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The Joe Anderson Boner

| July 14th, 2014

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I call it The Joe Anderson Boner.

“What is The Joe Anderson Boner?” you ask. Well, I shall tell you now. The Joe Anderson Boner is the yearly occurrence in the pants of Bears fans caused by the over-hyping of meaningless performances in the summer leading up to the NFL season. It might be the result of a few Larry Mayer Tweets that resemble something like, “The player who really jumped off the field in Bourbonnais today was Joe Anderson” or a 7 catch, 110 yard receiving performance in the second half of a preseason contest wherein Joe Anderson is being covered by someone of the skill equivalent to Loni Anderson.

This is not idiosyncratic to Bears fans, mind you. Every team has their summer boners. My brother Jon, a diehard New York Jets fan, once made a tee shirt that said “Kellen is the Answer” due to the boner-inducing camp performances of Kellen Clemens.

And boners are the perfect analogy for what are they but the physical manifestation of a man’s desire for sexual pleasure. NFL fans wait longer than any other sport fan in the world from the end of Season A to the beginning of Season B. And as opposed to baseball, basketball and hockey they only have (for the most part) 16-18 one-off experiences. For eight months they are jonesing for another snap, kickoff return, touchdown catch. Look at the ratings on NFL Network when free agency opens, the hoopla surrounding the now interminably long draft process and the ridiculous amount of discussion about¬†which team will appear on Hard Knocks – a¬†boiler plate of monotony, predictability and just general crappiness. (How many times do we need to meet the undersized white wide receiver with literally zero chance of making the roster?)

NFL fans don’t care what the football is. They just want the football. So every event witnessed in their team’s colors is important and every word from their organization’s leadership is gospel even when history and data – presented clearly to fans each summer – suggests the polar opposite.

This year there are many candidates for The Joe Anderson Boner in Bourbonnais. Brock Vereen will be heavily dissected at the safety position. Shea McClellin will inevitably have a terrific summer as he’s going to see a great deal of action against opposing twos and threes. Take your pick from the young receivers invited: Terrence Tollver, Chris Williams or Josh Bellamy. Chances are one will have fans arguing he’s the next Willie Gault by mid-August.

I’ve tried to warn against these overreactions for years but now I understand they are uncontrollable physical reactions based upon desire and any attempt to deny the undeniable would be an exercise in insanity. There is only one way to relieve The Joe Anderson Boner: submerge it into the real football season. Once it feels the pleasure of that initial September kickoff two months of teasing are easily forgotten.

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