I’m not one who’s normally prone to getting a kick out of someone else’s personal problems. Having been made fun of as a kid (and I’ll just assume it stopped there – I grew up to the point I just ignored people who attempted it while I was an adult) I am fairly sensitive to people in situations that other people seem to laugh at. Sometimes I’ll turn off a TV show if the person’s situation and potential for it to get made fun of makes me uncomfortable – yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds . Deal with it.
(side note: that does not extend to people who’s “personal problems” involve things like a) making too much money, b) having to decide between too many entertaining things to do and c) me. Just to be clear.)
And when I say “people” that includes 6’0″, 211 pound professional football players who can run the forty faster than I can say it and I’m pretty sure can bench press four of me stacked on top of each other. People like, say, Eric Berry.
But I’m going to make an exception here because I can’t help but laugh out loud whenever I watch this particular video. You can blame a friend of mine who showed me a T-shirt today about this with one of the most awesome quotes ever on it: “Dang, horse – I trusted you!”
I know phobias are real. I don’t have any (that I’m aware of, anyway), but I have friends who have arachnophobia (spiders), glossophobia (public speaking), acrophobia (heights), pteromerhanophobia (flying) and even bovinophobia (cows). Whether it’s all in the head or not those fears are incredibly powerful; I’ve seen people who have almost jumped out of a canoe and swam 50 feet in the opposite direction of a snake that was 30 feet away from them on a rock because they were so terrified of it. I’m not talking an extra from the set of Anaconda, either – I’m talking about a serpent that was maybe 3 feet in length and curled up sunning itself.
So when I heard there was an NFL Films documentary (?) going around about Eric Berry’s fear of horses I was initially not sure I wanted to see it. I was torn between two places – the compassionate halo-clad angel sitting on my right shoulder saying “they’re making fun of him – you shouldn’t watch it” and the typically inappropriate horned devil on my left shoulder saying “exactly how fun could watching a documentary about horses be, anyway? You should waste your time on something involving guns, scantily-clad women and beer instead.” So I was torn, with both halves of my soul convincing me I shouldn’t click the link and enjoy the 7 1/2 minute show.
Luckily for me (in retrospect) there is apparently a third half to my soul – one that’s got roughly the same temperament and character flaws as the Cheshire Cat in Alice and Wonderland. That particular piece of me convinced my right index finger to click the link.
I couldn’t stop laughing.
Granted it took a little bit of time, but when you get to hear quotes like the aforementioned “dang, horse – I trusted you“, “they always got a rainbow or some stars flying behind it” and “I don’t deal with horses, man; it might come over here and throw a tantrum” you can’t help but laugh.
Inappropriate? Sure, it probably is. And I’m not entirely sure Mr. Berry would appreciate the fact that we’re being entertained by his fear of the equine, especially when I’m not entirely sure he smiles once about it in the entire video (although his father does, as do some teammates and opposing players like Kendrick Lewis and Champ Bailey).
But we often idolize (intentionally or not) professional sports players as being almost superhuman, so whenever we see a weakness we tend to jump on it. Drug addictions, abuse, extramarital affairs – we see those in the news at a far greater rate with professional sports players (or celebrities in general) than the general populace.
So seeing a documentary on one’s fear of horses (which, incidentally, doesn’t end in either a glue factory or with PETA getting their panties in a knot) was a pleasant change of pace. I’d much rather see something entertaining like this than a soundbite about Will Smith’s alleged infidelity or the entire Aaron Hernandez murder thing.
But whether you have a phobia or not (unless it’s equinophobia, anyway) one thing’s for certain – if you carve out a little time from your day to watch this video you won’t regret it.by