I completely dorked out today at the Ravens facility in Owings Mills.
I did, honestly.
Before the “State of the Ravens” press conference, a team employee brought out the fingerprint-stained Lombardi trophy and set it in front of the media for a photo opportunity.
Nearly everyone in the room went up there with their cell phone and snapped a picture of it. Some gave their phone to a friend or co-worker and posed for pictures with the coveted trophy.
What I’m about to say is in no way a slap at anyone who posed for a photo with the trophy or picked it up and held it while someone snapped a picture to capture that “moment in time” when they had their hands on it.
I’m the idiot, here.
I didn’t touch the trophy. I didn’t pose for a photo with it. I thought about it. But then – as I’ll explain here – I didn’t snap a photo and I didn’t pick it up and ask someone to snap a photo for me.
I might regret that ten or fifteen years from now.
But I didn’t touch the trophy.
Because I’d never go into the locker room at Augusta and grab someone’s green jacket and throw it on “just for s**ts and giggles”.
There’s nothing more in the world — other than a long, healthy life for my wife and two children – that I’d rather do than slip on the green jacket. But that’s only if I won The Masters.
If I was in Augusta on the Monday after this April’s tournament and someone said, “Hey, before Lee Westwood comes in for his morning-after press conference, would anyone like to try on his green jacket?”, I think I’d run from the room for fear the golf gods might punish me for even THINKING about putting it on.
You’re only allowed to touch the green jacket – and slip it on – when you’ve conquered the Augusta National course and the field of great players who tour through the Georgia pines for four days each April.
If I would have mugged for a photo with the Lombardi trophy or picked it up today, I would have been doing a disservice to Joe Montana and Kurt Warner and Warren Sapp and Jerome Bettis and Teddy Bruschi and Ray Lewis and — the guy I thought of the most today — Ed Reed. Those guys did the whole “blood, sweat and tears thing” to get one moment with the trophy. Much like my dream of a green jacket, they would have given anything to hold that Lombardi trophy in the air.
I admit, I’m a goof when it comes to stuff like that.
But my fingerprints don’t deserve to be on the Lombardi trophy.
So, I just sat in my seat in the auditorium and watched everyone else take pictures of it and pose for photos next to it.
Somehow, it didn’t seem right that I could touch it and someone like Junior Seau or Jim Kelly or Donovan McNabb never had that chance.
I sure would love the opportunity to wear a green jacket someday. Alas, that’s probably not going to happen for me. Instead, I’ll just admire the guys who do earn that right and I’ll follow them every April as they try to accomplish a lifelong goal that should never be tarnished by some knucklehead like me walking into the Augusta National locker room and saying, “Angel Cabrera’s jacket looks like it’s my size, I think I’ll put it on real quick and act like I just won The Masters.”
I’m a goof when it comes to sports and winning championships. I’ll readily admit that.
Carry on with your day…