Monday, February 24, 2014

Misjudging the Limits of Imagination

Too many people completely misjudge the limits of imagination. One overused phrase that bothers me is "Man, you can't make that stuff up." Normally this ridiculous observation is shared whenever a human interest story involving a far-fetched twist is highlighted by television news. Here's an actual news headline: GOOD SAMARITAN FINDS MISSING WEDDING RING IN BAG OF NURTOMAX DOG FOOD. 
If that unlikely story of the unwitting consumer finding the wedding ring buried in a bag of dry dog food was aired on the news (it probably was), somebody watchingif not the news anchor himselfwould inevitably declare, "Man, you can't make that stuff up."
YES. Yes, you CAN make that stuff up.
Crazier than the wedding ring/dog food story, right? Guess what? I made that stuff up.

The same lack of confidence in the left hemisphere of the human brain is on display many times during pivotal moments of high stakes sporting events. When Eli Manning marched the underdog New York Giants down field for the winning drive against the seeming invincible New England Patriots in Super Bowl 42, I guarantee some nitwit said "Man, even Hollywood couldn't come up with an ending like that."
Comon'. Dr. Stranglelove!? There Will Be Blood!? Even Rocky 5, for what it's worth.
I'm not a Hollywood screenwriter but let's say I scripted the following: Eli Manning's throwing arm is dismembered in a freak on-field blimp crash midway through the fourth quarter, but his shoulder is retrofitted with a makeshift robotic football-throwing cannon during the commercial break before he orchestrates the game-winning drive. The ensuing Gatorade bath enchants Tom Coughlin with wizard-like powers, so he waves his playbook and conjures a portal to Narnia.
You might be willing to admit that my fabricated ending was more unlikely than Manning hitting Plaxico Burress on a fade route for the go-ahead score.
Come to think of it, a successful fade route is highly unlikely. 

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