Why Steve Serby is not up for a Pulitzer Prize is beyond me. His constant overuse of semantics and shallow content should have him in the running. But alas, not even gems like this column have vaulted Mr. Serby into the pantheon of great writers. Here's a look at his Tuesday column discussing the Jets' recent loss to the Chargers:
Serby titles his piece, "Brett's Low Point? Take Your 'Pick' ". Right off the start Serby's witty nature comes out. The pick means, in this instance, not just selection, but also interception, which Favre threw two of the previous night in San Diego. Serby is insinuating that there are several low points to pick from as Favre threw some picks (also low points for a quarterback) the previous night.
A few paragraphs down, Serby writes "on this Tuesday 'mourning' ". See, it's not just morning, but it is also a time for Jets' fans to grieve the previous night loss. Good thing Steve threw those qoutation marks around mourning, I would never have caught it. I am sure you benefitted as well.
Right after that sentence, Serby ponders if this season "will be remembered as "Regret Favre"?". Again, those qoutation marks should send up a red flag for the reader that Serby is playing on Favre's first name rather than Favre having gone to Florida and done a name change ala Chad Johnson. Regret rhymes with Brett, Favre's first name, and the question is whether the Jets will regret bringing in Favre. Whew, clever.
After an entire paragraph void of some cute analogy or play on words, Serby was back at his clever ways. After describing the lack of communication by the offense on Monday night, and mentioning Favre's two picks (remember our title), Serby writes that Monday night was a "night to 4-get". Now, this one threw me too. I almost thought it was another reference to Favre's interceptions, but he only threw two, and Serby is not like some talentless hacks who have to reuse material. Then I thought it may have been a typo due to the lack of money at the NY Post to proof read the stories caused by the high salaries dolled out to guys like Serby. Then, after thinking about it for a good solid 30 minutes, it hit me, the 4 in 4-get is reference to Favre's jersey number, 4. Now what he means exactly is tough to figure out. It could mean it was a night to forget Favre's performance. Or maybe he is showing some compassion and hoping that Favre will forget the performance and move one!!! It's hard to say.
Now, you may need to take a minute before we proceed because the next piece of literary genius is going to be a little taxing. Okay, here we go.
Serby writes, "New York was spoiling for a shootout, but, alas, the old gunslinger wasn't quick enough on the draw against Philip Rivers, the young gunslinger who idolized him growing up." I know, I know, it is like reading Hamlet for the first time, and without quotations around words to guide us, it can be a bit intimidating. But relax, we will thresh this all out.
New York's "spoiling for a shootout" is a bit troublesome to understand at first. We know that shootout is in reference to a high scoring game, but our man Serby couldn't be so simple, right? Well, sure enough, he wasn't. He goes on to refer to Favre as an "old gunslinger" and Rivers as a "young gunslinger"; a reference to the days of outlaws in the West when 'gunslingers' would engage in 'shootouts'. In this instance, Favre and Rivers are the gunslingers, and they are engaging in a shootout, but not with guns, with footballs.
However, Serby is not quite done. Like in the Old West, every shootout has a winner and loser. Serby notes that Favre "wasn't quick enough on the draw". Losers in shootouts in the Old West were said to be not quick on the draw, meaning in this shootout, we can deduct that Favre is the loser as he was not quick enough on the draw.
There, wasn't that easier than you thought it would be?
Serby has been critical of Eric Mangini's play calling the first couple games, referring to the Jets' play calling on offense as conservative. Now, towards the end of the piece, Serby notes a change in Mangini's play calling when writes "Mangini inexplicably transformed from the football Reagan to the football Obama". I know it may help to have a degree in political science to understand this one, and fortunately I have one to help guide you.
Now, remember what I said before about Serby thinking Mangini was too conservative. Well, for those of you born after 1988 and have no formal education what so ever, you may be confused by the foreign term, Reagan. Well, Reagan was the President of the US in the 1980s, and he was conservative. Now, as Obama is more recent, I am sure we all know he is more liberal. So what Serby is saying about Mangini's play calling is that it goes from conservative to liberal, Reagan to Obama. Are you taking notes?
Finally, Serby finishes his article with his new phrase that I am sure will be sweeping across America......"A night to 4-get".
I think we all owe it to Steve Serby for his brilliant writing style and demand that he be considered for one of the greatest honors that can be given to a journalist.