game was the most important competition he’s ever been involved in, an image that’s all at once incredibly hilarious, a little bit sad, and somehow oddly inspirational, if only in a "Wow, that old QB sure is playing his ass off in this meaningless game" kind of way.

There's at least a shred of dignity in that. Or, maybe not. But at least he won the game.

After all, a former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL QB playing in a coed flag football game is one thing. A former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL QB losing a coed flag football game is a crime against the sporting world that simply cannot be forgiven.

Update: As it turns out, Andre Ware is the color commentator for Houston Texans' games and apparently is something of a local celebrity there. So it's not like he's a down-and-out, desperate guy who wandered into the park looking for a pick-up flag football game and was fortunate enough to be allowed to play (though that is a great image).

Also please note, however, that in no way does Ware's celebrity status absolve him from any jokes made at his expense pertaining to his participation in said game. If anything, his celebrity status should only enhance the validity of such jokes.


Anonymous dave said...

I think he was a really good sport. He seemed like he recognized it was a coed rec game, and played accordingly.

9:57 AM, November 17, 2006  
Blogger jimmyrad said...

He was a good sport, definitely, but it won't change the fact that everyone's reaction to hearing him firing lazers in a coed football game will probably be similar to OCC's.

That picture is fantastic.

1:08 PM, November 17, 2006  
Blogger JBS said...

I am imagining Ware going under center and moving his back leg while calling audibles, then botching the snap because the center can't get it to him quick enough. Followed by the next play where he does the 3 step drop, almost like one of those movies where the camera focuses only on him and everything else is in total dissarray. James's wife zig zagging and zooming around, the corners stumbling as they go to cover, the d and o lines looking completely silly as they bash into each other with flags hanging out of their wastebands and there's Andre feelin' 1989 all over again looking for a long out and putting a picture perfect spiral to the 5'6" girl wide receiver right into her b__bs…and ...she botches it with hammer hands as james prepares to take her out in the middle of the field. But then Andre, though brought to the present, pats her on the backside and tells her nice try.

I am focusing on the insirational aspect of this story and not the "what the heck is he doing playing with a bunch of weekend warriors and Pai-High grads." No offense to james who was always a much more talented athlete than I was.

Good tale.

4:26 PM, November 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former professional athlete, let me clarify that flawless form is not a sign of playing one's ass off. It's like breathing for us. He would have to work his ass off to play any other way.

prof p

5:24 PM, November 20, 2006  

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