The king of cool
Remember what it was to be cool? Do you remember telling someone, “Be cool, man!” Actually, it was more like one word, “Becoolman!” One word, but drawled out – because that was really cool. “BeeeCooolMan!”
To do it properly, you had to tilt your head a certain way to look past the curl of your cigarette smoke as you hung on to the butt with the corner of your mouth. For another thing, you looked at everything a bit sideways anyhow, because that way nothing could sneak up and surprise you. Being surprised? Not cool.
Whatever happened, man, you play it like you’ve been there — done that — and probably more than once. You looked, well, capable, maybe a little dangerous. You could be a spy, or an undercover cop, or a jewel thief on holiday. You might look like a nice person, but underneath? Hidden depths, man. And that’s cool.
You don’t see much cool anymore. Everybody high fives, hugs, dances around. People are even seen crying, for heaven’s sake. Coaches go on rants, players skip out of stadiums, every player who makes a touchdown look like he just won the lottery. Not cool!
There is one cool guy left, though, and every so often he reminds us that he’s been cool for a long time. Tom Brady can still pull his Ice Water in the Veins act out of hiding and break your heart, if you happen to be rooting for the wrong team, with only seconds remaining in a game.
At the end of the Tampa Bay Bucs recent game with the woebegone New York Jets, Brady got hold of the ball with 2:12 remaining, an absolute eternity. Tom Cool did what Tom Cool does and has done ever since he got the job: He ran his team down the field and scored the winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining. He never got excited; he never panicked. He just won. Cool.
After the game, a young fella who had intercepted Tom Cool earlier in the game stopped him on the field and asked him if he would autograph the ball. Now this youngster had undoubtedly been watching The King pull his act for as long as he could sit up in front of the TV. Some player may have Super Bowl rings, but this guy will have this ball to dine out on the rest of his life.
Tom never hesitated. He acted as though players from other teams asked for his autograph all the time. He just signed. Now that is cool on top of cool.
Steve McQueen has always been considered the King of Cool. Sorry Steve. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he guns footballs, not bullets. Now that’s really cool.
Millerton resident Theodore Kneeland is a former teacher and coach — and athlete — and has been known to write with ice in his pen instead of ink. Now that’s cool.