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Ode to Scott Salmon

Ode-that-actually-does-not-qualify-as-ode.

Scott Salmon is the best. Scott Salmon is the best, because he managed to get me to agree to a bet, requiring me to write 500 words in his praise if the New York Jets won on Sunday. I do not know how I will manage those 500 words, but I'd better get started if I want to get there any time soon.

I sat down with some trepidation to watch the game on Sunday, because of this bet. But I was still confident in my Tampa Bay Buccaneers. How could I not be? All the bookmakers favored them, and that offense seemed to lack talent at all points. The defense had me worried a bit -- but hey, it's the NFL, you have to be worried about something.

For most of the game, though, it looked close. Toward the end of the game, I was starting to feel sweaty. Did I really have to write an ode to a Salmon? But the final two minutes brought relief when, miracle of miracles, Vincent Jackson broke tackles and Rian Lindell, the old veteran put the Buccaneers on the board. Oh, what joy I felt at the salvation of some minute, positive feelings over a fairly disastrous game.

Jubilation turned to worry with a couple of passes, but the Jets were still well out of field goal range. Geno Smith scrambled, but they were still some 10 yards removed from a serious field goal attempt. Everything seemed fine. The Bucs were going to win. Until, of course, there was Lavonte David and a stupid penalty, saving Scott Salmon - and damning me.

So now I am writing this ode-that-is-not-an-ode.

Scott Salmon, you are the best. You are a wondrous wordsmith, a magician of meter and the illustrious and intrepid illusionist of internet innuendos. Alliteration is fun but tiresome, master of the Twitterverse.

You got the better of me in this bet. You chose the right team to support. You dared take on this bet on equal terms despite the howling of a nation, mocking the "circus" in New York. You were confident when few were, and you were proved right by a young linebacker who made a horrendous mistake.

Wow, I'm still not at 500 words?

Scott Salmon, may you win many more bets of this kind. May I not be the only person to have to write 500 words praising you, because it's making me feel awfully silly. May you trick many an opposing blogger into foolhardy commitments. May you take their life's work of writing and turn into a hymn praising your virtues. May you never be forced to write 500 words praising another blogger.

Finally: Go Jets! May you pummel everyone else on your schedule, thereby making the Bucs' loss look less horrible in retrospect. May Geno Smith turn out to be a franchise quarterback, and may you end up in the Super Bowl this year -- only to lose to the Buccaneers. Also, beating those NFC South guys would be fun.

Right. That's 500 words.

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