The Chronicles of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer


Brother Furthermore, my surreal Masonic pet raven, once did a short stint in football. To hear him tell it, which he will do at the drop of feather, he was head coach. To hear the team tell it, which they will do only under severe duress, he was the team mascot. Either way, the Baltimore Ravens really havenít made too big a splash in the football cosmos.

Anyway, the 2004 football season is grinding mercifully to a close so itís clearly time for the Chronicles to jump right in where we probably have no business whatsoever. No, no! Donít thank us! Weíre just doing this to help you improve your football education and learn something new that you didnít know this morning. After all, you should learn something new every day. Or is that "you should teach someone a lesson every day?" I canít remember.

But I digress.

Because learning is so important to each of us, when an opportunity to learn appears, it is worth noting. Friends, I submit to you that football is a prime learning opportunity for all of us. (Thatís Brother Furthermore. He told me to say that.) This is especially true right now. Itís Super Bowl time! And you know what?! They have a game they play to break up all the television advertising! Is that great or what?!

The old bird defends his point of view by noting that he has truly been amazed over the years just how much he has learned from watching professional football. And college ball, too, for that matter, although that shouldnít be such a surprise. College football is played by athletic scholars and is supposed to be educational, after all.

Think about it for a moment. You might go to the kitchen and get a cold one while weíre doing this little exercise. I find that it helps. Here, for your consideration, are just a few of the things Brother Furthermore has learned watching football.

∑ You canít win if you donít put points on the board.

∑ You wonít put points on the board if you donít have Character. Character is essential, especially if youíre behind--even more important than Courage and Spirit, which are also vital.

∑ Every game is critical, no matter what the league standings are.

∑ Coaches donít always have the right answers.

∑ Quarterbacks donít always have the right answers.

∑ Referees donít always make the right calls.

∑ Television color commentators always have all the right answers and make all the right calls.

∑ In real life, you donít get instant replay. Or overtimes.

∑ Little guys who can kick are more dangerous than big guys who canít.

∑ If you arenít going to play, stay off the field.

∑ In real life, most people canít take a time-out to sell beer.

∑ Cheerleaders have the best jobs in the world.

∑ Athleticized and physicality are words that are almost never used in the real world. And for good reason.

∑ Often, itís more rewarding to watch the action with the commentary turned off.

∑ There is no relationship between performance and salary.

∑ Football is just like corporate life: A series of committee meetings punctuated by short periods of intense violence.

∑ Practice doesnít make perfect--only sore muscles.

∑ If John Madden can make it on television, any child can still grow up to be President--or at least a brain surgeon or an intern.

∑ With enough hype, you can make even a second-rate game seem vital to the well-being of the free world.

∑ Just because itís on television doesnít mean itís important.

You get the idea. This is practical, real life education at its finest. And all for the price of a ticket or cable television.

Now, I believe these truths to be universal. Even if you donít follow football, they probably apply equally to World Cup Soccer or the Tour de France. I will admit that I have also learned some important lessons from professional basketball, too, although most of those lessons deal with finance, drugs, attitude and greed. Still, they are important in their own way, I guess.

Now, youíll have to excuse me. I need to get in the right mindset for the Super Bowl.. I feel an educational opportunity is about to present itself.


To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.